Hacer Foggo

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2015


This profile was prepared when Hacer Foggo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
Hacer strongly believes that the only way for solving Turkey’s Roma populations’ problems is to empower them with the skills and confidence to develop their own solutions. Seeing potential in Turkey’s new yet ineffective Roma NGOs, her new idea is to bring together previously atomized Roma NGOs to co-create solutions, share best practices and form a common voice to shape their future together.

Hacer has developed a bottom-up approach to changemaking that helps Roma NGOs and communities first identify their problems, resources and strategies, then develop and implement solutions that are sustainable and impactful. The identification of problems, resources and strategies happen in traditional community meeting settings where Hacer facilitates the first meeting and passes on the role of the facilitator to others. Once there is a roadmap that is agreed upon, Hacer accompanies the NGOs at critical milestones and supports them in opening doors as needed, but for the most part, the NGOs develop their capacities by doing themselves. Hacer also pulls in other experts and organizations as needed, to support the NGOs on specific issues and trouble-shooting.

Experiencing changemaking first hand through this process, Roma NGOs are later able to design and launch their own initiatives, which Hacer and ROMFO continue to support as needed. In doing so, Roma NGOs have started to demonstrate that they can cause systematic change to the Roma communities. ROMFO also acts a platform for the skills, learnings, models and inspiration to travel from one Roma community to the other. Through regular regional meetings and ambassadors of successful initiatives making visits to other communities, ideas and motivation spreads across the country. Last but not least, building on their acquired skills and success on the local level, ROMFO members have also emerged as a viable partner for the government. In 2015, they are playing a critical role in the development of Turkey’s national strategy document for its Roma population.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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