by Emil Metodiev
Dragan Stankovic is 25 years old. He was born in Ripanj near Belgrade, where he currently resides. He is studying at the Preschool Teacher Training College in Vrsac.
“I feel a sense of belonging in my community and everywhere I go, my nation always welcomes me. Not because I have achieved something great but because I am Roma – and that’s a part of me I like.”
“My attitude towards Roma pride was inherited from my family. They weren’t activists or members of NGOs or any political parties, but they had the drive to teach us to always stand up for ourselves. My whole childhood was the same – finding the strength and will to do something good for myself and my community. This is something my parents passed on to me. Maybe, unconsciously, I also learned to help Roma people and to spend time with Roma over non-Roma; not because I didn’t like them, but because we are one nation – something I am proud of.”
Dragan has been a part of Opre Roma Srbija since its establishment, first as a community organizer and later as a communications specialist.
“Up until six months ago at ORS, I was helping to lead grassroots initiatives, talking to people and trying to organize all local initiatives. For more than six months now, I have been involved in our communications efforts. We have podcasts, live shows, interviews, different documentary movies to work on. We want to present to people what it has been like to be Roma during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Join the movement!
Opre Roma Srbija
mission: The movement Opre Roma Srbija was founded in 2019 as a response to the challenges of social inequality faced by the Roma community in Serbia. The movement consists of Roma from all parts of Serbia, and people who are not of Roma origin but are allies to the Roma community in Serbia. The ORS motto is: “Good for the Roma, good for Serbia” and everyone who believes and supports the idea that the progress of the Roma community means the progress of Serbia is welcome in their movement. The movement does not belong to any political party and it is part of a transnational network of Roma movements working towards Roma civic participation in political life across Europe.
how to get involved: Become member by filling out the application form here: https://bit.ly/3ryrQrc
The Proud Roma Movements is a collaboration between the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture – ERIAC and its member Emil Metodiev, sponsored by the International Press Institute (IPI) as part of the NewsSpectrum fellowship.