New child center contributes to breaking poverty cycle of Roma
The recent opening of a new child center in Korcas (Albania) was attended by authorities from the municipality of Korca, Public Health Directorate, different NGOs and the media. The new building with two classrooms, a separate kitchen and consultation room for the doctor replaced the old building that didn't provide the children an optimal environment for studying. Thirty Roma children between 6 and 13 years will be supported here during after school hours with their homework, other activities that stimulate their development such as creative activities and a warm meal. This will lead to better integration of Roma in greater society.
Roma have a history of exclusion in Albania, as elsewhere in Europe. One of the causes that compromise social growth and development of Roma community in Korca is the lack of basic school education. Many Roma are illiterate and they can't afford to send their children to school due to widespread poverty. In addition to the unaffordable costs of education, many children are required to contribute to household income by begging or working with their parents.
There are also other barriers, preventing Roma children to go to school and have good school results. For instance, there is often a great distance between home and school, children have little knowledge of the Albanian language when they start primary school because they only speak Romani at home, and mistreatment of Roma children by teachers. Roma children are instructed to stay at the back of the classroom and receive more frequent punishment than other children.
Through this project children are supported to attend school and perform well, which gives them the chance to develop their full potential and break the cycle of poverty.