“Every Roma Child in Kindergarten: Building advocacy networks and evidence based practices for Roma Children’s access to early childhood development”

Donor: UNICEF – Albania

Partners in the initiative:

Observatory for Children Rights (OCR);

Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA)

Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)

Subject Area: Early Childhood Development policies and accountability of local governments.

The initiative “Every Roma Child in the Kindergarten”

The initiative “Every roma child in kindergarten: Building advocacy networks and evidence based practices for Roma Children’s access to early childhood development” aims to set up and support local networks for evidence based advocacy for Roma children early development, by working with social services (social workers) and other institutions that provide care and protection for children, NGO’s and other social partners.

Ensuring that Roma and non-Roma children alike receive an equal start in life is one of the main focuses of the cooperation between the Albanian Government and UNICEF. There is widespread agreement that previous efforts to improve social inclusion have not touched poor Roma children to the extent required. Compared to the majority population, living conditions of many Roma families and children remain extremely poor.

This project is designed to play an important role in providing periodical information, data and evidence collection, best practices exchange, gaps identified and analysed in policies implementation for the Roma inclusion, – which will result on road mapping practices.

The initiative focuses on the following interventions:

  1. Facilitate and foster alliances with the local authorities and Roma groups for the inclusion in pre-school education of Roma Children;
  2. Gather continuously data/evidence/good practices and gaps of implementation of policies for Roma children (based on a unified protocol for data and evidence collection);
  3. Prepare periodic action monitoring reports and to advocate for change and in support of Roma children inclusion in kindergartens;

It will implement a list of actions that targets the role, functions and duties of the local institutions in regards of issuing early social inclusion of Roma children in their locality.  These actions will be designed in a networking roles and duties of government and non-government actors, by producing and conducting permanent collection of data and evidence, case by case solution and exchange the best practices gained, identifying the gaps and finding the proper solution within the local actor’s roles and duties.

Through its network offices and staff the Organisations (CRCA, OCR and YWCA), engage to implement this project by monitoring and developing best practices for early childhood inclusion of Roma Children in each settlement when they are leaving, by covering all the 12 Regions (Qarks) of Albania.

The organisations have agreed among each other to divide the work on Qarks based on their existing networks, capacities and previous work carried out. The responsibilities to coordinate the work in each Region of Albania are divided as following:

–          Observatory for Children Rights: Dibër, Kukës, Fier, Vlorë and Rural Tirana

–          Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania: Elbasani, Korça, Gjirokastra and Urban Tirana

–          Young Women’s Christian Association: Shkodër, Lezhë, Durrës and Berat

This project will be made possible through this plan of activities:

–       Set up local contacts by organizing travel/ meetings with actors at the Qarks and local settlements where Roma community are living.

–       Develop a database of local actors working for early Roma child inclusion;

–       Training of Project Staff for all organizations;

–       Support the Roma Technical Secretariat;

–       Gather evidence, good practices and follow up (on-going during the entire year);

–       Mapping of services for Roma children (validation and updates);

–       Organize regional workshops in 12 regions of Albania;

–       Prepare periodic action monitoring reports on Roma children registration in kindergartens;

–       Build up a dialogue with head of communes / municipalities / DAR / regional social services/ Roma families / health regional services and local ones;

–       Follow up Roma children registration in kindergartens and report on issues of concern;

–       Award 3 “Best Local Government” and 3 “Best Staff” (health/social/CPU’s) prices in order to value responsive staff and institutions towards Roma children inclusion in kindergartens;

–       Build a unified database and a platform to register all the data;

–       Data entry and analysis of all the data from municipalities / communes / social administrators;

–       Prepare an analytical consolidated report on Roma early inclusion in pre-university education and access to other services;

Publicize the Report in a public event with national authorities

The Fact-sheet for this initiative can be found here (PDF 3.76MB)