| Meeting with the Belgian intercultural mediators |
30.09.2012 zdravenmediator.net - Диляна Дилкова
Within Integro Association’s
project “Platform for generating approaches and methods for the integration of
Roma population on a regional level”, three experts– Liliya Makaveeva
(Integro Association), Prof. Ilona Tomova (Bulgarian Academy of Science), and Prof.
Ivaylo Tarnev, are investigating working models, approaches and practices in the
sphere of integration of minorities in three municipalities – Gent, Belgium;
Ostrava, Czech Republic; Kavarna, Bulgaria. The goal is to research the specific
approaches in different communities and groups and how a real participation of
the ethnic minorities in the decision-making processes on a regional level is
The three experts visited and made field research in Gent
and Brussels and met representatives of the local authorities, social services,
labor bureaus, and NGO’s.
During the visit, they met with representatives of FOER ICB
- the largest Belgian NGO, which deals with the problems of minorities and has
40-year-old history. There was also a meeting with the Roma services to the FOER
ICB, where Roma people work primarily as education mediators. One of them is
Biser Alekov, who is a trainer of the mediators in Bulgaria in the ROMED
A meeting with the FOER ICB
Department of intercultural mediators was also organized. The Intercultural
Mediator Programme has a 20-year-old history in Belgium. The mediate between
representatives of different minorities and the healthcare system and are
practically health mediators. Currently, there are Arabs, Roma, Albanians, Serbians,
and Russians working as intercultural mediators. The Moroccan Hamida Chikhi, is
the Coordinator of the Intercultural Mediators Programme. She has a degree as a
Psychiatric nurse and has worked eight years in the Belgian Anti-Discrimination
Committee. The meeting went very well and both sides expressed desire for
collaboration and exchange of experience.
In Gent, we organized a meeting
with Angel Ekov, a Roma from Kotel, who has been in Belgium for 10 years. He
has worked as an intercultural mediator in a hospital, has a psychology
degree, and recently founded a Help Centre for Roma People in Flanders.