The idea for an organization such as NRC was hanging around in our heads until the moment for its forming came. There were five of us who considered that intensive work with the community is necessary in order to see where we were, to alarm with state institutions about resolving of problems and improvement of the condition of Roma on several levels.
We came out in public in 2005. The beginnings were difficult and we functioned almost without technical potentials. However our persistence and faith in each other brought us to today’s results. We gathered our own money for registration of the organization; we separated funds from our fees to provide basic working conditions. We did not form the organization just to satisfy our needs, but to realize the vision – to cooperate with relevant actors and to urge for active participation and integration of Roma, basing our work on the principles of a modern multiethnic European society.
We received our first support from SOROS Budapest and REF.
Why National Roma Centrum?
With the determination national we wanted to point our activities and to point out that our vision is to become a recognizable actor on a national level, Roma points on our experience with the Roma community in Macedonia and the Balkans as well as the directions for the organization’s work. NRC does not work only for Roma, but for all citizens, however the Roma community has the largest need and this is the reason for the prefix Roma. Centrum represents a point for us where problems are being accumulated, discussed and resolved. Besides the determinations and directions, we persist to create a name that would be good for the image of the organization, to be recognizable, easy and to be remembered.
NRC is a product of day to day work and education. The people on the team come from mixed ethnic background, based on strong trust. The people that have achieved effects for more than 10 years managed to transfer their experience to NRC.
Journalists, professors, lawyers, economists, students are employed within the NRC.
NRC motivates the community to understand that if it is informed and if it knows the regulations it can help itself and transfer knowledge to its children.
At first we thought that we would become an ordinary non government organization, but with daily visits of over 50 citizens, through field work, we grew in an organization with characteristics of an ordination (as we in NRC would like to call it the office).
There were also some disappointments, at the end of the day we said that some problems could be resolved so that in the morning we would get a new energy for more work.
Now when we have the capacities, there are new challenges for survival and quality functioning.
NRC succeeded because it had a purpose – to assure the citizens that their problems would be heard and considered with possible means of resolving.
We will continue to work as a voice for Roma, to urge for protection of the rights guaranteed for all citizens and to develop a strong communication network.