Day 16
One meal for a schoolchild in a Roma community in Macedonia

Education for a better life

Education for the children of a Roma community

Šutka, the largest Romani settlement in Macedonia is situated at the edge of the capital city of Skopje. Dilapidated buildings are cheek-by-jowl with makeshift shacks. When it rains the streets turn into muddy tracks. Thousands of children and young people live in difficult conditions with their families. Because of financial and social problems, many children cannot go to school. But without finishing primary school, learning a trade or starting in a job later is almost impossible. Also, without a primary school graduation certificate, people have no right to claim state benefits such as social security and health insurance. That is a huge problem for Romani people: up to 90 % of this ethnic group are unemployed. Discrimination by mainstream society makes it hard, particularly for the youngest among them, to get through school. This is where our partner organisation Nadez comes in: their staff support a number of children from Šutka and their families throughout their education from the first day of school until the end of year eight. To make it possible for the children to stay in school long-term, the families receive humanitarian goods, the children get breakfast every day and are provided with books and other school materials as well as, if needed, tutoring. And in workshops the parents are made aware how important it is for their children to go to school.

Necessity

 

Support of school children from the largest Romani community in Macedonia.

Activity

 

Street workers accompany the school children and provide them with a meal on a regular basis.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of meals given out to school children.

Result

After around 3 years

80 percept of children involved in the project attend school regularly. Half of these move up to the next year at the first attempt.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Better educational prospects, more social participation and better access to the job market.

Background

Romani people are the largest ethnic minority in Europe. 10 to 12 million Romani live in Europe as a whole, about half of these in the EU. In almost all countries in Europe, Romani are subject to prejudice and social marginalisation (EC, 2016).

The good deed

The organisation Nadez supports school children from Šutka and their families on a daily basis with everything they need to make the most of their schooling. From a simple meal to school materials to tutoring and support in legal matters and with social problems. With this good deed we help Nadez in providing a small meal for the pupils – a basic requirement and also a motivation for attending school!

Challenge

Many families from Roma communities do not trust the education and social welfare system, because they are often exposed to widespread discrimination. To rebuild that trust and motivate the families to not give up in spite of these difficulties, project staff regularly visit families in their homes. This creates a foundation of trust, allowing problems to come to light in time and be dealt with right away.

About Macedonia

Skopje

Capital

2 078 500

Number of inhabitants

4 871 USD

Gross domestic product per capita per year

81

Human Development Index

Macedonia is the only of the ex-Yugoslavian states that in the 1990s gained independence without violent conflicts. Nevertheless, there are ethnic tensions and the rapprochement to the EU is grinding to a halt.

About the organization and further information

Association

Schüler Helfen Leben Foundation

Certified by

Transparency International

Further information and source