Education

Roma from Bijeljina actively involved in social entrepreneurship, through the production of organic fruits and vegetables

Nearly 1,000 Roma live in Bijeljina, and according to the data from the Grahovo Association for the Promotion of Roma Education "Otkharin" and the women's association "Roma", only 0.5 per cent of the members of this national minority are employed.

In order to improve their situation, social entrepreneurship and company "Agroplan" were formed, where marginalized groups have an advantage in employment.

With the mediation of this company that deals with production in greenhouses for vegetables, a dozen Roma are employed.

About 200 Roma families in Bijeljina face numerous problems, and the largest is unemployment. Most Roma people exist from the collection of secondary raw materials and plastic packaging.

The survey shows that the level of employment of Roma is very low. The Otakarin Association formed within the project "Economic strengthening of the Roma woman through production in greenhouses" financed by the GIZ, at the companie "Agroplan"

The goal is thus to secure the employment of Roma, which is also the largest minority community in Bijeljina, said the executive director of this association, Dragan Jokovic.

Link: https://srpskainfo.com/romi-u-plastenicima-uzgajaju-organsko-voce-i-povrce-sve-prednosti-socijalnog-preduzeca-agro-plan-u-bijeljini/

Bulgaria: Schools where the majority of Roma children learn as a blind street

Almost a third of Roma children in Bulgaria go to schools where this minority is the majority is followed by marginalization and rejection.

At the beginning of 2000, a new law was passed allowing parents to choose their own child's school.

According to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the percentage of Roma children attending a Roma school in Bulgaria has risen from 16% to 29% in the last five years. It is the highest rate in the nine south-eastern member states covered by the study.

Director of a school Irena Tsukeva is struggling against the politics of marginalization.
She was fortunate enough to have the support of Professor Rosen Bogomilov. He is the only Roma teacher in her school and is a real example of the children.

Director Irena Tsukeva was the only one who received it with wide open arms and hope. He has been teaching history and geography for five years, and since early September he has been deputy director.

Rosen Bogomilov and Irena Tsukeva want to educate Roma children through the education of the children for the future. For ten years now, they have the opportunity to improve their parents and other adults. 82 adults successfully passed last year, and the oldest one was a 60-year-old man.

From this year, Tsukeva and Bogomilov want to set up a mediator who will take care of the social problems of Roma students and will work on connecting Roma families and the school. "Sometimes children do not come to school because they do not have winter shoes," says the director. For that reason, children have been conducting actions to help the poor children for years.

Link: https://www.dw.com/mk/%D0%B1%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%98%D0%B0-%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BC%D1%81%D0%BA

The University of Texas  Romani Scholar Honored By Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II

The queen gave Ian Hancock the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work studying Romani culture and its people, whom many incorrectly call Gypsies.

In the forward to Ian Hancock‘s 2010 book, “Danger! Educated Gypsy,” his editor described Hancock as an “unusual man.” Now, the professor emeritus in English and linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin has accepted an award that further sets him apart from the average scholar: in December, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain made him an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Hancock says he started his academic career studying Creole languages, but he shifted toward teaching Romani studies once he became tenured at UT.

“Romani is the proper word for a population known, incorrectly, as Gypsies,” Hancock says.
Hancock, who is Romani, says his students misunderstood what “Gypsy” meant at first.
“Several of the students who showed up [to his first Romani studies class] were barefooted and had beads and earrings and the works, long dresses,” Hancock says. “When they found out that it was a much more serious course than that, I lost a number of students.”

Part of that misunderstanding, he says, came from the many negative stereotypes about Romani people. They’re often thought to exist on the fringes of society, and are associated with fortune-telling and baby-stealing, Hancock says. Even some of his colleagues initially resisted his efforts to study Romani people as an official, distinct culture.
“If we as a population cannot be taken seriously, then the problems that we face can’t be taken seriously,” Hancock says.

Link: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/ut-romani-scholar-honored-by-britains-queen-elizabeth-ii/

System solutions for solving Roma problems

Only 2.1 per cent of Roma children are involved in pre-school education in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, but this figure will increase.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has refreshed the system, because all the reforms that we implement are mostly related to the poor citizens. "The Republic of Northern Macedonia has only 30% of children enrolled in pre-school education, which means a smaller number of Roma children included than 2 , 1 percent.

The positive effects that have been given so far by the implemented projects and the systematisation of some of them in state-funded public policies are the greatest proof that the achievements of Roma students are not lagging behind compared to other non-Roma students when they are provided with the necessary conditions and favorable opportunities for education.

According to him, the new strategy of the Roma Educational Fund, 2021-2030, is based on three strategic goals, ie good results from the learning and transition in the labor market and the public.

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