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City Bijeljina

International Roma Day Celebrated in Bijeljina

Cultural Centre Semberija in Bijeljina marked International Roma Day today with a showcase of video works and presentations of visual and literary pieces focused on Roma culture.
Bijeljina is dedicated to the inclusion of Roma in society, and a testament to the progress made in this regard is the recognition of Most Roma Friendly Mayor, which will be awarded to Mayor Ljubiša Petrović in Brussels.
Roma constitute the largest national minority, and the city is diligently working towards raising awareness, improving education, and providing housing for members of the Roma community.
Speaking about the local authorities' relationship with the Roma population, city manager Tatjana Pantić reminded that in recent years, the City of Bijeljina has been actively focused on Roma inclusion in our local community. She emphasized that this year's confirmation of this fact came not only locally but also internationally, with the aforementioned award for the mayor of Bijeljina.
“It serves as evidence that Europe recognizes, accepts, and supports the work of the City Administration in this direction because, as we know, in Bijeljina and Semberija, Roma are indeed the largest minority,” said Pantić. She added that there is maximum engagement from various entities to ensure that Roma are equal members of society.
According to her, the emphasis is on education. Bijeljina is an example of a unique local community where Roma students receive free textbooks, school supplies, and quality meals.
Pantić reminded that, in cooperation with Swiss Caritas and the relevant ministry, the City of Bijeljina has provided six housing units on two occasions for the most vulnerable Roma families (providing twelve housing units in total).
Additionally, there is a Day Centre for children at-risk in Bijeljina that accepts children from this minority group, and construction is underway for a shelter for children at-risk. The initiative for the shelter's construction was initiated by the citizens’ association Otaharin, with Caritas as a partner to the City Administration in this project.