Date: 14-04-2014

New REYN Manifesto

It is time to call for no more lost Romani and Traveller generations

  • The Romani Early Years Network (REYN) launches its Manifesto, in which practitioners working with Romani and Traveller children, families and communities raise their voice against the social exclusion and inequality these groups suffer, sharing their vision and dreams for the future.
  • The Romani Early Years Network, launched by ISSA in 2012 in partnership with the Open Society Foundations’ Early Childhood Program, is already active in 18 European countries, serving as a useful platform for practitioners from Romani, Traveller and other backgrounds to learn from each other, share their experiences and improve their competences and practices.

“We believe that no child should have to face the challenges imposed as a result of social inequality, economic exclusion, racial prejudice and cultural marginalization which young Romani and Traveller girls and boys go through in the majority of the countries they live in”, states the Manifesto. To raise awareness about the situation of Romani and Traveller children, their families and communities in contemporary Europe and also to showcase examples of good practice and positive effects of high-quality early childhood services, in October 2012 ISSA has launched the Romani Early Years Network (REYN). REYN is an open learning community and platform which supports the professional development of practitioners who work with Romani children and who are willing to break cultural and geographical borders, networking with peers around Europe while delivering quality, inclusive and inter-cultural early childhood development services at home. The change has already begun and today they raise their voice to advocate for respect and equity regardless of ethnic origin. In their Manifesto, both Romani and non-Romani practitioners pledge for the promotion of inclusive and anti-bias approaches in the early years of Romani and Traveller children demonstrating that health, social and educational services can be child-friendly and welcoming to parents. They are all committed to supporting the voices of Romani and Traveller families and children to be heard by professionals, policymakers and politicians, believing that they should be proud of the beauty of Romani culture and of their identities. The members of the network are joining their efforts so that in the coming future, finally, there will be no more lost Romani and Traveller generations. ISSA is a vibrant network that connects professionals and non-profit organizations working in the field of early childhood development. Established in the Netherlands in 1999, ISSA’s community today stretches across the globe with its more than 50 members primarily located in Europe and Central Asia. Building upon the Step by Step Program initiated by the Open Society Foundations in 1994, ISSA aims to ensure equal access to quality care and education for all young children from birth to 10 years old. This mission is implemented through three main pillars of action: equal access for all children; promoting high-quality and professionalism in early years services and empowering parents and communities to be part of the children’s development and learning. For more information on the REYN network and their Manifesto, click here.