Roma communities face extreme hardships, oftentimes living in abject poverty, without proper legal documents and with little access to schooling, employment, health care or dignified housing. Children living or working on the streets are highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation, forced labor or human trafficking. As political and legal pressures force many Roma to return to Serbia from elsewhere in Europe, the country’s social welfare systems struggle to keep up with the influx.
Our staff have developed longstanding on-the-ground relationships, allowing for the growth of grassroots initiatives and unique programs that help address growing needs, particularly around education access for children and adults. For children, we aim to reduce risks, and increase social and educational inclusion. For adults, we work to increase literacy rates, improve quality of life and assist social and economic integration of Roma women — one of the most vulnerable groups in Serbia. We organize vocational trainings and workshops for women who finish primary education, positioning them for economic stability.