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International Roma Day
April 12, 2012

On April 12th, Charge d’Affaires Anne Hall gave her warm wishes at an International Roma Day event hosted by a local Roma NGO “Gypsy Fire.” Charge Hall emphasized the rich heritage of Romani culture and traditions, as well as the U.S.’ continued commitment to the welfare of the Roma community. 

Event speakers addressed pervasive concerns of the Roma community, such as the need for better education, job training, employment and social support.  Josef Tychina, head of “Gypsy Fire,” presented a new project that is jointly funded by the EU and Lithuanian Government, and is aimed at helping the Roma to better integrate into the labor market and promote the positive public perception of Romani people.

Close to 60 guests attended the event, and various other politicians gave remarks, including Seimas member Kazimieras Uoka, Ministry of Culture Representative Kastytis Minkauskas, and Advisor to Mayor Zuokas Sigitas Besagirskas.  Audience members were predominantly NGO representatives and members of the Roma community from throughout Lithuania.  Leaders of the Roma community Svetlana Novopolskaja and Josef Tychina thanked all the event participants for their continued attention towards Roma concerns.