Korça, 15 March 2016 – Municipality of Korça in collaboration with Children Human Rights Centre of Albania – CRCA, organized today the workshop "Access of Roma children to early childhood services” at the Hotel Life Gallery conference hall. This workshop intended to bring together key stakeholders of the Korça Qark, to discuss solutions and recommendations from the two year implementation of the initiative, that affect the improvement of the living conditions and the integration of Roma children in preschool education.

The UNICEF and CRCA Albania initiative "Every Roma child in the kindergarten" supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Cooperation for Development, aims to establish and support local networks in early childhood issues and the integration of Roma children in preschool. At this meeting, representatives of public institutions and civil society expressed their commitment to continue working in support of the Roma community and especially for the integration of 3-6 year old children in the kindergarten, and find a solution to the series of problems that need to be addressed in the future.

Mr. Altin Hazizaj, General Director of CRCA Albania and moderator of the meeting, in his speech said: “The establishment of sustainable cooperation between policy makers (municipality, municipal council, local authorities) and Roma community is crucial to foster integration of children in preschool services”. Furthermore, we must empower Roma families and mobilize them with the aim to create their active commitment to dialogue with local government and service providers.

Mrs. Benila Terova, Deputy Mayer of Korça Municipality emphasized the importance that the municipality gave to vulnerable groups and their integration in society. ‘We have collaborated with a number of actors that work for Roma community in the city and will continue to do so in areas concerning registration, education, integration of youth in the labour market and will continue to support them in drafting local policies and documents to give life to an active community that contributes to the society.

In the first part of the workshop, Mr. Elvis Gjata, Coordinator of Korça Qark, made a brief presentation of two years of work in this qark. He stopped on the main achievements of the initiative and success stories at national level. During the presentation he discussed on the recommendations and key issues that this initiative should take into account for Roma children integration in preschool.

The workshop continued with the presentation of the survey "Roma children access to early childhood services" to disclose to the participants main findings and recommendations of the study.

The meeting was attended by representatives of key institutions in the region of Korça where we can mention the Municipality, the Regional Council, State Social Services, Maliq Municipality, representatives from Drenova, Department of Public Health, heads of schools and kindergartens of the city, teachers, representatives of local non-governmental organizations, youth, students, media, etc.

The workshop focused on open discussion between participants and concluded by raising issues and a series of recommendations for addressing the problems that Roma community is facing in this city. At the end of the meeting participants agreed to organize a second workshop to develop an "Action Plan for Roma and Egyptian Community in Korca Qark" in consultation with the Roma community.

For more information, please contact: Elvis Gjata, email:; Tel: 067 500 2023

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