Albania mobilized for “Every roma child in kindergarten”

Albania mobilized for “Every roma child in kindergarten”

Tirana, 1 May 2015 – Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania – CRCA closed the first phase of the community mobilization in support of the initiative “Every Roma child in kindergarten”. Community mobilization for the education of Roma children aims to establish mechanisms of dialogue between citizens and local authorities to highlight and identify problems and challenges faced by Roma children in order to propose solutions and recommendations for local governments and candidates in the framework of local elections 2015 in Albania.

On the 21st of June, Albania will undergo local elections to elect the new mayors of every municipality in the country. Three main political parties, apart from independent candidates are engaged in this process. CRCA Albania this election year, in the framework of the initiative “Every Roma child in kindergarten”, supported by UNICEF Albania has undertaken the realization of “Mobilization of Communities for Roma children’s education” in the Qarks of Tirana, Korça, Elbasan and Gjirokastra, while in the other regions they are held by Observatory for the Rights of Child and Young Women’s Christian Association-YWCA.

Community mobilization meetings took place during the dates 15-30 April 2015 in the cities of Tirana, Elbasan, Peqin, Korca, Gjirokastra and Pogradec. It mobilized more then 250 members of community in these cities, from which we can mention more then 40 Roma mothers, more then 60 Roma and non-Roma parents, more then 50 teachers from the areas where Roma children live. Moreover, consultations were held with Roma activists and youth, including service providers and employees of insitutions at local level.

The main priorities emerged from these consultations highlighted the need for new schools and kindergartens, increase in budget for support of children with food and didactic materials, support for mothers in employment and parenting, appropriate infrastructures of Roma settlements, support for parents outside social assistance schemes, budgeting for early childhood, etc. This years initiative seeks to empower communities and create space for continues ongoing consultations with local stakeholders and the community.

Ministry of Education and Sport initiative "Every Roma children in kindergarten”, supported by UNICEF Albania is implemented in 12 regions of Albania by CRCA Albania, Observatory and YWCA Albania. The second year of the initiative emphasizes the will to work at local level with every municipality where Roma community lives. Moreover it aims to work with all stakeholders at local and central level in order to advocate for quality early childhood education of Roma children. It will focus on working with parents and families in order to strengthen Roma community and youth and promote the full integration and attendance of preschool by Roma children.

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Mersila Ballo

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