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The Pata-Cluj project plans and implements coordinated interventions needed for the social inclusion of the marginalized communities of Pata Rât, including the piloting of participatory social housing. In order to avoid the formation of new ghettos, the project plans to build/purchase 32 social apartments on different plots, in different areas of Cluj and the Metropolitan Area. All sites need to have access to public transportations and all necessary utilities. These social apartments are dedicated exclusively to the inhabitants of the Pata Rât area.
Community facilitation consists in assisting the community in self-organisation when taking decisions and carrying out activities which have an impact on the entire community. Through the joint administration of a community budget, and by facilitating institutional meetings with local authorities, companies and NGOs involved in Pata Rât, we support the direct participation of community members, both in community and institutional decisional processes, and in the implementation of these decisions. Through this approach, we wish to empower the members of the community to take a part in resolving the problems faced by the community.
In an inclusive community development model (Ryder, 2013), in which community resources are engaged and mobilized without a rigid framework being imposed from the outside, the role of the community facilitator is to help the community in the organizational and mobilization process, to facilitate the relationships with local institutions and in certain cases the access to community decision making process of the more vulnerable categories within the community (Toomey, 2009).
The project provides social and educational services for children, youth and their families in order to support school attendance. Second Chance education program is provided for children, youth and adults (people who gave up going to school, and who have to recover in order to obtain a study certificate in the formal education system). Education is backed also with extracurricular activities for children and youth. Schooling for children of the most vulnerable families is ensured through continuing the activities at the Mobile Unit (hygiene, clothing, transport, accompaniment, meditation).
Through the work of the social workers, community members obtain or renew their identity documents, thus gaining access also to social protection rights they are entitled to by law or consequently to their work contracts.
Case management is based on an individual intervention plan and inter-institutional cooperation intended to address family and individual needs. The team of case managers provides support for people requesting health, legal etc. services, by providing administrative information and explaining institutional procedures, facilitating access to health services and special legal services. In order to facilitate access to special services, the team of case managers carries out and pursues inter-institutional development and cooperation work with various public and private institutions.
High risk zones are being mapped by involving the communities in the Pata Rât area. Thus, the community builds a coordinated emergency response network able to respond to high risk conflict cases in a ghettoized environment. More than developing a safety plan for the Pata Rât area, it enhances the capacity of the community members and law enforcement specialists for conflict management and assertive behaviour.
In order to raise the employment opportunities for the members of the Pata Rât community, the project provides activities of informing and counselling, job mediation and enrolment to professional training courses. This translates into an improvement of the formal education status and an increased level of qualification for the Pata Rât population, by access to decent jobs and a high level of support for obtaining and keeping a job. At the same time, future employers and business people from the Cluj area are being made aware of the potential of the Pata Rât population as workforce.
Creative communication campaigns on various topics (human rights, domestic violence, social inclusion etc.) will use arts to target different segments of the Cluj society to raise awareness about the efforts for the social inclusion of the Pata Rât population. On a broader level, professional networks on Roma inclusion at local, regional, national and European level will be informed regarding the results of the project.
The members of the Pata Rât community participate in various cultural activities established through participatory curating, an inclusive process to design, select and plan artistic and creative activities. Through open calls for projects, a series of artistic interventions in public space and cultural activities – workshops, performances, music jams – will be developed. Along with the cultural program of the Youth Centre, these activities will contribute not only to the cohesion of the Pata Rât communities, but also to generating closer links between people living in Pata Rât and those living in other areas of Cluj.
Family assistance centred on providing medical consults in the community implies, first of all, emergency medical consults delivered in the Mobile Unit in Pata Rât. The team consisting of a doctor and a nurse provides examination, recommends treatment and if needed prescribes further examinations in special health care units. In order to facilitate access to special health care services, the team of case managers caries out inter-institutional development and cooperation work with various public and private institutions.
The Youth Centre (Casa Tinerilor / Le Ternenqo Kher / Fiatalok Háza) is a place for developing joint activities in education, culture and sport, where young people from Pata Rât and other young people from the city can meet and cooperate, develop actions and activities together. The building hosting the Youth Centre, situated in Locomotivei street no 1 in Cluj-Napoca, the future cultural and educational centre of the Pata-Cluj project will be restored in 2016. The final architectural plans foresee two large premises for activities, an office in the attic, cloakrooms and a kitchenette serving the youth and visitors.
Pata-Cluj is a pilot project aiming to facilitate the relationships between the most vulnerable groups, which are the most affected by the structural problems of our society, by economic inequalities and discrimination, especially the Roma, and those who have the legal responsibility to ensure that the rights of each citizen and each child are respected. Thus, the project brings a contribution to the efforts targeting the social inclusion and the desegregation of the communities of Pata Rât, possible only in the larger context of efforts from the behalf of the municipality of Cluj-Napoca. When addressing structural issues, the project applies the method and perspective of restorative practices. Social inclusion is possible only through social transformation, where each institution, decision maker, community and family assumes its transformative role.