“Ensuring that Roma and non-Roma children have equal access and opportunities for an equal start in life is the main goal of the initiative “Every Roma Child in Kindergarten: Building advocacy networks and successful practices for the integration of Roma children in Albania.”
The joint UNICEF initiative implemented by CRCA Albania, Young Women Christian Association-YWCA, and the Observatory of the Rights of Child, aims to build and support local networks in early childhood issues and the integration of Roma children in the pre-educational system.
It aims to give special attention and assistance in facilitating the integration and attendance of 3 to 6 year old children that belong to the Roma community. Moreover, the initiative aims at bridging the interaction and close cooperation of the civil society with Social Services, Social Workers, Municipalities, Communes, Regional Education Directorates, Health Centers and other institutions that provide care and protection for children.
It is intended to strengthen the partnership between the civil society organizations and state decision makers (central and local) with a special focus on making the pre-school educational system a friendly environment for children including those belonging to the Roma community.
This initiative shall introduce successful models of integration of children belonging from marginalized and excluded groups in the educational system and society in general. To this regard, the initiative will serve as an example for all other social groups which live in similar conditions with those of the Roma community.
The initiative seeks to:
- Facilitate and promote a sustainable cooperation with local authorities and Roma groups for the integration of children in pre-schools;
- Collect data / evidence / best practices and difficulties in the implementation of policies regarding the integration of Roma children (based on a unified protocol for collecting data and evidence);
- Prepare periodic reports regarding the registration of children, as well as advocate for the support and inclusion of Roma children in pre-school and compulsory education;
Supported by UNICEF, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Cooperation for Development, CRCA Albania, Observatory and YWCA are committed to implement this initiative by monitoring and developing good practices for the integration of Roma children in all kindergartens where they live, covering twelve regions of Albania. The three organizations will coordinate their work in order to build up focal points and contact persons in order to coordinate responsibilities and duties of stakeholders like state institutions and civil society actors.
The intervention will mainly engage in:
- Establishment of local contact points by organizing field trips/meetings with stakeholders in all regions and settlements where the Roma community live:
- Identify local actors that work with the inclusion of Roma children to kindergarten;
- Training of the coordinators in all 12 regions of the implementing organizations;
- The support of the Roma Technical Secretariat;
- Gathering cases and best practices and their monitoring during the implementation of the project;
- Mapping of local and central institutions that provide services for Roma children and community;
- Organization of regional workshops in all 12 Regions of Albania;
- The preparation of periodic monitoring reports for the registration of Roma children in kindergartens;
- Dialogue building with the heads of Communes, Municipalities, Education Directorates, Social Services, Health Services, Roma families, etc;
- Follow up the enrollment of Roma children in Kindergarten and continuously monitor their attendance;
- The Awarding of three special prices for “Most Supportive Commune of Municipality”, and three awards for the “Most Dedicated Health/Social/Educational Employee”. The aim of these awards is to encourage local institutions and local employees for a better integration of Roma children in kindergartens all over Albania.
- Building a unified database and a platform to register and reflect all the data collected during the implementation of the initiative: This system will include data obtained from local governments (Municipalities/Communes/Social Administrators);
- The preparation of a consolidated analytical report on the inclusion of Roma children in the pre-university system and their access to existent and new services.