Supporting the education and integration of marginalized children in the Roma settlement “Bangladesh” in Serbia
During a number of humanitarian actions carried out by our organization THE WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE (in Serbian: “PUT-ISTINA-ŽIVOT”), it became clear that the Roma population, especially the children and young adolescents, are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized population groups in Serbia. The lack of (basic and occupational) education appears to be one of the main causes of poverty and social exclusion of this group.
We believe that educational projects, including the extra-curricular ones, are of great importance for the future Roma children. Through various forms of training, educational workshops, playrooms, courses and lectures, we can offer additional education to the children and youth. Furthermore, we can teach them the benefits of education and let them experience the beauty of learning. For these reasons, our humanitarian organization has decided to put lot of effort and resources to help Roma children, teenagers and young adolescents get access to different forms of informal training. We hope this will enrich their learning potentials and facilitate their progress in formal stages of the education. In the period 2020-2021, this will be our main field of activities.
The idea is to establish a children educational and cultural center in the Roma settlement called “Bangladesh”, a shanty town at the outskirt of the city of Novi Sad (Serbia). One of the first steps was to provide space and shelter where courses and workshops could be held. Luckily, in January 2020 one donor provided us with two old cargo containers. After having done building works on the foundations, we have started with renovation-adaptation of the two neglected containers which are meant to be a room for the Children’s Cultural and Educational Cenre – The WAY (in Serbian: ”PUT”). The premises have recently been fully renovated, again thanks to the suport and encouragement of our friends from Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands, and are ready for commissioning. We do hope the Center will open soon. However, in order for it to be fully operational it needs basic furniture and training equipment. We do hope the Center will open soon. However, in order for it to be fully operational it needs basic furniture and training equipment.
(https://photos.app.goo.gl/HiMACRqpYB6aRXas9 – building and refurbishing the Children’s Center in ‘Bangladesh”.)
The Centre will start with providing training for children and youth with later extension of the activities to adults and elderly members of the local society (Roma settlement is characterized by a strong sense of belonging to the group and with strong intermember ties). The target group are children of the following ages:
• PRESCHOOL CHILDREN (age group 5-7 years)
• SCHOOL AGE GROUPS of CHILDREN (8-12 years and 12-16 years)
• YOUNG ADOLESCNTS (17-20 years)
To begin with, we plan to launch a pilot-project during the summer school holidays. We will start with a course on computer literacy. The programme of this course will be adjusted to each of the specific age groups. The classes will be held each week. The whole course will last 24 weeks over a period of six months. Afterwards we will evaluate the results of the course (around Christmas time) and then we will decide on the continuation of the project in 2021.
For the implementation of a pilot project on computer literacy of young Roma people, we count on the support of our friends and donors. Without such help we cannot purchase the equipment for the Centre and hire teaching staff.
A.Equipment needed for the Centre :
• Tables (5) and chairs (10)
• Five used, good working computers (or second-hand laptops)
• Video projector + projection screen
• Extension cords
• Two electric heaters
We estimate that the equipment listed can be purchased at the local second-hand market for 2000 Euro. Thise cost items could be neglected in case that donations are made in the form of equipment (in-kind).
B. Operating (variable) costs for the implementation of the pilot project:
• Hiring teachers (three hours per week, each hour at 15 Euro) will cost 45 Euro
per week i.e. 200 Euro per month;
• Transport costs (fuel) for one month: 40 Euro
• Costs for internet and electricity on a monthly base: 60 Euro
The operating costs are estimated to be 300 Euro/month or 1800 Euro for 6 months of the pilot project .
C. Other costs (printing diploma’s, drinking water in bottles, snacks, etc..) are
estimated to be 600 Euro for 6 months
TOTAL COSTS of the PILOT PROJECT (A+B+C ) = 4,400 Euros
Diplomas and attendance certificates will be provided for all participants of the web school and IT training. We do hope that the acquired knowledge and skills (and diplomas) will be relevant assets and a helpful recommendation for every student in the later stages of their life, particularly in their social integration and integration into the labour market.
As part of this pilot project, some assistance will also be provided to parents of pre-school children in enrolling regular pre-school institution (kindergarden). We also intend to support and encourage parents of school-age children to timely enroll their children in primary and secondary schools.
Other work within this project will include monthly parent meetings, home visits, humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable, counselling and assistance in exercising various social rights.
Next to the computer training and the related activities, our organisation intends to develop diverse cultural programms for Roma children and youth in Bangladesh. We already have started talks and negotiations with a number on NGOs (and with the local authorities-municipality of Novi Sad) about organisation of some cultural activities for children and teenagers in the settlement, as well as for their parents.
Without you encouragement and your help these plans and children’s’ dreams will not be accomplished. Therefore, we invite you to be a part of this project and to support it financially. Please donate as ONLY by working TOGETHER we can provide a better future for these wonderful children, in whom huge potential is hidden.
Please donate by using the following bank details:
Beneficiary bank: Addiko bank a.d. Beograd
Name of beneficiary: Humanitarno udruzenje – PUT, ISTINA i ZIVOT
Addresa of beneficiary: Beograd, Mirijevski venac 22/3, Republic of Serbia
For donations in Euro
IBAN code: RS35165000701149679706
Swift/BIC code: HAABRSBG
For donations in US dolars
Swift/BIC code: HAABRSBG