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“BUILDING ADVOCACY NETWORKS AND SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES FOR THE INTEGRATION OF ROMA CHILDREN”

Partners for program implementation:

  • Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights in Albania – CRCA
  • Observatory for Children’s Rights (OCR)
  • Albanian Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)

Area of activity: Early childhood development policies and local government accountability.

Ensuring that Roma and non-Roma children have access and chances for an equal start in life is the 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 initiative of UNICEF implemented by CRCA Albania, YWCA – Christian Association of Albanian Women and Observatory for Children’s Rights, aims to build and support local networks in the issues of early childhood and the integration of Roma children in the preschool system. It aims to pay special attention and help overcome the phenomenon of non-attendance of kindergarten by 3-6 year old children belonging to the Roma community. This initiative also aims at the interaction of civil society and close cooperation with social services, social workers at Municipalities and Municipalities, regional directorates of education and other institutions that provide care and protection for children. It will also re-strengthen the partnership between civil society organizations and state decision-makers with the aim of strengthening the pre-university education system.

This initiative seeks to:

  1. Facilitate and promote alliances with local authorities and Roma groups for inclusion in pre-school education of Roma children;
  2. To continuously collect data / evidence / good practices and policy implementation gaps for Roma children (based on a unified protocol to collect data and evidence);
  3. Prepare periodic monitoring reports and advocate for support and inclusion of Roma children in kindergartens;

Through this initiative, a series of activities aimed at the role, function and duties of local institutions will be implemented in relation to the issue of the inclusion of Roma children in the kindergartens of the areas where they live. These actions will be interwoven with the duties of actors of state institutions and those of civil society. This will be done by collecting data and cases, solving cases and sharing best practices gained, identifying gaps and finding the right solution within the roles and tasks of local actors.

Supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Albania and the Austrian Development Cooperation, CRCA Albania, the Children’s Rights Observatory and YWCA Albania, are committed to implementing this initiative by monitoring and developing best practices for the integration of Roma children in kindergartens in each residence where they live, covering all 12 counties of Albania. These organizations will coordinate the work with each other, setting up their contact points and interweaving the tasks of actors of state institutions and those of civil society organizations.

The main commitments of the intervention are:

  1. Raising local contacts by organizing trips/meetings with actors in local districts and settlements, where the Roma community lives;
  2. Identification of local actors working for the inclusion of Roma children in kindergarten;
  3. Project staff training for all organizations;
  4. Support of the Rom Technical Secretariat;
  5. Collection of cases and best practices and their monitoring during project implementation;
  6. Mapping of institutions (local and central) that provide services for Roma children;
  7. Organization of regional workshops in the 12 regions of Albania;
  8. Preparation of periodic action monitoring reports for registration of Roma children in kindergartens;
  9. Building a dialogue with the heads of Municipalities / Municipalities / DAR / regional social services / Roma families / regional and local health services;
  10. Following the registration of Roma children in kindergartens and their continuous monitoring;
  11. Awarding 3 (three) awards for “Best Local Governments” and 3 (three) awards for “Best Employees” (health / social / NJDF). The aim of these awards is to encourage responsible local Institutions and their employees to facilitate and guarantee the process of inclusion of Roma children in kindergarten.
  12. Building a unified database and a platform to record and reflect all the data collected by this project; this system will also include data received from local units (municipalities/municipalities/social administrators);
  13. Preparation of a consolidated analytical report on the early involvement of Roma in pre-university education and the realization of access to other services;
  14. Publication and launch of the study report.