COVID 19 EMERGENCY - Containing the Social and Sanitary Impact of Covid 19 among the Weakest Roma Communities

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Project location: SPAIN, Catalonia
Project start date: April 2020 - Project end date: June 2020
Project number: 2020-016
Beneficiary: Fundació Privada Pere Closa Per A La Formació I Promoció Dels Gitanos A Catalunya

Fundació Privada Pere Closa was created in 1998 by a group of young Roma people driven by the belief that the lack of formal education among their communities was the main obstacle to their development within the Spanish society, and that overcoming this gap would offer them more and better opportunities to enter the labour market and develop their personal growth.    

Over the past 20 years, the Fundació Privada Pere Closa has promoted dozens of projects in the field of education and awareness-raising in 20 municipalities of Catalonia, achieving significant results towards the educational inclusion of Roma children and youngsters. Thanks to its efforts almost 10.000 students have succeed in primary and secondary education, then continuing in vocational training or university studies. This has allowed them to succesfully enter the labour market and become full citizens without renouncing to the essential elements of their Roma culture.   

In 2015 the Fundació Privada Pere Closa was awarded a first grant from the Peretti Foundations to develop the project “Cuentos Romane” - “Romane Tales” in Rome (Italy) and since 2019 is implementing the three-year project “Roma identity in dialogue”in several municipalities of Catalonia (Spain), thanks to the renewed support of the Peretti Foundations.
The current covid 19 pandemic is heavily affecting the Roma population. Poor nutrition makes them more vulnerable to coronavirus. Their financial subsistence, depending on self-employed, occasional jobs,  is highly at risk due to the current health crisis, since they are no longer able to work and support their families. Only the importance of family bonds and solidarity within Roma communities slightly mitigates the impact of the pandemic.    

Those who are currently most at risk are 140 needy families (about 700 people) from 10 municipalities in Catalonia. On the basis of a field study and telephone consultations, the Fundació Privada Pere Closa has verified  their food and communication needs; boys and girls have also difficulties in attending online lessons, due to the lack of technological tools.    

In response to the current pandemic, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant to Fundació Privada Pere Closa, in support to its emergency plan aimed at containing the socio-sanitary impact of Covid 19 among the weakest Roma communities of Catalonia who, due to their fragile sanitary conditions, are at extreme risk of suffering its immediate consequences.
The intervention includes different areas of action:  
1. Food assistance: distribution of basic food packages (spinach, lentils, milk with omega 3 and oranges);
2. Health: distribution of basic hygiene kits (soap, bleach and toilet paper), masks, disinfectants and gloves; online socio-sanitary education sessions for the prevention of COVID 19; online psychological support to resist confinement;
3. Education/Communication: temporary loan of 70 laptops or tablets to allow kids access to online lessons;  online school support classes; online psychological support for school reinforcement during confinement;
4. Financial support: allocation of individual financial contributions to the unemployed and those who are unable to work due to the pandemic, as well as to the recipients of minimum income or pension who can document their needy situation (SOC, Treasury, Social Services). The amount for each beneficiary will be defined based on the number of members of his family unit.

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