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INTERNATIONAL ROMA DAY MARKED WITH A FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

NGO “Civil Alliance” in Podgorica organized a football tournament to mark International Roma Day, within the framework of the joint program of the European Union and the Council of Europe ROMACTED – Promoting good governance and empowerment of Roma at the local level, which we are implementing in the Camp Conic organization for support.
The tournament was organized in cooperation with the Office for Roma and Egyptians (Secretariat for Social Welfare – Capital Podgorica), who are partners in the implementation of ROMACTED in Podgorica.

Around 60 children from the Roma and majority communities, from Camp Konik and other Podgorica settlements participated in the competition. They competed in 4 teams, which bore symbolic names and sent messages about the principles and values they want to promote – Inclusion, Non-discrimination, Tolerance and Togetherness. As all the participants were winners today, they all received medals, and all 4 teams received cups. Competitors also received gifts from the Football Association of Montenegro, which in this way supported the organization of the tournament. In total, about 100 children took part in the event, because the competitors’ friends came to support them and hang out with them.

At the beginning of the event, the organizers informed the children present about the importance of celebrating International Roma Day and the basic information related to this important date. Namely, International Roma Day (8 April) is celebrated in honor of the first World Roma Congress, held from 8 to 12 April, 1971 in London, one of the most important events in the history of the Roma. At that congress, the decision on the Roma flag and the official anthem was adopted. The first Roma congress in London resulted in the declaration of the official Romani language, as well as the official acceptance of the name ˝Roma˝, which means man in the Romani language.

The goal of organizing a football tournament on the occasion of International Roma Day was to promote togetherness, team spirit, and acceptance of diversity through one of the most useful ways – sports and working with the most important target group – children, because this is how we achieve the rapprochement of communities and the creation of preconditions for the social inclusion of Roma in our society.
* The standpoints expressed in this announcement in no way reflect the official opinion of the European Union or the Council of Europe.

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