Meeting the Roma community in the village of Skravena
An IOM Bulgaria team and representatives of the NNHM- BFPA-EMHPF Consortium carried out an information session for the Roma community in the village of Skravena.
Skravena is a relatively large village in Botevgrade province in Northern Bulgaria. With 4 Roma “mahali” the village has a significant Roma community. Like in many other provincial places throughout Bulgaria, the job opportunities for the Roma people are limited and many of the Roma people in Skravena are forced to seek work opportunities abroad so that they can sustain themselves and their families. This poses numerous risks and during the presentation the attendees were advised of the necessary steps it is important to make before leaving and during one’s stay in a foreign country.
The event focused on the peculiarities of the health, education and social systems in Europe and Germany in particular as many of the people in Skravena seek work in that country. The presenters as well as aspects of the labor legislation. The presenters provided guidance on how to prepare for and navigate these challenges, as well as other information about employment, family, and health issues that can arise for those who work and live abroad.
The attendees of the information session also learned about the challenges and dangers that can arise from working abroad, including trafficking, smuggling, and labor and sexual exploitation. The speakers highlighted the importance of being aware of these risks and learning to recognize the first signs of potentially illegal and exploitative practices and knowing where to turn for help. The attendees shared their own stories and experiences, emphasizing the need for accurate and comprehensive information before taking such a step. All agreed that with the right preparation and support, people can navigate these challenges and achieve their goals