Rapid Response Grants

Approved – July 2018

Number of grants: 1

  • Roma center for women and children Daje
  • RSD: 100.000,00

Context:  Roma Center for Women and Children Daje has been working for years to improve safety in Roma informal settlements as well as organizing actions to support people in emergency situations, such as the flood in Roma settlement in Zeleznik (Belgrade municipality) that happened in July. In this settlement there are over twenty residential buildings and the exact number of families is difficult to determine because in some houses, several families live. According to Daje estimation, over 80 inhabitants live in the settlement, and most of them are women and children. In the part of the settlement called “Hanging House, the housing units were not built of solid material and the flood situation was the worst – the entire furniture was destroyed and there were no living conditions. All houses are ground-floor houses, humidity is high, around the house there was an enormous amount of mud and garbage, that is, everything that people had been thrown out of the houses after the flood. The inhabitants of this part of the settlement said that the municipal authorities reacted in the sense that once they were disinfecting the houses and yards. However, the risk of infection was high because there was no way to keep hygienic minimum, especially with the high summer temperature. One child younger than two years, had blisters and a rash that parents claim to have appeared after the flood.Floods occurred after the enormous amount of precipitation that hit the settlement, all due to the lack of sewers and drains, which would prevent water from entering houses and jeopardizing the population. It was up to the municipal authorities to solve this problem because floods and such material damage will come in the future, with every abundant precipitation. It is very symptomatic that this kind of institutional neglecting is almost always happening in settlements where Roma people live.  After the water entered the households, the population was evacuated to the premises of local community Zeleznik, where they spent less than three days. At the end of that period, all people have being “thrown out” and left without help. They returned to homes that were still unsafe for living and represented a real risk of infection and various diseases. Since the activists of Daje regularly are visiting various settlements with the aim to get in touch with women who live there, to provide them with information about existence of Daje SOS telephone and possibility to contact them in situation of violence, they were able, among first, to learn about the urgent situation in Zeleznik and organize the action of assistance. What people needed the most were food and hygiene packages in order to maintain minimum living conditions. Urgent grant helped them to provide 25 food and hygiene packages and 15 packages for babies and children under the age of two.