REF Grantees Win Roma Inclusion Awards for the Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Commission DG Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations announced the winners of the second edition of the EU Roma Integration Award for the Western Balkans and Turkey on March 28, 2017. Five of 13 nominees were current REF grantees running education projects to contribute to Roma inclusion and improve the lives of Roma children and youth in the Western Balkans. This award aims to underline the EU’s determination and commitment to enhance the social inclusion of Roma.

The European Commission DG Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations announced the winners of the second edition of the EU Roma Integration Award for the Western Balkans and Turkey on March 28, 2017. Five of 13 nominees were current REF grantees running education projects to contribute to Roma inclusion and improve the lives of Roma children and youth in the Western Balkans. This award aims to underline the EU’s determination and commitment to enhance the social inclusion of Roma. Winners with projects supported by the Roma Education Fund include: 

  • From Albania, ARSIS, the Social Organisation for the Support of Youth, won second place for its work to improve educational achievements of Roma and Egyptian ninth-graders and their follow up until high school graduation.
  • From Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Association of Young Psychologists received second place for its project Education for All.
  • From Macedonia, the Roma Resource Centre won first place for its tutoring support for Roma children in primary school.
  • From Kosovo, the Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians won first prize for its after-school support centers and Advancing Together won second prize for its Kosovo RomaVersitas program.

REF is particularly pleased to acknowledge student photographers Albijon Neziraj and Rabija Dukleaj from Montenegro. Last spring, together with eight other students, they participated in visual literary workshops run by Picture Change and supported in-kind by REF. Their fantastic photography about Roma lives in Podgorica decorated the event hall.  

REF would like congratulate everyone for their hard work on the behalf of Roma children and families that has brought about recognition with the Commission in Brussels. REF’s network staff are exceptionally proud of the accomplishments and achievements of our grantees who have contributed to closing the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma and evidence of the difference that even small investments in Roma education can make to children’s lives.

Stay tuned for REF’s upcoming 2016 Annual Report that will bring specific evidence of REF’s contribution to Roma educational outcomes in the upcoming weeks that will outline the work of award-winning grantees like these.

March 28, 2017