Center for Studies and Reclaiming Gypsy Culture (CERCI), São Paulo
Gypsy Woman: the dream and the reality
Objetivos e público prioritário
The project Gypsy Woman: the dream and the reality is intended to work with nomad gypsy women from the Kalom ethnic group, living in camps in the cities of São Paulo, Itapevi, São Bernardo, Francisco Morato, São Roque, Itaim Paulista, and Jundiaí.
The idea is to offer training for Kalom women to deal with the patriarchal system to which they are subjected due to gypsy culture (when the woman marries, she belongs to the husband’s family and owes them obeisance, even if she supports the nuclear family); denial of their rights as citizens; and above all inadequate access to health services for themselves, their children, and their husbands.
Gypsy women are not only stereotyped as “sneaky, raggedy quacks”, but often have to fight for their Brazilian citizenship, since without proof of address it is not possible to have personal identification papers issued, as is the case with the Kalom ethnic group and nomads in general. This leads to exclusion from access to education and especially treatment under the Unified National Health System (SUS).
The challenge is to unveil the reality to which they belong and empower them with a set of basic skills and knowledge to fearlessly deal with the daily prejudice and discrimination.
About the organization
The mission of the CERCI association, fighting discrimination on any grounds, is to promote human rights, access to education and health for ethnic gypsy persons, and to ensure their collective, moral, cultural, and material rights, as well as to promote the generation of knowledge on gypsy tradition and culture in Brazil.
Created in São Paulo in 2007, the organization has gypsies of the Kalom ethnic group as its specific target public. The proposal is to ensure the implementation of public policies that guarantee their social inclusion.
It is a challenge to fight such exclusion throughout the country. According to the Association, Brazil is the only country in the world that has had a gypsy President, Juscelino Kubitschek. Even so, there are no public policies, and the gypsy people have “become accustomed” to discrimination and neglect by gadjes (non-gypsies).
CERCI networks with other organizations, like the Collective of Kalom Gypsies of Brazil (CCB), the Association for the Preservation of Gypsy Culture (APRECI) and the Brazilian Association of Gypsies (ABRACI-PR), both from the State of Paraná, and the Gypsy Union of Brazil, from Rio de Janeiro, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Federal Government.
Annual Call for Proposals