VisionConsult presents “Village of the Future” for Roma Inclusion

Global consulting company takes part in High Level Event on EU Funds Contribution to Roma Integration

Sofia, Bulgaria, 20 June 2011 – Global consulting company VisionConsult International takes advantage of the High Level Event on EU Funds Contribution to Roma Integration to present their “Village of the Future” project. The event in Sofia from 21 – 22 June 2011 is organized by the European Commission.

The living conditions of the 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe are often insufficient and are characterized by poor housing, low health standards, extreme poverty, unemployment and difficult access to education. A region with strong Roma minorities is the Balkans, with countries like Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia featuring a Roma minority approaching 10% of the population or even surpassing this figure.

VisionConsult International has adapted their concept of the “Village of the Future” to provide an opportunity for Roma people to live and work in villages while fully respecting their traditions. The first “Village of the Future” is about to be constructed in the Northwest of India – near Abu Road in the state of Rajasthan – on a plot of about 16 hectares. The Village will be set up as an area for training/education with about 15 residential buildings, farmhouses and a school building with administrative sections.

A “Village of the Future” combines modern technology with green energy, on the one hand, and locally available building material, on the other hand. The self-sufficient energy production from renewable resources and the food production from controlled ecological cultivation foresee an overproduction of at least 25% each, which is sold and thus contributes to the income of the village.

Jean-Claude Bisenius, Managing Director of VisionConsult GmbH, the German branch of VisionConsult International, explains: “The ‘Village of the Future’ responds well to goals recently published in the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, namely ‘Access to Housing and Essential Services’ and ‘Access to Employment’. The aim is to create an environment where Roma people can live and prosper. Migration into cities and subsequently into misery should be prevented.”

Dr. Cleofe Guardigli, one of VisionConsult’s affiliates in Bulgaria, adds: “As the implementation of such a project is a very complex task, we are looking for cooperation and support. In the past months we have contacted many parties involved in the Roma issue, representatives of the Roma communities, national bodies for Roma policies, local government bodies and municipalities as well as NGO with connections and experience in the Roma issues.” She explains VisionConsult’s attendance at the event: “Here in Sofia we have the opportunity to strengthen these relationships and to present the ‘Village of the Future’ project to a larger network and to formulate strategies.”

Together with the support of these network partners, the “Village of the Future” for the Roma therefore responds well to the request of the EU Commission which reads: “Action on housing needs to be part of an integrated approach including, in particular, education, health, social affairs, employment and security, and desegregation measures.”
 
Jean-Claude Bisenius emphasizes: “As this High Level Event concentrates on funding Roma projects, we hope to identify financial resources aiming at implementing the proposed ‘Village of the Future’ project. In fact, the project is currently at a development stage where funding is the next step.”

An image showing the area structure of the village with two exemplary buildings can be downloaded from http://visionconsult.com/images/Village-of-the-Future_Masterplan.jpg

Note to Editors
VisionConsult International is a global consulting company for the infrastructure industries, including ecological construction, energy production from renewable sources, media, information technology and telecommunications. The company originates from Vision Industries S.A. which was founded in Sophia-Antipolis (France) in the year 1992.

VisionConsult International is available to undertake a broad range of proposed assignments. The company supports clients at all business development stages with market research, strategic & business planning, finance and partner selection, business incubation and start-ups project launch and implementation as well as public relations and marketing support. The structure of VisionConsult International provides each client with the personal attention of the lead consultant with, at the same time, access to the resources and services of other experts in a variety of locations around Europe and the world. Most of the consultants of VisionConsult are internationalists, and most speak several languages.

VisionConsult GmbH
Am Wolfsbaum 31
75245 Neulingen
Germany

Jean-Claude Bisenius
Managing Director
Tel + 49 7237 44 29 892
Fax: +49 7237 48 00 02
E-Mail: visionconsult@visionconsult.biz 
Web: www.visionconsult.com

Are You Sitting On A Goldmine?


The nation is sitting on a potential goldmine worth £4.3bn according to a new survey from H&T Pawnbrokers, the UK’s leading pawnbroking company.

The survey revealed that over a third (36%) of adults in the UK have items of jewellery lying abandoned in drawers that they either rarely or never wear, with the average piece of jewellery worth almost £250.

Moreover, over half (58%) of those surveyed have absolutely no idea how much their jewellery is worth and one in ten has even ended up throwing jewellery away without realising how valuable it might be.

Bearing in mind that three in five of adults (61%) go through periods of having little cash at their fingertips, this poses a significant opportunity to unlock the value of unwanted jewellery and convert it into ready cash.

The survey also revealed the following:

  • Of those who have used a pawnbroking service, 44% use the money to pay off debts while 16% pay for clothes, 15% pay for an upcoming holiday and 8% use the money for treats for friends and family.

  • Other customers use the money to start up a new business, pay for show car repairs (which is then repaid with the prize money) and for weddings.

  • Customers regularly use H&T to store their jewellery safely, especially when going on holiday.

  • Gold chains (57%) and gold earrings (37%) top the list of most regularly pawned items.

John Nichols, CEO H&T Pawnbrokers, says, “Our friendly experts at H&T will help customers to look through their jewellery and identify the items of value – and our survey has revealed that we’re all sitting on a veritable goldmine of opportunity. We all have either broken or unwanted items gathering dust at home that we don’t wear anymore – we can help our customers to make the most of the unsuspected stores of cash that they already own.”

Pawnbroking offers customers a loan secured on an item of value for a six month period, allowing people to turn a wide variety of gold and diamond set jewellery into instant cash and unlock the value of their items. The items can be redeemed by customers at any point within the six month period and loan period can also be extended.

H&T staff are trained to evaluate a wide variety of gold and diamond-set jewellery to allow customers to unlock the value of their items to get access to instant cash. They also provide a range of other flexible finance options such as cheque cashing, payday advances and unsecured loans.

For more information about H&T Pawnbrokers, customers can call free phone 0800 838 973 or visit www.handtpawnbrokers.co.uk.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:

  1. Figure calculated from the percentage of the jewellery-owning adult population which has jewellery that is seldom or never worn (50.17million, Office of National Statistics) multiplied by the average worth of a single item of jewellery when pawned (£250).

  2. 2,000 UK adults surveyed by 72 point in May 2011. 

  3. For further information or hi-res imagery please contact us via email at H&T@hillandknowlton.com or call 0207 413 3139.

About H&T:

  • H&T is the UK’s leading pawnbroking company with 136 stores and 45 gold bars throughout the UK

  • H&T provides a variety of flexible finance options to customers in addition to pawnbroking. Including cheque cashing, payday advances and unsecured loans

  • All H&T staff are trained in valuing jewellery.

  • Items can also be pawned online using H&T’s online pawnbroking service. Visit www.handtonline.co.uk and follow a simple step-by step process.

  • H&T offers a gold buying service in its stores and in 45 smaller dedicated Gold Bar Retail Mall Units throughout the country

  • Customers can also sell their gold items using H&T’s postal service.  Visit www.handtgold.co.uk and follow a simple step-by-step process

  • You can find out more about H&T’s gold bars at www.goldbar.co.uk