Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
Are the Roma in Osijek-Baranja County equal or different? What do we want them to be? What can we provide for them and how can we help them get involved? Our cheerful educational trailer will bring quality support to all those members of the Roma population who are difficult to reach, either because of our prejudices and stereotypes, or because of their characteristic way of life. Wheels of change need to be driven by innovation and collaboration, for the betterment of the whole community!
Darda, Jagodnjak, Podgorač i Vukojevci; Osijek-Baranja County
The Roma national minority in Osijek-Baranja County faces many problems and challenges. Social exclusion, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, and crimes are just a few of them. Children from Roma families come to school without basic working habits and the necessary knowledge for successful inclusion in the educational system, which is why they are at a disadvantage compared to their other peers. Parents did not develop parental skills or the necessary knowledge to help children perform educational tasks, and because of constant failures, children's motivation for education is extinguished, thus passing illiteracy from generation to generation. All of the above creates a deep gap between Roma and the majority local population and negatively affects their relations.
Roma are the only national minority in Croatia for which it is not possible to organize classes in their native language, which puts them at a disadvantage in education. Since the idea of democracy rests on the idea of equality, this project contributes to democracy by providing new opportunities for equality – it provides systematic educational assistance and support to Roma children in order for them to more successfully integrate into the education system and achieve better success. In addition, by mobilizing volunteers and directly engaging them in working with the Roma population, we are contributing to active citizenship, as well as reducing prejudice towards Roma. By educating experts, we enable equal understanding of differences and equal treatment of this specific group.
Children and parents of the Roma national minority (40 children and 20 parents) – children of preschool and school age living in Roma settlements and having difficulty mastering current or future educational tasks and their parents who are unaware of the importance of education and standing up for their own rights in order to achieve a better future for their children.
Volunteers (15 volunteers) – from the area of Osijek-Baranja County who show an interest in exploring new cultures and working directly with children and young people.
Education professionals (50 professionals) – working in multicultural schools in Osijek-Baranja county.
General population (minimum 500 persons) – from the area of Osijek-Baranja County, with the aim of reducing prejudices and stereotypes about Roma.
1. Mobile team for children and parents - working directly with preschool children (preparing for school, adoption of work habits) and school children (learning assistance, development of motivation for education and finishing of school) in Roma settlements, and with their parents – through advisory work and educational activities that will strengthen their parental capacities and skills, foster social inclusion, advocacy of their own interests and rights, but also fulfil legal obligations, with a particular focus on child obligations;
2. Education for professionals with an awareness view of the problems faced by Roma children and tolerance of diversity;
3. Mobilizing and involving volunteers in direct work with children and adults in Roma settlements;
4. Media promotion of the project.
40 children and 20 parents from the Roma population will be directly involved in this project–through the provided support, pre-school children will achieve equal opportunities when enrolling in school, have better work habits, knowledge, and skills. School children will be more satisfied with their school status and success, which will increase their motivation to complete education and will be more aware of the importance of education for later quality of life. Professionals working with Roma will better understand their problems and needs. Parents will strengthen parental skills, take better care of their children and advocate for their rights. Through volunteerism and media campaign, the community will be directly involved, which will contribute to reducing prejudice towards the Roma.
Roma are Europeans’ most numerous minority whose human rights are still very unprotected. They are socially excluded, discriminated against, poor, with high illiteracy and unemployment rates everywhere in Europe. Different European associations underline the importance of social inclusion, education and employment of Roma. In Croatia, Roma are the only minority for which it is not possible to organize classes in their native language, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to other citizens. Through this project, we will enable them support and assistance for their better integration and remaining in the education system. We will also advocate for their rights and interests. Democracy dictates that every citizen is equally valid, and this project promotes this idea.
The vision of our Centre is a society in which each individual understands, accepts, respects and protects the rights of children and youth; actively participates in the provision of assistance and support to children and youth, develops and uses its potential in creating a safe environment for children and youth. The mission of the Centre is to protect the rights of children and youth and to provide professional assistance and support through information, education, counselling and public awareness for children and youth's problems. Accordingly, we have developed this project idea that protects highly vulnerable children and youth and their interests – education and commitment to their own rights is a way of social inclusion of Roma that can bring change to new generations.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs - 25.000 EUR
Travel costs - 3.600 EUR
Cost of buying trailer - 15.000 EUR
Costs of educational materials - 1.500 EUR
Promotion costs - 2.500 EUR
Costs of education for professionals - 2.000 EUR