Slatina

SlatinaSlatina is the capital and largest city of Olt County, situated at about 50 km from Craiova, 70 km from Pitesti and 190 km from Bucharest. The population has 70293 inhabitants of whom 1739 are self-identified Roma according to the 2011 Census and 5000 are hetero-identified Roma (unofficial sources).

In Slatina we find the Roma community from Rudărie which is compact, located on the outskirts of the city, at a distance of about 2 km from the centre of the city. Roma speak both Romany and Romanian, and in terms of cultural specificity, they are Ursari and Rudari.

Education

The Roma community is served by three schools: School no.1 – Slatina (98 % Roma children), High-school “Ion Minulescu” (5% Roma children), School no.2 – Slatina (15 % Roma children). Preschool children have access to Kindergarten no. 1 “Tudor Vladimirescu” (100 % Roma children), Kindergarten no. 2 – Teiului Street. The community has a school mediator. The main problems are school dropout (there were 23 cases in 2012) caused by poverty, early marriage, students’ lack of interest in school and migration abroad. There are few cases of school children who have never been enrolled in compulsory education. The school has Roma teachers, but the Romany language is not taught. The level of education of the adult members of the community is low. About 50 % have 8 years of schooling, and 10% are high school graduates.

Health

In the city there are many medical facilities and 6 doctors serving the Roma community. The distance to the nearest medical centre is 1 km. The problems faced are the lack of health insurance (40 % of the Roma), the lack of registration with a family physician (5%), the lack of hygiene and the occurrence of certain diseases, the discrimination from health professionals in the hospital, and cases of children born with malformations due to the construction materials of the housings. There are no opportunities for creating jobs for Roma people.

Housing and Infrastructure

There are 630 houses that have poor conditions and are overcrowded, and ownership documents and some utilities are missing. Most houses are in the Rudari community (500). Access roads to, and within, the Roma community are cobbled. They have access to electricity and gas networks, drinking water, running water, sewerage and sanitation services, but not the whole community is connected to the electricity and sewerage networks. The local public / private transport does not serve the community and the roads should be repaired.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development

The Roma community has five family businesses and five SMEs. Trade is the area in which people wish to develop their business ideas. There haven’t been and there are no inter-ethnic tensions or conflicts, but collaborations between Roma and non-Roma are less numerous. There are locally active formal and informal organizations (Association for the Development of Social Economy in Olt – provides advice for entrepreneurship, training, support for social enterprises).

There is also a school mediator. The Roma community leader, the President of the Roma Party Olt Branch, knows the problems of the Roma and in the past built five social homes for the poor families in Rudărie neighbourhood using his own financial resources. Currently, he runs a project which aims to provide free medical tests to 300 people from Rudari community.

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