REYN Reconnected and Strategized on the Future Actions
There is a lack of quality in early childhood services for Romani children in Europe. This is what Roma and non-Roma professionals have echoed at the Romani Early Years Network (REYN) Strategic meeting in Zagreb, Croatia last week. Over 50 REYN members from 11 countries met there to strategize on how to improve the lives of young Romani children in Europe.
Educators, social workers, policy experts, government representatives and professionals in early childhood development participated in the event on 14-16 October. For the network, it was a chance to reconnect and strategize on future actions. Special attention was dedicated to listening to Roma professionals. They shared their direct experiences and explained why it is important to give a voice to the Roma community.
“Thanks to the Romani Early Years Network, I don’t feel alone anymore,” said Fatime Karamani, REYN Belgium member. When she fled the war in Kosovo in the late 1990s, she was still a child. She reached Belgium with her family and was given the refugee status. “Me and my family where on our own, we did not speak the language and did not know who to turn to for help.”
Today Fatime works for Kind en Gezin – the national agency for children and families in Belgium. She assists mothers and babies – both Roma and non-Roma – in vulnerable situations.
Other National Networks from Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine also joined and exchanged their experiences during the meeting. REYN international was delighted to receive sincere notes of appreciation from the delegates.
Read more about the meeting on the REYN website here.