Roma Healthy Start: grant for community-based organizations

- News

The Open Society Foundations (OSFs) are offering a grant to support community-based organizations that use elements of the Nurturing Care Concept in their policy models. The aim is to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes, eliminate racial disparities in infant mortality, reduce low birth weight and preterm births, reduce maternal depression, and address the social determinants that affect Roma maternal and child health.

OSFs are looking for inspiring examples of collaborations across sectors designed to improve the health of Roma children and mothers in CEE countries with high Roma population, including but not limited to Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia.

The deadline is March 30, 2018. Find more information on the Open Society Foundations’ website.

REYN Italy and REYN Croatia event: Comparing Educational Practices

- News

REYN Italy and REYN Croatia start the autumn season with a joint event called “The Romani child between school and family: comparing educational experiences in Italy and Croatia.”

The event will take place in Rome (Italy) on November 17-19, 2017, focusing on the exchange of innovative educational practices in the two countries.

Associazione 21 Luglio, REYN Italy‘s coordinator, will present some experiences of Italy’s education system. At the same event Sanja Brajković, Psychologist, Open Academy Step by Step Croatia and REYN Croatia, will share innovative practices of her country of origin.

Entrance is free of charge, seating is limited and available on a first come first serve basis.

Find out more in Italian here.

Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation

- Blog | REYN Admin

Embracing Diversity – Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation

Diversity RomaUnder the auspices of ISSA and the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s (BVLF) partnership project, “Capacity Building of Roma Supporting Partners”, ISSA Senior Program Manager Zorica Trikic, and Professor Jelena Vranjesevic from the University of Belgrade delivered training on “Embracing Diversity – Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation”, in Rome in early November.

Embracing Diversity training promotes anti-discrimination and demonstrates how to build a society respectful of diversity. Hosted by ISSA’s Italian member, Associazione 21 Luglio, the three-day event welcomed 30 Roma and non-Roma trainees from all over the country, including some young Roma and Sinti activists.

The training was a poignant and rewarding experience both for trainees and trainers. Based on the honest exchange of first-hand experiences participants unpacked their personal stories highlighting how bias and stereotypes are taught, reinforced and perpetuated before working on how to uses their experiences to promote a more equitable society where diversity is valued, respected and protected.

Professionals from different universities and NGOs, including OsservAzione Popica Onlus, ABCittà, Mops (Movement for International Cooperation), ASCE (Association of Sardinia against marginalization) and University of Salento also participated.

ISSA trainers are available to delivering Embracing Diversity Training throughout the network.

Supporting ECD practitioners in Kosovo

- Blog | REYN Admin

By Albulena Zaimi, REYN Kosovo National Coordinator

Kosovo has the lowest attendance rate for preschool education in region. Whilst pre-primary education offered in elementary schools is free, costs of attendance in public kindergartens are shared between parents; there are also a number of private kindergartens operating in Kosovo with higher cost fee.

This is a relatively heavy burden for the average Kosovo family, with average monthly income ranging between 300 and 400 $. Community-based centers are another form of service for early learning usually used by Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children. These centers normally use spaces in existing schools or community buildings and are operated by NGOs.

The children attend short daily sessions with a focus on pedagogical activities that are well tuned to children’s age and stage of development . There is very little reliable data on the operation of centers, but their sustainability appears to be a serious problem . People working with the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children in the community centers come from the communities and with few exceptions most of them do not have the required education and qualification.

REYN Kosovo

Reyn Kosovo

Established and launched in autumn 2013, the Kosovo Roma, Ashkali Egyptian Early Years Network –KRAEEYN strives to provide equitable access to early childhood education for children of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities up to the age of 6 through advocating for inclusion and improving the quality of provision.
More specifically the network is working towards development of skills and good practices, to establish effective partnerships and support capacity building of RAE and non-RAE professionals and paraprofessionals working with RAE children and their families.

KRAEEYN has its steering committee consisted of leading organizations in the country working in the ECD sector: Balkan Sunflowers Kosovo, Save the Children, Nevo Koncepti, Bethany Christian Services.
KRAEEYN has 10 institutional members and more than 60 individual members who are preschool professionals, paraprofessionals and practitioners working with Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children in Kosovo.

KRAEEYN provides the following support for its members:
• Quality professional development opportunities for RAE and other ECD practitioners
• On-site support system for RAE and other ECD practitioners
• Capacity building of KRAEEYN members for advocacy

Up to date the following capacity building activities were implemented by the KRAEEYN:

REYN KosovoGetting ready for school” has reached 36 network members and was focusing on supporting the practitioners to establish an enabling learning environment in the community centers and at home. All the participating practitioners are applying the gained skills on monthly basis within their community centers reaching the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian parents and children. The members of steering committee have conducted over 20 monitoring visits and have provided direct support to practitioners through critical reflection and advices.

Step by step training (basic level)”, was organized during January and February 2015 reaching in total 18 KRAEEYN members who will implement the learned practices in the day to day work and will be certified.

KRAEEYN has organized a two day workshop on advocacy reaching 12 members of network. The workshop focused on development of an advocacy action plan for the ECD in Kosovo with an emphasis on the local level. The advocacy initiatives will focus on awareness raising about the importance of ECD, institutionalization of the preprimary services provided by community centers and addressing the issue of discrimination in the classrooms.
It is expected that the implementation of the initiatives will start during March 2015

Please check our website and Facebook page

REYN Kosovo

Romani Early Years Network on Facebook

- Blog | Valery Novoselsky

Romani Early Years Network is the joint initiative of the Open Society Foundation’s Roma ‘Kopaçi’ initiatives at the Early Childhood Programme (ECP) and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA).

The goal of the Romani Early Years Network is to empower Roma and non-Roma Early Childhood Development (ECD) professionals and para-professionals working with Romani communities, offering them opportunities for professional development, study visits, and international networking across the early childhood development sector.

This Network had been officially launched on 15 October 2012 on ISSA-DECET Conference 2012 in Opatija, Croatia.