This morning Kate Norman asked on Twitter: ‘what websites might be of MOST interest to Romany Travellers?’ There are two great ones that I know of.
The first is Savvy Chavvy, a private Ning network created by On Road Media whilst they were training young Gypsies and Travellers in social media skills in Kent, Cambridgshire and Surrey. It’s quick growth highlighted the community’s need for their own online space they felt safe to express themselves within:
www.savvychavvy.com has almost 500 young people on it in less than a month which demonstrates the need for dedicated spaces like this on the web for marginalised groups. Spaces like these do not alienate the group concerned from the rest of society – they allow the young Gypsies in this case to communicate freely amongst each other in a safe place away from the discrimination and prejudice that many of them face daily.
As On Road Media recognized, Savvy Chavvy illustrates how helpful a private network can be for vulnerable groups of people who may feel exposed or at risk of abuse in a more public space.
Another interesting site I’ve come across is Pesha’s Blog, created by Clay Shipson, a Romany Gypsy living in Lincolnshire:
The Roma (Gypsy) or Romani/Romany Gypsy people are the most misunderstood people on the face of the Earth. I have set up this blog to promote a positive image of my people and hopefully in turn this will lead to understanding and tolerance.
Clay uses her blog to celebrate Romany culture and raise awareness of and campaign against widespread discrimination. Pesha’s Blog has become a powerful community voice (Clay often gets emailed content by others to post up) that works towards changing negative perceptions and righting wrongs across the world – Clay is currently using it to raise money for Roma Gypsy children from Kosovo suffering from the effects lead poisoning.