Minorities at the UN: Improve access to early childhood services for Roma in Europe
The Roma Education Fund (REF), an NGO based in Budapest, Hungary gave a presentation at a side event arranged by the OHCHR and chaired by MRG, that complemented the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. REF works on closing the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma children in 14 different countries in Europe.
Beata Bislim Olahova, represented REF at the event and spoke about their programme on early childhood education that aimed at getting Roma mothers involved and mobilizing Roma women within their communities. Only 1 Roma child to every 4 non-Roma children complete primary school in Hungary.
Olahova argues for the importance of access to early childhood services. REF’s Goodstart programmes aims to ensure this access and also improve parenting practices. Many Roma women have had negative experiences with formal education due to barriers to language, discrimination and other forms of exclusion. Socio-economic barriers also hinder women from completing formal education. Research has shown, said Olahova, that mothers with higher levels of education are more likely to send their children to school.
Click on the link below to download Olahova's presentation.