Presentation on theme: "Roma Children and Youth in South East Europe Save the Children’s response, lessons learnt and strategic priorities in Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo,"— Presentation transcript:
Roma Children and Youth in South East Europe Save the Children’s response, lessons learnt and strategic priorities in Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia (South East Europe – SEE) Linda Pérez Bukåsen Regional Director Europe and Middle East Save the Children Norway (SCN) Dette er felt for en fotnote i 10 punkt
Working with Roma inclusion in SEE Main priority areas in current program work Inclusive Education – Access to education ; inclusive school environment (teacher, curricula, parents, students), remedial classes, Children’s Government, pre- school/kindergarden Child Protection - Protection against exploitation, neglect and abuse Child Rights Governance : Structures, systems; advocacy Key entry point: Birth registration and ID papers.
Experiences and lessons learnt 1. Birth registration and ID documents crucial improve statistics (for planning and advocacy purposes) gain access to public services like health, education, social assistance and unemployment benefits strengthen their right to adequate housing (ownership) and access to water, electricity and sanitation strengthen national identity and self-confidence
2. Diversity, representation and participation Recognize that Roma people are not all one and the same. They represent different ethnic groups according to their own definitions, different positions, traditions and interests and must be active participants in planning for their own improvement. Identify resource persons ; men, women and youth who can represent their communities.
3. Integration, culture and traditions Integration is not automatically seen as positive by all Roma. Discrimination and segregation experienced have strengthened their Roma “difference” and identity, and their cultural and traditional practices. Extended family and community often their only safety- and social networks Any interventions to promote Roma integration and development must demonstrate genuine respect for their culture and traditions - exceptions are practices that violate human and children’s rights, like child labor, non-school enrolment, early marriages, and gender discrimination
4. Poverty – discrimination and exclusion Poverty is main trigger for continued discrimination and exclusion - > poor hygiene and housing, illiteracy, informal labor Make provisions for all Roma children to enroll in school. Make special provisions for Roma children to enroll in pre- school or kindergarten to compensate for any language barriers. Provisions should include hygienic materials, clothes, school books, food and transportation and help to do homework. Ensure that parents are involved in school and through this involvement supportive of their children’s education.
5. Inclusive school environment Creating an inclusive school environment Train teachers to handle multi-cultural classes and proactively address differences and inclusion. Engage parents in anti- discrimination activities, address stereotyping, generalizations and engrained negative perceptions. Inclusion and non-discrimination starts with the children. A child who ever had a Roma friend in school will have a different view as an adult.
6. Completing basic education – what next? Ensure that Roma children complete basic education and are given opportunity to continue education through secondary, upper secondary, vocational training or university education Any education that leads to gainful employment presents valuable role models for younger children. It demonstrates that education pays off!
7. Broader education and employment Important is to discharge the general perception that Roma people are “ destined” to do non-academic, menial labor Experience of self-employment and running small businesses valuable Great need for educated Roma academics like teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers and social workers etc. Professions that can help Roma integration and represent their people in local, national and regional forums and in politics. Scholarships must be made available!
Initiativa 6 – a success story from Kosovo and one of SC’s partners Field visit with SC in Kosovo to Prizren in 2010 During seven years: 30 students completed high school 3 students at university Key success factors: –Building upon local capacity and NGO –Broad community involvement; parents, local leaders etc –Long term perspective
Skills to succeed – a job access model Pilot project in partnership with Accenture providing skills to succeed in the labor market – employment and self- employment: vocational training, presentation and job interview skills, IT classes, entrepreneurship (establishing and running own businesses) –Partnership with public and private sector –Framework for scaling-up –Regional cooperation with Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro.
Strategy – what we would like to do In 2011 : Joint Save the Children efforts to create joint Strategy for Roma children and youth in South East Europe. Starting point : SC International strategy on our main thematic priorities Education, Child Rights Governance, Child Protection, Health, Emergencies and HIV/AIDS + existing programs (including mappings and assessments) in the region. New areas of exploration : Child and maternal health, Disaster risk reduction, depending upon external funding.