Roma in European Societies Initiative: Empowering Roma Leaders and Voices

The Roma Education Fund has joined a consortium of Velux Foundations, Open Society Foundation's Roma Initiatives Office and the Central European University to launch the Roma in European Societies initiative, a new interdisciplinary effort to support existing work to improve the inclusion of Roma in all sectors.
“I cannot emphasize enough the relevance of joint action in accelerating access to practical opportunities which will be fostered by the hub being created at CEU,” said REF Chair Andrzej Mirga.

Encompassing teaching and research, leadership development and community outreach, the initiative will create a Roma Chair in Roma Studies to oversee the inititiative. 

“This initiative has the potential to shift the landscape for Roma in Europe, serving as a European hub for integration excellence and supporting greater societal well-being and increased economic growth,” said Jens-Jørgen Pedersen, head of programs at Velux Foundation. 

Funded by the consortium for a total of five million euro, the initiative will initially run for five years, with the expected impact of creating some 75 Roma MA scholarships, supporting another 20 PhD student mentors, connecting 15 affiliated universities, with over 80 internships with governments, businesses and civil society organizations.

Director of the Roma Initiatives Office, Zeljko Jovanovic, observed, "This new initiative complements our wider work to support stronger leadership and voices among Roma as well as the effort to establish the European Roma Institute this spring together with the Council of Europe and the Alliance for European Roma Institute.”

The Roma Education Fund has supported the Roma Access Program at CEU since 2008, as well as implementing the Velux Pedagogy Scholarship for young Roma female teachers in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia since 2014.

For more news in full about this exciting new initiative, click here.