On June 29 in Haskovo a National conference on the project “Empowerment of Roma “Women for Roma Children Education” was held.
The aim of the event was to present the results of the project and to create a space for sharing ideas and good practices for interaction with parents in support of children’s education.
Representatives of local authorities, social and educational institutions and NGOs from the country took part in the final conference.
In the first part of the event, the partner organizations presented the results of the activities they have carried out in their regions. Iliana Toteva, the school advisor at “Nikola Y. Vaptsarov” Primary School, Haskovo, told about the family group conferences that were organized for children from the school within the project. Gergana Encheva from Gavroche Association presented the “Schools for Parents” held in Varna. Arso Ganev from the Know-How Center for Alternative Child Care talked about the work in the community in Kyustendil.
In the second part of the conference Maria Petkova presented the model Family group conferences, focusing on the effect of its application in the field of education.
Maria Gineva from “Future for Children” Association, Kazanlak shared the experience of the organization in the work on the model “Sure Start”, as a successful practice for interaction with parents in support of early childhood development.
At the end of the conference Antoaneta Mateeva from the NHC, project evaluator, presented the effect of the activities in the three regions.
Evaluation data show that after the participation in the project activities the parents have developed better parenting skills and they have become more concerned about children’s attendance and success in school. The support of the parents in developing their parental role and in understanding the meaning and benefits of education for their children has a direct effect on increasing the presence, success and participation of children in school and extracurricular activities. The models for working with parents – “School for Parents” and FGC help build trust between the representatives of the Roma community and the educational institutions and create conditions for more in-depth and focused on children’s education work with Roma families.
The project started in 2018 and was implemented by 5 partner organizations – Opportunity and Protection Association, Haskovo, Gavroche Association, Varna, Know-How Center for Alternative Child Care at NBU, Tulip Foundation, Sofia and ERIO, Brussels . Its aim was to raise awareness among members of the Roma community, in particular Roma women, of the role of education for the better future of their children, as well as to improve their competences to support their children’s education.
For the two years of the project 30 “Schools for parents”, 30 Family Group Conferences (FGC), 14 meetings-discussions with parents and youths, a youth football tournament, 60 consultations have been organised in the three target regions – Haskovo, Varna and Kyustendil. A total number of about 1,100 representatives of the Roma community and 160 specialists participated in the project activities.