REYN Bosnia and Herzegovina

Roma Population

According to the Statistical Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013 Census, there are 12 896 Roma living in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), that is 3,6%  of total population of the country. However, the research conducted by civil society organizations states that this number is between 40 000 and 75 000. Roma live on almost the whole territory of BiH, in 71 local government units, and in 30 of them they represented in significant number. It is considered that Roma is the largest national minority in BiH. At the same time, Roma are the most vulnerable minority in the country.

Main Goals

Increased awareness of early childhood development importance and improved educational support for Roma children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Establishing a national level learning community of at least 30 Early Childhood Development professionals and paraprofessionals.

Improving ECD capacities of professionals, paraprofessionals and other members through adequate trainings and access to experience exchange.

Increasing awareness on ECD and its importance at all levels (citizens, institutions, decision makers.)

Main Challenges

  • The social exclusion of the Roma population means that individuals, whole families, including the settlements, are on the margins of the society and they are unable to participate in the economic, social and cultural trends.
  • Poverty and lack of basic educational opportunities and employment.
  • Reduced ability to generate income, participation in social networks or other activities in the community.
  • Preschool education in BiH is a major weakness of the education system, having the lowest preschool participation rate in the region: 14,2% in 2012/2013. Even though early childhood education overall enrolment is alarmingly low, for Roma children it is even lower, since only 2% of Roma children aged 3 to 5 are enrolled in an organized early childhood education program.
  • The number of children attending the mandatory preschool preparatory program in BiH is 46%б and at the same time the number of Roma children is extremely low – just 5% (UNICEF 2013/2014 data).

Activities Carried Out

– Training on advocacy and networking and on Early Childhood Development completed.

– Progress report on socio-economic inclusion of Roma / analysis of the institutional education framework in BiH developed and completed by Kali Sara.

– Meetings with relevant regional and local stakeholders, relevant ministries and national level institutions organized.

– Awareness campaign – REYN promotional materials and leaflets designed, published and distributed.

– Dissemination of the project results through conferences and meetings.

– Live library sessions organized.

Ongoing Activities

  • Case Study: Analysis of lack of health service access  of Roma children.
  • Case Study: Analysis of institutional responsibility to ensure enrolment of Roma children to education system.
  • Organizing meetings with relevant local stakeholders.
  • Cooperating with relevant ministries and national level institutions.
  • Conducting awareness campaign on importance of early childhood learning.
  • Organizing Live library sessions.
  • Providing internship opportunities for Roma interns.
  • Organizing trainings on Early Childhood Development, Responsible Parenting, Social Justice.
  • Developing Community Support Program.

Main Outcomes

– Established and active REYN Bosnia and Herzegovina.

– Empowered REYN members through trainings.

– Education of experts and raising public awareness of REYN and the importance of early childhood development.


The Dream to Grow campaign shares 12 multipurpose advocacy stories, highlighting the successes of Roma ECD professionals who are supporting Roma children and families in their countries – celebrating the example they are setting for future generations.

Read Dajana’s story in English and Bosnian

REYN Early Childhood Research

REYN Early Childhood Research is a study that sheds light on young Roma children and their parents throughout Europe. The study brings together unprecedented Roma-related early childhood data from 11 countries. It catalyzes solid evidence for urgent and effective policies and programs enabling each young Roma to reach their full potential – to grow and thrive! 

Read research in English