Plan to integrate gypsies “has failed”

What sounded like a very positive government plan to integrate gypsy communities has been deemed a failure.

CESIS (the social intervention study centre) has put the blame on it being “poorly executed”.

The objective had been to reach 6000 gypsies, but in the end the number of gypsies involved was “minimal” and most of the money spent went to social solidarity institutions that failed in their follow through.

For example of the 28 associations financially supported by the plan, “only two were of gypsies in 2015, rising to four in 2016.

“There were very few entities that had specific work with gypsy communities in the context of the project, empowerment and fomenting participation”, said CESIS’ report.

Added to this, financing was “insufficient” and the project “was almost non-existent in areas of the country with the most gypsies: Lisbon, the Alentejo and Algarve”.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – the parents association of a Portimão school has complained about what it calls “discrimination, xenophobia and mistreatment” of pupils in one group of the 4th year.

Says Diário de Notícias, parents claim the school “has one class where it puts all the gypsy children alongside children with handicaps and black children” as well as “white children transferred from other schools”.

“According to the parents, the situation became most relevant when they learnt that gypsy children ate standing up, some placed strategically next to the rubbish bin”.

An official complaint has since been presented to the regional board of education, and the school (Escola Major David Neto) is now being given time to give its “position”.

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