Brussels, 27 February 2018ERSTE Foundation, The European Foundation Centre (EFC) and the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) invite you to join the opening of the ROMANI exhibition on 6 March at 16:30 in Philanthropy House (Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels).

The event is an excellent opportunity to find out more from Erika Varga, ROMANI Design founder, on the role of women in social entrepreneurship and her experience with building the ROMANI brand in the last years. The MEP, Livia Jaroke, and the first Romani woman to be elected Vice President of the European Parliament will join the talk, and Alina Serban, Project Manager Social Development at ERSTE Foundation, will provide more details about ERSTE Foundation’s work in Roma communities in Central Eastern Europe.

ROMANI Design, created by sisters Erika Varga and Helena Varga, is the first Roma studio with the aim of raising awareness about the culture and heritage of both Hungarian and Roma cultures within the fashion community.

ROMANI is instrumental in giving a voice to Roma culture by reinterpreting traditional Roma patterns with a modern urban touch.

Erika Varga gave the context for ROMANI’s vision, explaining that it “was founded to promote Roma culture to the mainstream and support the integration of the Roma community in Hungary, with the lifetime dream of changing people’s perceptions”.

The social enterprise also serves the Roma society directly by employing disadvantaged Roma women, organising workshops and hosting events to discuss Roma identity, heritage and culture. For the past five years, ROMANI has been supported by ERSTE Foundation (an EFC and EVPA member), as part of the programme ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership. The partnership was created to support local initiatives promoting integration of Roma people in Central and Eastern Europe.

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