12. prosince 2017 | Prize for Courage

ROMEA, o.p.s.

Price for Courage 2017                  14 641 Kč

No to poverty business

ROMEA has long faced threats as the result of what it is doing in dire conditions. ROMEA people are on a mission. They monitor issues including political corruption in excluded localities, defend vulnerable citizens when their fundamental human rights are at stake, and  stand out strongly against the business of poverty. 

The Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK) has long intensively fought the practice of buying votes. We condemn poverty business as a despicable, immoral and above all organized illegal behaviour. The NFPK and ROMEA have established a contact network for the Romani people that spans the Czech Republic. Now we can identify illegal trade in its germinal phases, obtain evidence and send suspects to court. NFPK and ROMEA last interacted during the recent parliamentary elections. The Anticorruption Endowment made real-time recordings of vote-buying incidents and presented them to the bodies participating in criminal proceedings. ROMEA has many educational programmes that aspire to prevent vote buying.

ROMEA helps to save our public money. It stands strongly against the industry of poverty. This dangerous business behaviour is sadly epitomized by overpriced dormitories whose owners abuse state funding. In these absurd conditions people in social distress stay in grossly overpriced flats reduced to a sorry state, while taxpayers pay for the biggest part of the rent. ROMEA consistently alerts the public to the trickery of the dormitory proprietors.

ROMEA doesn’t shy away from pointing the finger at the urgent problems of the Romani community and those to be blamed. ROMEA  also examines cases of Romani people being misused due to their difficult circumstances ( including gambling, prostitution or trafficking of welfare allowances).

Sadly, ROMEA employees often face cowardly abuse—threats of their premises being set on fire, physical assaults and verbal abuse reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric. In extreme cases ROMEA files criminal complaints.

This courageous organization raised a fundraising effort, “They want to gas them, we send them to schools!” ROMEA reacted to hate slurs attached to a class photo of Teplice first-graders to which some Czechs reacted by recommendations to send darker-skinned kids to gas chambers. ROMEA challenged the hate spate and is determined to forward the proceeds of its campaign in support of Roma scholarship students.  ROMEA makes the Czech society to get to known itself in a candid way: It is no heroic treat to join the crowd. It is heroic to help where help is needed.