About The Project

A Few Words

About Us

The situation of Roma has increasingly become the center of political attention for Europe. Roma – Europe’s largest minority of about 10 to 12 million people – 300.000 of whom reside in Greece – are very often the victims of racism, discrimination and social exclusion and live in deep poverty. Despite the concern voiced at the international and European levels, most recent surveys conducted by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency show that the Roma situation in Greece is more dire now than ever before. 

Greek Roma (96%) live in deep poverty which is on par with the poorest areas of the world. A more striking result indicates that “[i]n Greece, almost every second [Roma] person (47%) lives in a household in which a person had to go to bed hungry at least once in the preceding month”1. How is a child to perform well in school when hungry?

Why this Project

A New Approach to an Existing Problem

This project constitutes the very first attempt of the Greek educational system – represented by the relevant organization of the Ministry of Education – to undertake a whole school approach to the social inclusion of Roma. Although, the inclusive school approach is a methodology that has been employed jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Union for the support of the Roma in a number of countries that are still challenged by Roma social exclusion – such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, the Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom – its potential still remains unknown in Greece. The main objective of the INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS FOR ROMA project is to address the specific need of Roma students for educational social inclusion by presenting a model of democratic and inclusive school development which is based on human rights principles and guidelines for intercultural learning. The INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS FOR ROMA project will work directly with Greek schools to support and address the education needs of Roma students.

Harsh reality
In Greece, Roma communities live in conditions of extreme marginalization, social exclusion, poverty and discrimination. Their integration into society remains a protracted and unresolved challenge.
Making the difference

Our Impact

Schools are a fundamental part of the path to a more inclusive society.

Schools are a micro-cosmos of society. They are social spaces where children from different social and cultural backgrounds meet. Schools can deliberately create opportunities to get to know each other, to learn together, to cooperate and to build peer relationships. If schools do not proactively create an inclusive environment, they might send messages that tend to reinforce social hierarchies by reproducing patterns of exclusion, marginalization and discrimination at micro-level. Today, in this school environment, it is no longer adequate for teachers to merely learn how to be sensitive to their “different” Roma students and their culture(s); the school community must practice the habits of transformative praxis and social agency. Thus, the main expected impact of the INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS FOR ROMA project is that the school environment cease to put the responsibility on Roma children and blame their way of life as an obstruction in integrating in the school system; instead, the INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS FOR ROMA project aims to deliver tailored support to Roma children at risk – both in terms of pedagogical help and individual counselling – and to create the conditions so as to engage Roma parents in a meaningful way in schools and educational activities, so as to help address the risk of early drop outs.

The INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS FOR ROMA project will contribute to the development of democratic and inclusive schools that successfully:

Welcome Roma children to the school and help them integrate, particularly at the start of the school year
Tailor the curriculum to the needs of Roma children and reform teaching material appropriately
Adapt teaching methods to make the school more interesting for Roma children
Facilitate communication between the school and Roma parents
Foster a school climate conductive to intercultural communication between Roma and non-Roma, based on mutual understanding and recognition
Deal with the bullying problems reported by Roma families
What to Expect

The improved institutional capacity of schools in areas with the presence of Roma populations is expected to exert an impact and produce results and developments in a number of fields that relate to Roma educational attainment


Greater attentiveness to the integration of Roma children in school and in the local community


Higher pre-school and primary school enrolment rates


Successful monitoring and combating of irregular attendance and school drop-out


Successful monitoring of the attendance of school-aged returned Roma children


Enhanced communication and cooperation between schools and parents, and between schools and the wider community


Successful patterns of cooperation with Roma initiatives and organisations


Development of synergies with existing in-community support structures [such as afternoon classes, sports activities, counselling or mediation mechanisms]

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