Together for better health with intercultural mediators

Together for better health, for us, with us!
Health promotion in Roma communities in East-Central Europe

What is the aim of the programme?

The aim of the programme is to support the disadvantaged and isolated Roma population improving access to health services, and the raising health awareness in these communities.

Intercultural mediators are the voice of the local community, signalling needs and difficulties, which they help to address through community collaboration and municipal support. The objective of the pilot project, launched in 2012, is to bring intercultural mediators into the health care system in Hungary. as facilitators to carry out their work, thus improving access to health services for disadvantaged people, especially Roma, and promoting health-conscious lifestyles. The mediators are "bridge" between the care system and the community. The work of mediators is supported by local and external expertsin all cases beyond a Community Action Team also helps.

The project in Hungary is a big one, four countries as part of an international project with the support of GlaxoSmithKline Unlimited (GSK). The project works in international partnership in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, with Roma inclusion non-profit organisations working with GSK's local organisations. The international partnership provides an excellent opportunity to learn from each other's achievements.


What do we do during the project?

In the four countries, four different projects are being implemented in response to local specificities, with the following common features improving access to health and promoting health awareness, for the trained health mediators with the participation of.

The Hungarian pilot project focuses on the dissemination of the intercultural mediation method.Between 2015 and 2017, Roma mediation as a profession defined the specificities of the profession and its training needs.

In addition, in several municipalities each year (in total over the 7-year programme cycle 20 municipalities) municipal mini-project with the involvement of the local Roma population.

With local professionals and representatives of the Roma community we reveal local health problems, and on this basis we base the municipal mini-projects, which are always professionals and community members together are implemented.


What are the results?

At the municipal level:

  • 130 Roma mediator training (including the Health Assistants of the Primary Care Model Programme)
  • for 60 women contraceptives spiral insurance
  • Health painting of 70 family houses (Nagyecsed, Nagydobos, Gyulaj)
  • 1 pc sterile room, a mother of a family on dialysis, with the help of the volunteer work of the Community Action Group
  • Several hectares of firewood collecting for needy families in cooperation between the forestry, the municipality and the Community Action Group
  • Construction of 70 outdoor toilets (Nagyecsed, Porcsalma)
  • Construction of 1 covered bus stop in cooperation with local government representatives, civil society and KACS (Pécs)
  • 50 persons health screening
  • 50 Health education 800 for school children
  • 6 health day (Nagydobos, Nagyecsed, Borsodnádasd)
  • 11 litter picking actions (Nyírbátor, Nagydobos, Nagyecsed, Pécs, Onga) with the participation of 180 community members
  • 1 salt room (Big Drum)
  • Total 1500 Roma mediator interventions addressing community problems at local level between 2013 and 2019
  • reaching 6300 people in need health services
  • Mobilising the Roma community 12 times in cooperation with local health professionals (midwives, general practitioners)
  • 200 times collaborative planning involving Roma community members, Roma mediators, local institutional representatives and decision-makers
  • Cockroach extermination
  • Washroom creation (Borsodnádasd)
  • School Toilet renovation (Arló)
  • Playground renovation (Hernádkak, Hernádnémeti)


At national level:

  • Cooperation with the Swiss Fund supported by the With the Model Primary Care Programme
  • 11 Roma mediator training
  • 12 Roma mediator network meeting
  • 1 Roma mediator Website created:
  • 6 mediation awards (2016, 2017)
  • 1 Roma mediator conference, 100 participants (government, municipal representation, Roma mediators, KACS members, Council of Europe, press)
  • DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) vocational training development and implementation of the process
  • 1 online questionnaire which was completed by 45 health professionals, social workers, Roma inclusion specialists and Roma mediators
  • 80 Roma mediation activities analysis of, proofreading involving Roma and non-Roma experts


Check out on our videos and Through the example of Jászapátihow we work!

In the community roundtable discussions, we looked at what the Roma community needed support with, based on local needs: this was helped by the intercultural mediators, the trained coordinators of the local Roma community. We managed to work together with the municipality to ensure that each household had hygienic waste collection and wheelie bins.



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