REYN Ukraine

Roma Population

According to information from Roma NGOs, between 350 and 400 thousand Roma people live in Ukraine. Most of them are undocumented and are in a difficult socio-economic situation, living in unsuitable conditions for the good development of children. Roma regularly suffer from discrimination. The level of tolerance of Ukrainians to Roma is 22/100, which indicates that Roma are not perceived as good neighbors. Educators are not competent enough to work with Roma children who, in addition to having a number of cultural backgrounds, do not attend preschools in the majority. Their level of preschool preparation does not correspond to the classroom’s level, which complicates the ability to process information and adopt a school style of behavior. Parents are not always sufficiently educated to be able help their child with homework and they are usually simply unable to create a supportive home environment for learning and development.

Roma children lack adaptation in the educational environment, and the incompetence of teachers in working with such children does not allow Roma child to receive a decent education, develop further self-realization and search for “their place” in modern Ukrainian society. Children can contribute to the integration of Roma into society if they are able to have decent access to education, medicine and social services, as well as to “healthy” parenting and care.

Main Goal

Increasing awareness of the importance of early childhood development and early childhood education and care, as well as improved education and socio-economic support for Roma children in Ukraine. Developing a network of professionals working with Roma children and their families, who are able to advocate for the interests of Roma children and their families at the local and national levels in the field of access to quality early development and education services for Roma children through professional development, mobilization of existing network members, their quantitative and qualitative development, implementation of information and advocacy campaigns, development and promotion of working methods with Roma children and families.

Activities Carried Out

– «Сonference REYN- Ukraine: Opportunities and Challenges»( Uzhhorod, Ukraine).

– The principles, directions and perspectives of REYN-Ukraine activity presented in Transcarpathia, Lviv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia.

– Monitoring and assessment of the needs of the settlements and the Roma children. Questionnaire of parents and questionnaire of teacher and school administration.

– Micro-grant competition for REYN – Ukraine members.

– Training for REYN-Ukraine team in the city of Uzhhorod.

Ongoing Activities

  • A program of optional bi-cultural education for Roma and Ukrainian children.
  • Dictionary of Servian dialect.
  • A program of lectures to motivate Roma parents to assist in the education of children.
  • A study of the level of development of children in temporary settlements by IDELA.
  • Basic curriculum for children of all ages.
  • Integrative psychological training program for Roma children.
  • A training program for social workers to overcome the stigma attached to Roma.

Main Outcomes

– Current directions of the network operation for the coming years were determined in the  context of the child’s interests in the context of decentralization, education and medical reform.

– Thanks to the presentation of REYN-Ukraine in four regions (Transcarpathia, Lviv, Kharkiv and Zaporizhia), the number of experts has grown to 308 members of the REYN-Ukraine network.

– 613 people (in four regions) were interviewed, including 89 teachers and 524 parents of Roma children. The needs of settlements and Roma children were monitored and evaluated.

– Five teams won micro grants competition that analyzed problems and suggested ideas for creating unique products and trying them out to solve a local problem.

– Values, principles, vision, mission, weaknesses and strengths, analysis of internal and external environment and stakeholder analysis were developed and approved by the entire team. The strategy of REYN-Ukraine network has been also developed.