NGOs visit Greece to Discuss Successful Practices on Roma Education and Desegregation
On November 28 and 29, 2013, the “Desegregation and Action for Roma in Education” (DARE) Network (DARE-Net) gathered for its third exchange visit in Thessaloniki,Greece to learn about the inclusion of Roma children in Greece's educational system. During the previous meetings, the DARE-Net partners visited education projects for Roma children being implemented in Bulgaria and Croatia.
The third exchange visit was organised by “ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence”, a nonprofit human rights organisation established in 1993. ANTIGONE aims to safeguard equal opportunities and treatment for all without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, social/economic/educational status, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation. It works to raise awareness on issues such as discrimination, racism, social exclusion, fundamental rights, ecology, peace, and non-violence.
On November 28th, the DARE-Net partners visited the Third and Fifth Primary Schools in Dendropotamos, a predominantly Roma neighborhood of Thessaloniki where 97% of primary school students are Roma. The DARE-Net partners met with the schools' principal, teacher and social worker to discuss structural discrimination in Roma education and to learn about the “Programme for the Education of Roma Children.” This capacity-building project brings together teachers, psychologists and social workers in 100 schools to enhance education quality for Roma children through curriculum development, intercultural activities and mechanisms to improve attendance. It is funded by the European Commission and implemented by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
On November 29th, the DARE-Net partners visited Chalastra, a village in the municipality of Dimos Delta where Roma constitute a significant part of the population. They met with the principal of a primary school in the nearby town of Kimina and a kindergarten teacher who works in Agia Sofia, a segregated Roma settlement outside Thessaloniki. The partners learned about efforts in the Kimina school to increase school enrollment and to support Roma children in reaching the same educational level as their peers and be included in regular, mixed classes.
The exchange visit in Greece provided an enhanced understanding of the initiatives to address the integration of Roma school children in Thessaloniki. The following partners attended:
Integro Association (Bulgaria), Life together Association (Czech Republic), ANTIGONE (Greece), European Roma Rights Centre (Hungary), Chance for Children Foundation (Hungary), Romani CRISS (Romania), as well as FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. The DARE-Net project succeeded to create a trans-national network of Roma and non-Roma civil society and academic organisations to analyse practices and initiatives relating to Roma education and school desegregation of Roma children in Romania, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
More information are available on the project website.
The DARE-Net project is financially supported by Lifelong Learning Programme – European Commission
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.