An Interview with Sylvia Palacios Alvarez from Union Romani (August 2014)
- What is it that you do exactly?
La Union Romani (The Roma Union) is a nongovernmental organization, nonprofit, dedicated to the defense of the gypsy community. It deals with both the work in the area of Spanish and participates with the International Roma Union in the activities that pursues the acknowledgement of the culture of the gypsy people group as a culture with universal value.
The objectives of the Roma Union are divided into 5 actionable items:
- The promotion of the gypsy people group, both socially and culturally, with the aim to achieve equality with the larger society, in the way of the defending their rights and presenting their customs and traditions in current events.
- The promotion and assistance of each and every association of the organization and the collaboration with public or private entities in the associations that take into account specific events with the gypsy people group.
- The study, development, and sustainment of the culture, language, history and customs of the gypsy people group.
- The potentiation of international relations with associations of Gypsies throughout the world, and exchanging experiences and projects with these associations.
- The elimination of racism or marginalization of any kind whatsoever in order to reach the goals of justice, pluralism and liberty very clearly for the gypsy people group.
- For how long have you been with the Roma Union, and what do you most like about your job there?
Currently, I’ve been working for this NGO for about 5 and a half years. I will be integrating the finalists of a Leonard scholarship done in 2008 (in that I carried out translation practices in a business in Padova, (Italy)). What I like most about my job is that it lets me apply the knowledge that I’ve acquired in my major (the course of Interpretation and Translation at the Universidad Autonoma in Barcelona), while at the same time, being able to learn how to function in the world of journalism and communications.
- How do you think the work that you do as an individual, or the work that you do in general for the Roma Union has been changed by society?
We expect that the work that we are developing in this editorial section of our NGO will primarily spread the reality of the gypsy population in order to promote a positive image as well as their integration with the majority population. We believe that when more people have a first-hand understanding of the harsh reality that the Gypsy people actually experience in Europe, the closer we will be to erasing and rising above the ignorance that has brought prejudice and the recent increase of xenophobia.
- How did you find out about the PerMondo initiative?
We found out about your initiative around September of 2009, through an email of your partner, Jacob Guzman, which he sent to Carmen Jimenez (who is in charge of the Dept. of Platform Communications of NGO Social Action). The president of our organization, Juan de Dios Ramirez Heredia, also belongs to this Platform and he also shared this information with us.
- Why do you need these translations?
The translations that we have applied for through you have basically communicated that we have wanted to spread in an international manner in order to have the capacity to get a more informative scope. We will distribute these messages through email to a numerous amount of international contacts that are listed in our database. Some principle destinations of our translations will be more than 10 million gypsies who live throughout the world. Following that, they will be uploaded to our webpage: www.unionromani.org
- What would you say to the volunteer translators?
First, I would like to thank you for your work and dedication. Your altruistic work has allowed us to circulate our initiatives to a lot more people. Volunteers always have rich and formative experiences, but even more so, have more solidarity in that they can be a part of the collaborative environment of the Third Sector.
Translation from: Cara Ediger