Social welfare programme for Alhaurin Gypsies receives 15,000 Euro in funding

by Michael Smith

Andalusia, Spain: The Corales Gypsies Association with ALHAURIN el Grande Council continues to develop the ‘Programme to Promote the Gypsy People’ with an investment of 15,000 Euros, which is earmarked for the El Bajondillo neighbourhood.

The scheme has been introduced by the Centre for Social Affairs whose objective is to develop a series of initiatives to encourage the integration of and equality for the Gypsy community within Alhaurin el Grande’s society.

It also aims to improve the quality of life of local Gypsies as well as to provide them with education, vocational training so they can obtain work and health-care.

According to Social Welfare Councillor, Francisca Bonilla: “We shall continue to develop a social plan that began in the year 2000 and has so far borne fruit such as the creation of the Corales Association, the only association formed by ethnic Gypsies.”

This appears to be a very commendable set of projects that should and could be – probably – be seen and used as a model. However, where are there any such projects in other EU countries?

Britain certainly does not have anything like this and where there is anything then the government demands, through its rules, that non-Gypsy would have equal rights to be involved with such a Gypsy Council or Gypsy Union as do the ethnic Gypsies which, obviously, is a load of dung. But that is the way it goes here.

Other countries seem to have similar and related problems and no projects proper by Gypsies for Gypsies ever see funding and help. The only thing that seems to happen is that money is given to the projects of the Eastern European Roma and no one has a clue what has been done with the money.

When, however, Gypsies, such as those of the Sinti groups, including the Romanichals and the Cale, in Western Europe, and even Roma groups in Western Europe want to do anything the answer always is that those funds and such assistance is for the Decade of Roma Inclusion and that that is for those in the Eastern European EU states and those that wish to join the EU.

Surprise? Not really.

What is needed for Sinti and such to come together in confederation and do their own things and also fund their own things without dependence on the benevolence of benefactors whether they be called George Soros or the EU, the UN, or even a local government.

Ourselves alone must be the watchword and that's how things must be. Only that way will we get anywhere.

© M Smith (Veshengro), January 2009