ZAGREB, August 22, 2018 – The start of construction works on a multi-purpose sports ground on the outskirts of Sisak marks the start of similar projects in Roma communities.
The sports ground in Sisak, the first such project in a Roma settlement, is being built at the initiative of by the Kali Sara Roma Alliance in Croatia and is being equally financed by the alliance and the Town of Sisak.
It will cost 500,000 kuna and should be completed in six months’ time, with similar grounds to be built in Đurđevac and Parag. Roma minority MP Veljko Kajtazi said on Wednesday at the ceremony marking the start of construction in Sisak the aim was to build similar facilities in about 60 Roma communities around the country.
The Roma community in Capraške Poljane is located about 5 km from the Sisak town centre and Roma children do not have access to any recreational facilities, even though there are some excellent athletes among them, who do not wish to express themselves as Roma, Kajtazi said. “We expect a lot from these children in Capraške Poljane which has a Roma community of about 1,300 residents.”
He added that he is advocating the legalisation and urbanisation of Roma settlements and coexistence with the majority population, which would contribute to the fight against ghettoisation.
Sisak Deputy Mayor Marko Krička said that cooperation between town authorities and the Roma community has been very good to date and that over the past three years several infrastructure projects had been implemented to resolve problems in that settlement.
Kali Sara president Suzana Krčmar said that Sisak should serve as an example of cooperation between the local and Roma communities. Without cooperation with local officials, it would not be possible to implement projects like this, she said.