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Roma are formally Bulgaria’s second largest minority group, representing approximately 370 000 or 5% of those who declared their ethnic identity during the 2011 Census. However, estimates range widely, and some sociologists claim the actual number of Roma in Bulgaria to be more than twice the official statistics.
Creating positive role models in ECD, to improve the quality of learning and instruction in ECD, to better integrate health and early education by focusing on nutrition, and to unite advocacy efforts in ECD with a focus on improving access, quality, and outcomes in ECD for Roma children.
Advocating for raising awareness around the situation of early years services offered to Roma children in order to ensure more equitable and quality services and to create a more inclusive system.
Providing professional development and exchange opportunities to professionals and paraprofessionals (support staff) actively engaged in early years services.
Increasing the number of Roma professionals and paraprofessionals (support staff), involved in early years services.
Providing internship opportunities for Roma interns; negotiating and finding alternative ways to set up an internship scheme for this purpose.
– Two regional member events organized by institutional members, attended by over 75 ECD professionals.
– Seven Roma university students conducted paid internships at kindergartens serving Roma communities.
– 16 teachers (both institutional and individual members) participated in study trips to explore good practices of working with Roma children.
– Organized two-day events with 100 students from the Anglo-American school (a leading international school in Sofia) on the topic of how poverty affect children.
– Organized two regional workshops for literacy and socio-emotional skills development in children from disadvantage communities that were attended by over 40 kindergarten teachers.
– The member base has grown to 200 members (100 institutional and 100 individual members) from across the country. From a recent member feedback survey, respondents ranked the ability to create new professional contacts and the ability to exchange good practices as the most valuable aspects of the network.
– During 2018-2019, young Roma professionals completed REYN-funded internships at kindergartens serving Roma communities. Of these, one is currently employed at a kindergarten, and in recent interviews, two others shared that they changed their career plans due to the internship, and they now plan to pursue employment in 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.
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 and Bulgarian