Erzsébet Emese Nagy
Működők Egyesület ("Active Association")
Roma people in the village of Napkor can only break the cycle of poverty through getting a quality education for their kids. It is crucial for them to learn to get their voice heard. Our objectives are the following: to develop the capacity of the Roma community to participate, to build bridges between them and local institutions and to help them develop their kids. To that end, we have an idea of a complex project that includes learning through skill development as well as acts of cooperation.
Napkor, East Hungary
In the small Hungarian village of Napkor a community of Roma families are vulnerable in many ways and suffering a lot from poverty and lack of opportunities. Their children’s only way out is access to quality education. However a threat of segregation is imminent and after COVID-19 Roma children are rapidly cumulating disadvantages. Access to healthcare is a problem too, since many of the Roma do not even have a social security card. There is a lack of dialogue and cooperation between the local institutions and the Roma members of the community, a situation in which Roma citizens are powerless and not in any position to negotiate for their interests.
Napkor (its name means "age of the sun") is a village in Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County with 3665 inhabitants with approximately 10 % Roma. Our key target groups are the Roma families (especially parents and children) and the teachers who work with them. We are also going to involve representatives of local institutions such as the local government, the Church, the school and the kindergarten.
We are going to work very closely with two Roma intercultural mediators who we will train and who will serve as local coordinators. We have already selected them based on their competences and motivation.
Firstly,we will train two Roma intercultural mediators to help facilitate the project as local coordinators. Then we will visit the target groups to involve them. After that we will prepare the Roma members of the community by providing them trainings in communications, advocacy, conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Then we will organise a series of roundtables where different actors of the community, both Roma and non-Roma will sit down together. They will create a map of common problems, come up with a solution to one of these problems - most likely in the field of education or health care- and solve it as a mini project. Tasks of the action will be divided among members of the roundtables and there will be an ongoing online and offline communication about the progress. The work will be coordinated by the mediators. To strengthen cooperation of parents and teachers, we will also implement the HSCL scheme. We will hold an introductory workshop and two trainings of the method for teachers and parents. Then parents will hold classes for the students with the help of the teachers in the school and in the kindergarten. To help kindergarten-school transition of Roma children kindergarten teachers will hold workshops to teach parents methods they can use to develop their child at home and pass on to other parents. In the end we will write down our experiences in a handbook.
After the project, the connection between the 360 members of the Roma community and the local government and institutions will be much improved and based on understanding and partnership. We expect that the Roma citizens will be empowered to actively participate in solving common problems and gain a good negotiation position. Local policymakers will be ready to involve the Roma since they learned to regard them as people who can act in their best interest. We will evaluate the project with the Most Significant Change method as well as a final evaluation roundtable where participants will analyse the results of the common action together. We will involve 50 Roma parents as participants in HSCL and about 120 parents in developmental workshops directly and the whole Roma community indirectly.
We are going to use facilitated roundtables to have different actors of the community such as the principals of the school and the kindergarten, the notary, the priest, the representative of the Roma self-government, members of the Roma community from all age groups sit down and work together on common problems. We will motivate the stakeholders to participate by having them understand that they will be treated as partners in resolving issues that concern them.We will also provide trainings for the Roma community to build their capacity for getting their voice heard.We are also going to use the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) scheme to promote partnership between parents and teachers. It involves parents as regular facilitators in the classroom based on their skills/interests.
Alex Karoly Joni: He is a Roma young professional who believes in the necessity of a dialogue between the Roma and the institutions. He would like to widely disseminate the methodology and the results.
Renata Nagy Jonine: She is the first Roma kindergarten teacher in Napkor with a degree. She is highly committed to develop Roma kids so that they can start school with equal chances to succeed as their non-Roma peers.
Emese Erzsebet Nagy: It is very important for her to avoid segregation in Napkor. She believes that the Roma can only break the cycle of poverty by getting a quality education.
Julia Vida: She is an educational professional. She believes that society should provide equal chances for everyone to succeed in life and common issues should be resolved by people as partners.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
staff costs: 8760 €
communications: 1000 €
workshop materials: 768 €
workshop leaders fees (kindergaterten and school teachers): 4656 €
catering for events: 840
round table facilitation: 1030 €
mini project: 1950 €
trainer fees: 2200 €
methodolgy licenses: 1500 €
handbook of experiences: 500€
travel fees 700€
office costs: 600€
fee for school and kindergarten mediators: 7440€
digital tools (laptops and camera): 1400€
room rental for events: 550€
Please let us know which parts of our idea you consider strong and any detail you think we should further develop.
We worked for a year on this wonderful project of ours, which was full of success. We held trainings 11 times (communication, advocacy, negotiation techniques, HSCL, Roma mediation) for members of the Roma community. They loved him very much, they were enriched with knowledge. Our attendees were 8-12 people. The preschool workshops were successfully implemented, rich in experience. Knowledge was given to parents and children, experience of kindergarten teachers, how to develop their children at home. The workshops have been incorporated into the 2022 part of the preschool curriculum. The project toured our little village. Thanks to the workshop, no segregated class was started, because the Roma children, according to the measurements, what the school did were well prepared, they became school mature. Our roundtable series was also a success, which included kindergartens, schools, the Roma community and the child welfare service. As a result, part of our mini-project was to be able to participate in the village day in a separate tent where we presented our traditions and schooled all Roma children. Through the population of the day, we collected developmental toys for the kindergarten, a total of 100 pieces. Roma mediators who worked in schools and kindergartens are further employed by the municipality.
Within the framework of our "Everyone is equal under the sun" project with the support of Civic Europe, all our children participating in the development received an enrollment package. This decision was made by the participants of the roundtable discussions, as a demand. We consider it important to build our projects on the needs of our target group. The children started the new school year with joy and, thanks to the improvements, with more confidence. Congratulations to all parents and children for their perseverance, participation in the summer intensive development. It was visible how much volunteer work parents did in the programs. All members of our group would like to express their gratitude to Lívia Nagy, who organized the parent group, and ilona Novákné Nagy for supporting the sessions and for the many great ideas. Both the parents and the institution are grateful for the mini-project they were able to design.
School sessions with schoolchildren were very successful, they were filled with a good mood. Self-expression was an important topic, they practiced a lot of mathematics, because this is what children expressed as a need, this is what parents can help them less. 4 times a week, (a total of 38 times during the summer holidays) in the afternoons, the children studied together with the help of a developmental teacher and with the parents. Parents were pleased that we are not only dealing with children in kindergarten. They were happy to carry them to us. Today, 05.09.2022, the feedback from the school was that you can see the development in children! We received a request from parents to hold developments during the school year, because the results are visible, the children's self-confidence has increased due to the positive feedback from the teachers.
Preschool children (they have just started the school year) who attended the workshops, based on feedback from educators, are much more mature, prepared for school life than their non-Roma contemporaries.The project crew is now very happy. Sorry, the interface doesn't let you upload a photo for some reason.
The training series for members of the community is over. We had a Roma mediator, advocacy, negotiation technology, communication department. We have received very good feedback from parents, and similar from the municipality. We already have a very large camp in the community who understand the purpose of the meetings and trainings. Now they are looking for a job full of self-confidence. In eight months, it became a habit in their family to play together, develop children, based on what they learned in kindergarten. This summer we have launched a summer development for schoolchildren, in which parents also take on tasks.This summer we have launched a summer development for schoolchildren, in which parents also take on tasks. They accompany the children, they printThey accompany the children, print, etc. All preschool children start the school year in an integrated class thanks to the preparations.
We would like to briefly present to you what is happening in our project. The mediators who work in the institutions are trained. Kindergarten workshops have begun, which the parents enjoy very much. We have already received very good feedback from the kindergarten about how much the children have evolved, because at home the parents are already dealing with them more professionally. We are constantly working on the problems of the community and the institutions, we are looking for solutions. We have set up learning support groups for schoolchildren, about which we have received very positive feedback. The municipality has become our supportive partner, which is a great success for us.
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