Educational and recreational programme for refugees, IDPs and Roma children in Serbia
|Location:||Republic of Serbia|
|Target group:||Children and youth from refugee centers, Roma children of the IDPs from Kosovo|
|Activities:||Educational and recreational workshops for children and youth who are refugees and IDPs and live in collective centers, educational program for the pre-school preparation of Roma children, recreational activities: excursions, travels, cultural programs, etc.|
|Number of beneficiaries:||200 beneficiaries per year|
|Period:||2007 – present|
The goal of this project is the integration of refugees and IDPs, as well as Roma children, through informal forms of educational, recreational and social activities.
The program is implemented in five collective centers in South East Serbia, where there are unfavorable conditions for the proper growth and development of children – these collective centers are located in poor municipalities, often in isolated areas, and where residential housing is in poor conditions.
In the workshops, the children brainstorm themes and other content which they themselves choose and adapt to their needs and desires. Communication, peaceful conflict resolution, emotions, love, assertiveness, needs, as well as the prevention of addiction, children’s rights, healthy lifestyles, relaxation techniques, and elements of general culture, acting, music, and other creative activities which are just a part of the contents which are being worked through in the workshops. Additionally, children and youth have the opportunity to visit cultural and historical monuments and other landmarks and institutions of importance for integration and education.
The component of the program intended for displaced Roma children is aimed at integrating them into the local community, primarily through education and involvement in the educational system. A small number of local Roma children from the poorest families are also involved in the activity.
Preschool preparation and assistance in enrolling kindergarten and primary school, compensatory work with school children, as well as preparation and involvement in the educational system for children who have outgrown the age for enrollment in the first grade or who have dropped out of school are the main activities of this component of the program, which is implemented in Novi Sad in partnership with the Association of Roma Students in Železnik, in partnership with the Association “Romany Life” in Obrenovac, in partnership with the Humanitarian Center “Rom” in Kraljevo, in partnership with the Association “Hands of Friendship” in Vranjska Banja, in partnership with the Roma Cultural Center in Preševo, in partnership with the Association “Narajan” and in Novi Pazar. In addition to participation in educational activities, children receive meals and books for school, and the most vulnerable families even hygiene packages.
We work with commisions for refugees, social work centers, schools, kindergartens, school administrations, local governments, as well as other international and local organizations with the aim of improving the position of children and young people and their integration.
The program has approximately 1300 direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Financed by the UNHCR, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. (www.unhcr.org)