Hundreds of thousands of children suffer extreme poverty throughout South Eastern Europe, with the majority living in Roma communities, where prostitution and criminal exploitation are rife.
These communities are often cut-off from the world outside through discrimination and lack of services. One crucial missing service is education – less than 10% of Bulgarian Roma children complete secondary school each year for example.
Thousands of Roma families cannot get access to crucial kindergartens for their children. Without this the children are shut out of the school system and so condemned to a life of poverty and desperation. Is it any wonder that these communities act like traps for those who are born and raised there?
Opening the school door
FSCI’s Early Years Education Programme provides a vital pathway for Roma children into school. It consists of special kindergartens tailored to individual communities.
A blend of experience and local community knowledge is essential; our teams have strong roots in the communities they work in and are the key to delivering successful programmes which have three shared priorities:
- Basic literacy, numeracy and creative play to prepare children for primary school.
- Encouraging families to keep their children learning and growing in confidence and capability. In this way we hope to decrease the number of young people drawn into prostitution and criminality through lack of options.
- Promoting the value of education in the surrounding community.
How you can help
We would be delighted to discuss school link-ups or business and church support for this new and vital programme. If you are part of a school, church, business or community group and think that you would like to get involved then please do get in touch.
For further information about the Early Years Education Programme, please contact Richard Parsons.