REYN Croatia

Roma Population

Roma people have been in Croatia for more than 600 years and they are concentrated mostly in the northern regions of the country. Various estimates place the actual Roma population at 30 000-40 000 or 0,4% of the population. Roma in Croatia speak several different languages: Romanese, Bayash and Albanian. The largest religious groups among the Roma are Catholics, Muslims and Eastern Orthodox .

Main Goals

All children have the right to equal access to quality education and education. All individuals and institutions are responsible for making this possible. That is why we need to do everything in our power to remove obstacles for Roma children and to encourage successful schooling and inclusion in society.

Empowering members of the Network for Quality Work with Roma Children and their Families.

Increasing the Advocacy Power of the Network.

Ensuring the Sustainability of the Network.

Main Challenges

  • Stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination against Roma.
  • 69% of Roma children aged 3 to 6 attend neither kindergarten nor preschool.
  • Roma children face numerous obstacles during primary education, such as insufficient Croatian language skills, inadequately parental support in learning and fulfilling school tasks, poor material conditions and a lack of necessary education supplies, etc.
  • Material deprivation and poverty. 81.2% of children aged 15 or less are at risk of poverty.
    (Source: Roma Inclusion in the Croatian Society: a Baseline Data Study. CMS. 2018).

Activities Carried Out

– Campaigns.

– Educations, trainings and workshops for members.

– National conferences.

– Study visits.

– Publications (leaflets, dictionaries, manuals for children and adults).

– Training module for learning Bayash language for preschool and primary school teachers.

Ongoing Activities

  • Project ‘Take a step’ to facilitate smooth transition Roma children to school.
  • Project ‘Toy to Share, Play to Care’ – opening Play Hub in order to to include pre-school and early  age children from vulnerable groups in informal education and to help in the transition to elementary education.
  • Promoting early childhood development to build capacities of professionals and other child-care workforce for  nurturing care for early years (0-3) Roma children and families.

Main Outcomes

– The brochure ‘Every step is important! – together for every child and family’.

– Brochure ‘Corner for parents – why and how to build partnerships with families?’

– The brochure ‘Who am I? – question of group and personal identity’.

– The brochure ‘Kindergarten for all – we build a community that provides equal chances for every child’.

– Brochure ‘Do you hear me?’ on the development and teaching of children whose language is not the first language.

– E-picture books of “Bursunsul and Paskualina”, “Hand and Glasses” and “Orange for Everyone”.

– ‘What does poverty make for children?’ – a brochure for educators, teachers and other experts in the field of education.

– Education for facilitators of extracuricular activities ‘Give me five! Da-m-sins!’

– Education ‘Teaching second language learning children’.

– Course  for learning Bayash language for adults.


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 Milan’s story in English and Croatian

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