The dissemination of information to members of the Roma community and other marginalised groups on the importance of immunisation, prevention and adherence to preventive measures in combating the COVID-19 pandemic has started within the territory of 18 local self-government units in the Republic of Serbia.
Citizens of Nova Crnja, Zvezdara, Kruševac, Kraljevo, Loznica, Bor, Niš, Vranje, Pirot, Vladičin Han, Stara Pazova, Kovin, Zrenjanin, Smederevska Palanka, Topola, Valjevo, Kanjiža and Alibunar will be informed about the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, and will be provided with protective items (safety masks, alcohol, liquid soap).
The informational materials prepared under the project “Reducing additional vulnerability of Roma and other marginalised groups caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 18 local self-governments” provides responses to numerous questions, and informs citizens in a comprehensive and simple way on key issues regarding vaccination, dilemmas such as potential side effects of the vaccine, new strains of the virus and treatment, steps towards protecting other family members after infection, etc.
In addition to improving the provision of information and promoting immunisation against COVID-19, the project aims to overcome challenges caused by the pandemic in the field of education, providing water in substandard settlements where members of the Roma national minority and other marginalised population groups reside, and improvement of technical capacities of relevant local institutions.
Previously, the project awarded technical equipment in the form of 200 tablet computers to primary schools in the territories of the local self-governments of Nova Crnja, Zvezdara, Kruševac, Kraljevo, Loznica, Bor, Niš, Vranje, Pirot and Vladičin Han, so that Roma children and children from other marginalised groups could improve their skills in the field of information and communication technologies and more successfully complete school obligations under circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, local self-governments (Loznica, Pirot, Kovin, Valjevo, Kraljevo, Kruševac) and health centres (Smederevska Palanka, Zvezdara, Pirot, Vladičin Han) were presented with laptop computers, desktop computers and printers to improve technical capacities and improve data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The provision of information on the importance of immunisation and prevention of the spread of the coronavirus and the presentation of technical equipment are part of the project “Reducing additional vulnerability of Roma and other marginalised groups caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 18 local self-governments”, implemented by the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Serbia as the legal representative of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit, with support by the German Development Cooperation programme “Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalised Groups in Serbia”, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue. The partners in the implementation of the project are the associations Centre for Interactive Pedagogy and Ecumenic Humanitarian Organisation.
(Photographs from the website of Kovin municipality.)