Inclusion and Equity for Roma children and families project kicks off

ISSA and the host organizations of the 11 National REYNs have engaged in a new joint project called Inclusion and Equity for Roma children and families – The Romani Early Years Network (REYN). During the next two years, they will work together to support the early childhood development of all Roma children (from birth to 10) living in 11 countries in Europe – Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, and beyond. 

“This project will strengthen the sustainability of the REYN Initiative and its community, its sense of belonging, ownership, and professionalism, and its positioning in the international and national arenas by undertaking coordinated and pertinent actions and building on strengths of each National REYN and of REYN community as a whole,” says the project coordinator Aljosa Rudas during the kick-off meeting held in October. “We are well-equipped to meet the needs of Roma communities, advocating for more supportive and inclusive EU policies and working to ensure quality, inclusive and non-discriminatory support to all Roma children.”

Inclusion and Equity for Roma children and families is the result of a one-year long path undertaken by ISSA and the host organizations of the 11 National REYNs to define REYN Initiative’s post-2020 positioning, focus and functioning to achieve a meaningful impact and outcomes in the next future.

The project aims to enhance the inclusiveness and integration of early childhood services as well as strengthen the role of Roma parents, supporting them in their parental roles to provide nurturing care in the home environment. The project will also promote diversity in the ECD workforce, supporting the professionalization of Roma and advocating for programmatic and structural solutions for building the in-country Roma ECD workforce.

Due to the unprecedented context created by COVID-19, the project will also address the emerging priorities defined by National REYNs in the aftermath of the pandemic’s outbreak and continuously assessed on the ground.. Currently, all National REYNs are deeply involved in providing concrete responses to the challenges faced by young Roma children, their families, and communities

Stay tuned on REYN website and social media to learn more about the project’s main activities and outcomes!