More Roma and Traveller teachers!

- Blog | Stanislav Daniel

For most of the teachers, their job is a mission. Low pay and recognition despite high requirements on education are among the reasons that make this valuable job unnecessarily difficult.  

October 5th marks the International Teachers Day, commemorating the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The recommendations apply to all teachers from nursery to kindergarten, primary, secondary, including technical, vocational or art education. And the more we study them, the more we see the relevance to today’s practitioners working with young Romani children.

Familiarity with the life and language of the children

Under educational objectives and policies [IV.10.i], the document lists that “all educational planning should include at each stage early provision for the training, and the further training, of sufficient numbers of fully competent and qualified teachers of the country concerned who are familiar with the life of their people and able to teach in the mother tongue.”

This recommendation is in line with REYN’s call for more diversity in early childhood services, both in practice and in the workforce. Simply put, we want a higher inclusive environment with more Roma and Travellers as teachers and other professionals – building on the advantage of community membership and multilingualism. We want to value the first language, not eliminate it as something useless that needs to be forgotten.

Better status for teachers, better quality for children

Why are there so few Romani and Travellers teachers? The reasons are many: early discrimination and lack of qualification later, low pay and recognition despite high requirements on education, difficult working conditions and low budget at kindergartens and schools in general. Many of the reasons affect both Roma and non-Roma.

Most of those teachers, who stay at the position, take their job as a mission. They work hard to ignore the low pay and try to see the higher good – smiling children, learning through play, new methods of teaching and the daily challenge of building new generations. But the enthusiasm has its limits. Without proper recognition, material as well as symbolic, kindergartens and schools will continue to struggle.

Attract and retain

The theme of this years’ World Teachers’ Day is The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher. The work done by our partner the International Step by Step Association (ISSA), to which we have contributed to in the past, testifies the benefits of professionalism in the workforce. They have done extensive work on quality of education, you may want to have a look at some of their publications.

We are grateful!

REYN takes the opportunity to express gratitude to those who dedicated their professional lives to provision quality education to children, in kindergartens or primary education. We can only repeat what the science keeps telling us all the time: the earlier we make that investment, the more benefits we get. Let’s invest in teachers, let’s invest in children.

Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation

- Blog | REYN Admin

Embracing Diversity – Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation

Diversity RomaUnder the auspices of ISSA and the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s (BVLF) partnership project, “Capacity Building of Roma Supporting Partners”, ISSA Senior Program Manager Zorica Trikic, and Professor Jelena Vranjesevic from the University of Belgrade delivered training on “Embracing Diversity – Creating Equitable Societies through Personal Transformation”, in Rome in early November.

Embracing Diversity training promotes anti-discrimination and demonstrates how to build a society respectful of diversity. Hosted by ISSA’s Italian member, Associazione 21 Luglio, the three-day event welcomed 30 Roma and non-Roma trainees from all over the country, including some young Roma and Sinti activists.

The training was a poignant and rewarding experience both for trainees and trainers. Based on the honest exchange of first-hand experiences participants unpacked their personal stories highlighting how bias and stereotypes are taught, reinforced and perpetuated before working on how to uses their experiences to promote a more equitable society where diversity is valued, respected and protected.

Professionals from different universities and NGOs, including OsservAzione Popica Onlus, ABCittà, Mops (Movement for International Cooperation), ASCE (Association of Sardinia against marginalization) and University of Salento also participated.

ISSA trainers are available to delivering Embracing Diversity Training throughout the network.

“Internalized attitudes define our work with children”

- Blog | REYN Admin

REYN at the international DECET conference ‘No Quality without Equality’
Under the auspices of Newman University, UK, No Quality without Equality was the title and theme of the DECET (Diversity in Early Childhood Training) network’s international conference held in Birmingham in June 2015. The event gathered more than 100 participants, including academics, practitioners, and activists from all over the globe, such as the EU, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
The work of the REYN international network, as well as that of the national networks, was presented by Colette Murray from TREYN Ireland, and Asja Korbar from REYN-Croatia. The opportunity to present REYN to a wider ECEC audience was created thanks to the joint collaboration and support of ISSA (International Step by Step Association), Open Society Foundations’ Early Childhood Program, and DECET.
REYN’s presence at this event offered an opportunity for sharing the challenges as well as the innovative and successful practices gathered under the umbrella of REYN’s international platform. Describing how REYN has been strengthened through its’ mission to develop inclusive practice, which can alleviate the obstacles faced by Romani and Traveller children as a result of economic, social, and racial marginalization was both worthwhile and inspiring.
Through numerous quality sessions, this conference endorsed the crucial debate on the relationship between quality and inequality and the role of ECEC within this dynamic. Janneke Platenga from Utrecht School of Economics opened a question on the role of ECEC within the tension between the targeted intervention and universal provision. Deepa Grover from UNICEF presented the challenges of early childhood development programs in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States, and the UNICEF’s role in combating these challenges.
The discursive framework of Antibias defined almost every discussion during both conference sessions and conference breaks, and participants had the opportunity to reflect intensively on the ways our internalized attitudes defines our work with children, even more so because – in the words of keynote speaker Louise Derman-Sparks – internalized oppression co-exists with internalized privilege and sustains the existing power relations from policy to everyday life.
If we translate this into the context of the marginalization of Romani and Traveller children, then we – whether this we stands for practitioners, researchers, activists, policy makers, business managers, journalists, or simply fellow citizens – must remind ourselves of the internalized privilege which enables our position. The process (and not the eventual outcome) is at the heart of the struggle for equality; and of the resilience of the every child and every family that we are articulating. We must keep this in mind as it might not only strengthen our hopes for better future, but more importantly strengthen our capacity to imagine that a different world is possible.
Possible might just also mean real.
Asja Korbar
Colette Murray

REYN Training In two languages – English and Serbian on Quality in Early Childhood Services

- Blog | ZoricaTrikic

Investing in the continuous professional development of the network’s members is one of the main objectives of REYN. We strongly believe that all professionals working with Romani children and their families need to commit themselves to lifelong learning for improving their competences in order to be able to make a difference in the lives of those whom they serve.
We are glad to announce that between 15-17 November 2013 we are organizing a two and a half day training on Quality in Early Childhood Services, in Budapest, Hungary, as part of our capacity building program. For more information on the training (goals, expected outcomes and methodology) please look at the document attached with the brief description of the training.
All the expenses for meals, visas, travel and accommodation will be covered by ISSA.
If you are a REYN member and an early childhood practitioner working in early childhood services or in Romani communities, or if you are representing a Ministry or other state body responsible for quality improvement in early childhood services, or if you are doing advocacy work for high quality early childhood services and you want to explore and learn more about what quality in early childhood services means, please fill the attached Application Form by October 14 and send it by email to Zorica Trikic, Senior Program Manager and REYN Coordinator , at:
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
Note: In order to be able to obtain a Schengen visa for participants who may need it, we cannot extend the deadline.
Only applications coming from REYN members will be taken into account; if you are not a member yet please make sure to register by sending an email to, before sending your application.
Please note that the training will be conducted in two parallel groups, one in English and one in Serbian language.
The applications will be reviewed by the REYN Advisory Group and the ISSA management team by October 16th and, based on the information provided in the applications, up to max. 50 candidates will be selected (25 for English speaking and 25 for Serbian speaking group) to participate in the training. If you are applying for the Serbian speaking group you may fill your application form in Serbian language.
The results will be communicated to all applicants via email the latest on October 17th.
We look forward to receiving your application and to providing you with an inspiring and exciting professional experience!

Zorica Trikic
ISSA Senior Program Manager and REYN Coordinator
2. Application Form Participants – Training_on quality_EC services

3. Brief description_REYN Training on Quality in EC Serv

Poziv za prijavljivanje učešća na treningu Romske mreže za rani razvoj (REYN) – Kvalitet rada u institucijama i servisima koji se bave ranim razvojem

- Blog | ZoricaTrikic

Zadovoljstvo nam je da najavimo da u periodu od 15-17. novembra 2013. godine organizujemo u Budimpešti dvoipodnevnu obuku o kvalitetu rada u institucijama i servisima koji se bave decom ranog uzrasta, kao deo našeg programa ulaganja u kontinuirani profesioalni razvoj članova REYN mreže. Za više informacija o treningu (ciljevima, očekivanim rezultatima i metodologiji) molimo Vas da pogledate dokument koji je pripojen kratkom opisu obuke.

Svi troškovi ishrane, viza, putovanja i smeštaja biće pokriveni od strane Međunarodne Korak po Korak asocijacije (ISSA).

Ukoliko ste član REYNa i praktičar koji radi u predškolskoj ustanovi ili u romskim zajednicama, ili ste predstavnik Ministarstva ili drugog državnog tela odgovornog za unapređivanje kvaliteta rada u ustanovama predškolskog vaspitanja i obrazovanja, zdravstvene ili socijalne zaštite, ili se bavite poslovima zastupanja visokokvalitetnih usluga/ službi za rani razvoj i želite da istražujete i naučite više o tome šta znači kvalitet u ustanovama predškolskog vaspitanja i obrazovanja/službama i servisima, molimo vas da popunite formular za prijavljivanje (u prilogu) do 14. oktobra i pošaljete ga Zorici Trikić, Program menadžerki i koordinatorki Romske mreže za rani razvoj (REYN), na e-mail:

Prijave koje budu podnesene po isteku roka neće biti uzete u razmatranje.

Napomena: Imajući u vidu da je potrebno da pravovremeno obezbedimo šengenske vize za učesnike kojima bi one bile potrebne, nismo u mogućnosti da produžimo rok za prijavljivanje.

Samo prijave koje dostave članovi REYNa biće uzete u razmatranje; ukoliko još niste postali član mreže, potrebno je da se registrujete slanjem e-mejla na:, pre nego što pošaljete svoju prijavu za učešće na obuci.

Napominjemo da će se obuka izvoditi na engleskom i srpskom jeziku u dve paralelne grupe.

Prijave će se razmatrati u Savetodavnoj grupi Romske mreže za rani razvoj i ISSA Timu do 16. oktobra i na osnovu podataka iz prijava biće izabrano maksimum 50 kandidata za učešće na obuci (25 u grupi koja će raditi na engleskom jeziku i 25 u grupi na srpskom jeziku). Ukoliko se prijavljujete za obuku u grupi na srpskom jeziku, Formular za prijavljivanje možete popuniti na srpskom jeziku.

Svi podnosioci prijava biće obavešteni o rezultatima putem elektronske pošte najkasnije do 17 oktobra.

Radujemo se prijemu Vaših prijava i mogućnosti da Vam pružimo jedno inspirativno i uzbudljivo profesionalno iskustvo!
Zorica Trikic
ISSA Senior Program Manager and REYN Coordinator
2 Formular za prijavljivanje- REYN Trening

3 Kratak opis treninga