Migration Impact Fund (2011)
In January, MEMF organised a workshop in collaboration with Citizens Advice Bureau for members of eastern European and other communities. It was called CAB Referral Training, which would enable people to work as volunteers in CAB and if they would further like to become an advisor they could take up further 1year training.
Roles & Responsibilities of Trustees training was organised by MEMF in order to lay a strong foundation in setting up community associations for new migrants.
In April, we established Medway & Kent Roma Association (MKRA) with the aim of increasing cultural awareness and integration leading to a better community cohesion by participatory evaluation, and reducing the tension between the host community and the new arrivals. By having the association formed, the Roma people can have their voices heard and be the link between members of their community and the service providers such as NHS, education authority, police, employment agencies, welfare, housing department, etc.
In May, MEMF held an event for Roma people on health issues, such as obesity, smoking cessation, alcohol & drug abuse, issues relating to truancy, challenging behaviour & exclusion and other educational issues. We are also invited service providers/stakeholders to provide advice, and deliver programmes relating to community cohesion and integration. This event helped the local service providers to gain knowledge of the concerns/issues facing the Roma community and possibly impact on policymaking.
In June, we attended the EU Roma Forum in Ashford that showcased successful initiatives, which promoted inclusion, engagement and achievement of young Roma people and their families. There were short and varied discussion groups, which gave good insight of issues relating to this community.