Date: 28-03-2022

Educational opportunities for Roma parents are having a positive impact on their children

ISSA Member NGO KHAM is a North Macedonian civil organization that has been actively working in the East Bregalnica region for over 20 years and has implemented more than 60 projects related to the improvement of social, economic and cultural rights of Roma and other marginalized groups. 

Currently, NGO KHAM is involved in two educational projects supported by the Erasmus+ program, that have generated huge interest from the Roma community for their inclusion. These projects have shown how investment in adult learning enriches all aspects of their lives and has knock-on benefits for the families and young children of the Roma community, with lifelong positive effects. 

One participant in the program, Merlina, talks about how NGO KHAM's projects empowered her:

I have three children. With the acquisition of primary education, I got the opportunity for a better job, but also to apply for a driver's license. For the first time I feel that my life is organized and I gained many friends through training. Now I have more time for my family, I earn more income and I can look after my children, who are somehow closer to me." 

New Chance for Us: adult education and inclusion of the Roma population

The New Chance for Us project was started in November 2019. The program aims to cover people from vulnerable groups who have not attended formal education in order to help them acquire basic competencies and skills that will facilitate their inclusion in the labor market, as well as help them integrate more easily into the societies in which they live. 

NGO KHAM Delchevo is implementing the New Chance project in partnership with POU Cakovec (project leader), LU Lendava Slovenia, POU Vanco Prke Macedonia, Zvedza Preporod Slovenia and Uzor Croatia. 

There has been huge interest from people in vulnerable groups to get involved in training and educational programs in order to acquire and boost certain skills. This is because large parts of the population have been unable to complete their formal education, and in some municipalities, there are even people who have not attended any education at all.  

The adult learning program, New Chance for Us differs from the existing curriculum for primary education in that it contains the most basic concepts and skills, important for performing important daily tasks. These are shown through practical examples that are easily understood by people from disadvantaged groups.  

In addition, job trainings provided employment opportunities, as well as information on how Romani women can take care of their reproductive health and have a healthy motherhood. This in turn has a crucial impact on the health and well-being of their young children. 

We feel proud that through the project we were able to select participants who successfully acquired basic skills that will help them in their everyday lives — such as completing their primary education. In addition to making their everyday lives easier, these skills will empower them and benefit them and their children for years to come. 

DigiUp: empowering primary schools with inclusive digital education  

In partnership with organizations from Croatia and Slovenia, NGO KHAM is also participating in DigiUP, a project that aims to empower primary schools to provide high-quality inclusive digital education for Roma pupils, thus enabling them to be equally involved in distance learning.  

Digitalization training has also helped parents learn how to use smartphones and social networks to communicate with children up to the age of 10 while in school. The social competency training also helped Roma parents learn how to encourage their children to go to school.  

Read more about the activities of NGO KHAM here.


Author: Romina Abdulov, Administrative Associate of  NGO KHAM Delchevo Macedonia