UNDP Croatia through REYN network supports the education of young Roma

Jul 28, 2015

PHOTO: NENA LUKIN


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia, in July this year joined the Romani Early Years Network (REYN)–Croatia which helps young Roma in upbringing and education. 

Members of REYN-Croatia are teachers, educators, facilitators, institutions, NGOs and other organizations and individuals active in the field of education of Roma children, and strengthening an international network of REYN in the expertise sharing and expertise. 

“By working together we want to create conditions that will enable that every young Roma girl and boy exercise the right to the quality education and upbringing, as well as encouraging environment for further work and learning”, said Sandra Vlasic, Head of UNDP Croatia. 

Roma continue to be one of the most disadvantaged groups in Croatia, and Roma children are especially vulnerable. Data compiled in the publication „Everyday life of Roma in Croatia: challenges and possibilities for transformation," indicate that only 44 percent of Roma children are enrolled in preschool education, only 40 percent have finished elementary school and high school is completed only by 10 percent of them. 

Weaker involvement of Roma in the education system is later reflected in disadvantages they face in the labor market and unfavorable economic situation. Only by promoting education and training we can ensure that Roma children receive the same opportunities as their peers. We should not forget that they are all, as generations to come, an essential prerequisite for the progress of the entire society.

Unfavorable educational outcomes of young Roma represent the loss of human resources, especially when we consider that the average age of the Roma population is 22, compared with the average age of the general population which s 42 years.

UNDP Croatia has for many years been recognized for its work with excluded groups, and is currently implementing two projects related to Roma inclusion: "Platform for Roma Inclusion - Phase II" and "Better Together - social inclusion of Roma in Croatia". Projects are aimed at improving the living conditions of Roma through connecting with local institutions, the use of EU funds and the adoption of quality measures and policies to help more effectively address the problems that Roma people face every day.

 

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*REYN-Croatia acts as part of an international network of Romani Early Years Network (REYN), and it was established within the two-year IPA project Romai Early Years Network - Croatia. The network started its work in Croatia in February 2014, and so far has more than 150 members.