Education is one of the most important pillars for every society. However marginalized communities often face different obstacles when it comes to education. How to support them? One of the examples of good practice is Roma Versitas Kosovo.
Roma Versitas Kosovo is an academic services and support program for Roma university students, with the aim to improve the retention, performance and graduation levels of Roma students by providing them with academic tutoring, mentoring and strengthening of their Roma identity and pride.
The Roma Versitas model also serves as a bridge for young Roma scholars towards employment and active community participation.
RV Kosovo in 2013 offered services to 40 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian students, where later it was able to increase number up to 80 students for academic year.
“This was not enough because during the years the number of students from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities has increased over 250 students in all public and private universities, and RV Kosovo has funds to support only 80 students. During last 8 years RVK has offered services to more than 600 students, during this year 70 students graduated successfully in different field of studies as, Education, Law, Political Science, Architecture, Arts, and Medicine etc.” – it is explained by RVK.
Beside the numbers the importance of this kind support is shown in the reactions of the students.
“You are the biggest supporters in my career. Thank you a lot, you are the academy Roma Versitas Kosovo!” – is just one of the comments of the newly graduated students.
RVK further explains, highlighting again that their programs are not giving only academic support: “Most RAE students are coming from not educated families where an education tradition doesn’t exist, also the families don’t have good standing economically and financially, RVK also is in constant contact with donors who can support students where we are doing referrals for financial support for the students in need, unfortunately this number, it’s high.”
“We also offer them inspiration for education and also prepare them for the labor market through soft skills that we offer to them.”
It is not a surprise that the RVK’s message to the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian youth in regard of the education is that they must study.
“They must study and work hard in order to create a bright future for themselves and their families, with proper education and knowledge we can support our self and our families and communities,” they concluded.
What is their message to the general public in regard to this topic but also in regard to the International Romani Day which was just recently celebrated?
“In next 50 years, we expect that majority of RAE communities will have their representatives not only in local and central institutions, also to have well educated professionals that represent Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in EU Parliament!” – is RVK’s message.
Let’s support our fellow citizens in this goal!
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