723. Among the actions taken by the Roma Cultural Institute Foundation from its inception in May 2007 to date are:
(a) Inaugural concert of the Roma Cultural Institute at the Teatro de la Zarzuela. It took place in Madrid on 3 December 2007, performed by the European Romani Symphonic Orchestra, the only Gypsy symphony orchestra in the world composed of teachers from different countries and conducted by Maestro Francisco Suárez.
(b) Holding of the Conference “The Roma in the culture of Spain,” at the National Library on 4 and 5 December 2007. The conference brought together for the first time prominent specialists in the field of music, theatre, poetry, painting, linguistics, etc. who presented their research on the Gypsy contribution to Spanish culture. The aim was to foster encounters among prominent intellectuals and encourage their involvement in programmes and outreach activities on Roma culture and publishing projects that are being implemented.
(c) Implementation of “Sar san?” (“How are you?”) an introductory course in Romani. Its aim is to contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Romani and thus to the protection and dissemination of the Roma cultural heritage in line with commitments assumed. This is the first Romani course published in Spain and is part of a larger project which published its first instalment in December 2007.
(d) Implementation of a proposed set of teaching units called “School Colours” on the presentation of Roma identity in school. The aim is that teachers may have adequate materials for the dissemination of Roma culture, to facilitate the promotion of coexistence, respect and solidarity between students from different cultures. The first booklet aimed at primary school students has already been published. The main goal is to convey the message that cultural diversity is a right of peoples and a real element of the diverse Spain in which we live.
(e) Publication of “Cuadernos Gitanos” (“Gypsy Notebooks”) which publishes academic and creative works about Gypsy culture. This magazine is the logbook of the Roma Cultural Institute and is a quality publication on narrative, drama, poetry, music, visual arts, linguistics and other subjects. Two issues have been published; the first presented at the Conference on Roma Culture at the National Library in December 2007 and the second in conjunction with the International Seminar on Gypsy Culture, whose presentation took place in the Parliament of Aragón in June, 2008.
(f) Holding of a Roma Storytelling Workshop. The pilot project was carried out in different schools in Madrid with primary and secondary students.
(g) Development and reading of the Manifesto of Gypsy Women in the Twenty-first Century, under the motto “All together, without fear of freedom,” coordinated with the Institute for Women. The first reading was done in the Congress of Deputies on 11 February 2008.
(h) Presentation of Gypsy Culture Awards, in the framework of the International Roma Day, celebrated on 8 April. For the first event, which took place on 8 April 2008 at the National Queen Sofia Museum Art Centre, the jury awarded prizes to the following: the poet José Heredia Maya, the singer Bernarda Jiménez Peña, Bernarda de Utrera, the young fashion designer Juana Ortiz Manzano, researcher Antonio Gómez Alfaro, the painter Antonio Maya and writer and politician Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia.
(i) “Proyecto Caja ámbar” (“Amber Box Project”) which aims to combat discrimination in the legislative framework based on the positive values of Roma culture.
(j) Preparation of a video on the history of Roma, “Amaro lungo Drom” (“Our long road”), to be inaugurated in the autumn of 2008.
(k) International Seminar on Gypsy Culture, held at the Palacio de la Aljafería of Aragon, the seat of the Aragon Parliament, where Juan de Egipto Menor was first received in Spain by Alfonso the Fifth of Aragon, on 12 January 1425. The event was a memorial tribute to that historic date. The document heralding the entry of the Roma into Spain was read in Castilian, Romani and English by prominent figures of Roma culture. On the second day of the International Seminar, held in Alagon (Zaragoza), representatives from different countries (USA, France, Macedonia, Israel, Colombia, Portugal, etc.), along with Spaniards, convened Expo-Roma 2010, a global exhibition on Roma culture from the Punjab to New York’s Fifth Avenue.
(l) Homage to Federico García Lorca. This event took place in May 2008 in the poet’s home town, Fuentevaqueros (Granada). Present at the event were Mrs. Laura García Lorca and representatives from the world of culture.
(m) Participation and collaboration at national and international events and conferences, including the following: commemoration of the Holocaust in January 2008; Assembly of the European Roma Travellers Forum in 2007; and the flamenco prizes awarded by the press at Jerez de la Frontera.
(n) Organization of a film festival "O dikipen" in collaboration with the National Film Centre on a Roma theme, held during the month of December 2008. Two panel discussions were planned on young Roma filmmakers.
724. In addition, the Ministry of Health and Social Policy is coordinating the Action Plan for the development of the Roma population (2008-2010), whose draft includes the following goals:
(a) Promote the training of Roma for access to paid employment and self-employment;
(b) Establish priority lines of action for access to employment by Roma;
(c) Improve information and data collection on the employment situation of the Roma population;
(d) Mainstream the gender perspective, the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination in access to and retention in employment for the Roma population.