The Traveller and Romani Early Years Network was launched in Dublin on the 21st of June 2013. The network was launched in association with the Policy Forum and Conference hosted by EDeNn, the Irish Equality and Diversity Early Childhood National Network (www.edenn.org) on the 21st and 22nd of June. EDeNn works to support the inclusion of a comprehensive diversity and equality approach in early childhood care and education in the Irish sector. The new Traveller and Romani network will maintain a focus on the rights and needs of Traveller and Roma children and families within the early childhood care and education sector. The Irish Traveller and Romani Early Years Network is linked to the international Romani Early Years Network (REYN) and will engage with those European colleagues in furthering the aims of REYN. Several colleagues attended the event including Dr Adrian Marsh, a Romany-Traveller himself from the Open Society Foundations, which generously supported the Irish event. Financial support from OSF Early Childhood Programme also enabled Roma representatives Samanta Baranja from Slovenia and Miroslav Sklenka from Slovakia to attend the event. This is a very exciting and important initiative that comes at a time when the government of the Republic of Ireland falls short in their commitment to Traveller and Roma communities in early years care and education – as highlighted by the 2013 European Commission progress report on the national integration strategy for Travellers and Roma, in the Irish context (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/discrimination/news/130626_en.htm).
With support from the Developmental Research Center for Educational Initiatives, a national REYN network was launched in Slovenia in April 2013, in order to connect professionals, para-professionals and activists, who work with Roma children and their parents, and to promote successful integration of Roma children in regular pre-school education.
The purpose of this national network is to become an inclusive and professional learning community in which members, through joint work, develop a variety of skills, share experiences, promote best practices, establish effective partnerships and support their professional development.
The network is bringing together professionals involved in various activities in the field of early childhood education that take place within the project “Raising social and cultural capital in areas with Roma communities” (DSKK project). They were invited to join REYN Slovenia through various trainings and monthly follow-up activities that are implemented in the framework of the DSKK project. The aim is to broaden the network with members from various professional fields, to become advocates for equal opportunities and quality education for Romani children.
Within REYN Slovenia, there will be events that are primarily intended to promote the Slovenian and international REYN. We invite Roma and non-Roma professionals to become members of these networks for shared learning in the early childhood development field and to becoming ambassadors for Romani children’s learning and development on the national and international level.
For more information about REYN Slovenia contact: Samantha Baranja at firstname.lastname@example.org