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06.12.2017 - INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS WITH BENEFICIARIES OF THE PROJECT “FOR EACH ROMA TO HAVE A HOME"

Conslt icoDuring October and November 2017 Housing Center organized and conducted consulting workshops with the final beneficiaries of the Project "For Each Roma to Have a Home" in Odzaci. The consultations demonstrated the commitment of all actors involved to the principle of participativity. The aim of the consultations was to inform the beneficiaries in detail about the planned action and its final results and to build "ownership" over the project results at the early stage of the project implementation.  In order to ensure that housing solutions are in line with the habits and preferences of beneficiary community, the beneficiary views on the proposed solutions expressed during the consultations will be respected during the implementation of the project.

For the purpose of consultations, Housing Center produced the necessary visual material - video and 3D animation (video access to each individual plot, virtual walk around the object 3D model, day / night simulation), and graphic representations (maps of settlements, views of each individual plot, layout plans, perspective views). One workshop was organized for each inhabited place (total of 5). After welcoming and presenting facilitators and observers and explaining the goals, method and content of the consultations, each workshop started with a group presentation of about 15 minutes. Video clips and 3D animations were projected onto the wall. After that, individual interviews were conducted with each beneficiary family individually.

The beneficiary families were presented with all the details of the project, especially technical details such as the structure of the living space, equipment installation, architectural design, organization of the yard, influence on the neighborhood, possibilities for self-employment on plots, etc. Each beneficiary family received information about the position of their facility on the plot, the names of the direct neighbors, the surface of the facility, the equipment to be distributed, the possibilities and restrictions on the use of the yard, ownership issues, etc. Participants were also presented with the current status of the project and the next steps with the planned deadlines.

A total of 25 beneficiary families (72%) i.e. 33 beneficiaries - 21 men and 12 women participated in consultations. The representation of women was 36%. As a reason for the smaller participation of women, the distance between the location of the consultations from the place of residence (3,5 km) without public transport and the inability to leave custody of children was identified (no children go to kindergarten or preschool). The consultations were facilitated in a manner that enabled a clear understanding of the draft solutions and encouraged free and uninhibited expression of opinions on the subject matters. Facilitators of Hausing Center especially encouraged women to get involved in the discussion and share their perspective.

Consultations were organized in a good mood and in atmosphere of trust and cooperation. Beneficiary families were generally satisfied with the information and solutions presented. In addition to positive reactions, beneficiaries expressed their concern, mostly related to income sources after relocation and to relationships with receiving communities. It was concluded that the consultation process is extremely important for both facilitators and beneficiaries. To facilitators, it gave a valuable insight into the needs of the beneficiaries and it was confirmed that active communication with beneficiaries is a requirement without which it is impossible. The Housing Center will strive to keep the communication alive throughout the entire duration of the project and to meet all the requests expressed, as much as the budget and project framework allow.

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