Medjimurje - 19-20 May 2015 -- While access to pre-school education for Roma children in Medjimurje has been visiblly improving in the past decade, segregation remains a huge challenge to be overcome, as discussed at the final assessment roundtable of the CDRSEE's Uniting Differences project.
Employment opportunities for Roma who have been successful in their education is another important missing link for closing the cycle of integration, explained Držan Srpak, the mayor of Mursko Središće, who took part in the assessment event.
A roundtable discussion, part of the evaluation event, was organised by the CDRSEE in Sveti Martin on 20 May 2015. Many good results were achieved with the Uniting Differences project, but important problems remain unresolved, as was discussed by local authorities, pre-school principals and teachers, as well as Roma representatives, local NGOs and international organisations, such as UNDP and the Open Society Institute.
All Roma representatives pointed out that opportunities for Roma to access education in their mother tongue is one of the most urgent educational needs in order to prevent a negative assimilation. Another suggestion was to introduce training for young Roma in proposal writing and project management. This would enable them to form NGOs, which however would also imply that funds are available that do not rely on the pre-financing of projects and that keep bureaucracy to the bare minimum.