October 6, 2022

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Chronicle, Rummler | Room for rooms in Fredrikstad?

I’ve been focusing for a long time About the situation at the space camp in Kiæråsen, especially after the two short-term fires this summer. The city council will now consider any continuation of the camp. Recently, both politicians and others have put their positions together with different viewpoints, or have been challenged with questions about what they want to do.

The Mission of the Church also intervenes in the case of poor visitors. Our vision is that all people should feel respect, justice and care. We suspect here, to put it cautiously, that there is much to be done in attitudes towards people of Roma origin. Having said that, we also know that there are many people who care. The municipality of Fredrikstad must also be commended for its arrangements since 2014, despite the challenges and uncertainty surrounding the dissolution of Chamber Camp.

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The Millennium Development Goal calls for measures to improve conditions in the space camp

Some may ask what? Our organization is based towards the Roma (Roma people) in the city. We are often referred to in different contexts, most recently in an advertisement in Fredrikstad Blad on 13.9.22. Our task is in many ways the same here as elsewhere in society, which is to reveal, mitigate and influence. The Church’s City Mission has no official responsibility for Space Camp, but we do contribute to different social contexts. Not regularly, there were no resources for it, but sporadically and when needed.

From the start, we have assisted, for example, with practical follow-up of individuals towards the embassy, ​​travel home/transfer early during the pandemic (in collaboration with Oslo Municipality and others), invitations to cultural events, letters of recommendation on work, communication with the municipality, media promotion regarding On the issue of preventing beggary, various visits to the camp to hear the situation, ensuring follow-up after fires, facilitating meeting with the bishop, contributing vaccination information with health workers, etc. In addition, some received various assignments, sold Erlik magazine, and used our offer in the cafe / meeting place.

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Strictly speaking, we must do much more, Especially within what we know is most wanted and wanted: work and a paid activity. Nobody dreams of sitting on a street corner and begging in all weather. Gypsies in particular are often subject to harassment and discrimination, wherever they travel in the world. And conditions in the motherland, often Romania or Bulgaria, are the worst. Therefore, many take the opportunity to survive and earn a few pence, for example, Fredrikstad, which is opened by cooperation between the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Now there are certainly happy things in this area as well, not the least of which is Virgil’s story in the newspaper on 6.8.22. In the future we may succeed in establishing a very small social entrepreneurship where the Roma can participate in the work tasks of producing wood. The Church’s City Mission is in dialogue with a socially conscious farmer in the county about this.

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Virgil (40) from Space Camp got a permanent job and the Fredrikstad family

What should the municipality do next? Should space camp continue or not? Are there better alternatives? We are not sure. Perhaps the alternatives should be investigated in more detail. In any case, the camp is an attempt to help those who live there with a little help, since the wagons can be left undisturbed and sanitary conditions arranged. Norway in fact bears the responsibility of all citizens who reside here, regardless of nationality or origin. Cities solve this differently and have different challenges to consider. As is well known, the EEA agreement includes the free flow of goods and services, and all persons have the right of movement. We cannot withdraw from whole groups of people. In the face of a group of people who experience discrimination, we must be more careful.

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When the camp was set up in 2014, the comment fields were marked by derogatory comments and prejudices. Many, for example, were convinced that containers with sanitary solutions would be destroyed immediately, and that arrangements from the municipality represented a “luxury” which meant that heavy flows of Roma would reach the city. Neither of them happened.

general impression today, With carts and associated scrap, especially after fires, inconvenient and of little value. There is little doubt about that. And the population themselves, of course, are responsible for its appearance. But what do we really know about the way gypsies want to live when they are in this country? There are probably several answers to that, depending on who we ask.

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Now Space Camp is better secured against fire

Space camp must continue, Of course, temporary permits should be made more permanent, prioritizing safety and maintenance responsibility. Gypsies, as I said, are a group of people who experience discrimination and need and deserve security. If the camp is maintained, the primary question is how fire safety and basic safety can be ensured. Fredrikstad as a city also needs a solution meaning that the groups are not opposite each other.