About the Association

The Association of Roma Students - Ćidipe e Rromane Studentonengo is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation founded in December 2000. It is the only Roma student organisation in Serbia, and has got 40 members.

The association is engaged in solving the most basic existential, educational, social, health and cultural problems of the Roma population. Roma students, associates and volunteers are involved in the implementation of projects. By engaging volunteers, the association tries to develop a positive attitude towards acquiring knowledge with the Roma living in the settlements with unhygienic conditions, and thus enable the acquired knowledge to stay in the settlements permanently.

So far, significant results have been achieved in solving the problems in the unhygienic settlements, in the fields of preventive health care, teaching writing and reading, directing Roma children to the educational institutions, improving difficult living conditions, through a significant number of humanitarian and development projects.

The donors have been: Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation, Duga, Tabita, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), Fund for an Open Society, UNHCR, Italian Consortium of Solidarity, Malteser, as well as the state institutions.

Projects of the Association of Roma Students :

Health Education of Romas - the aim of the project is health education and prevention, with the special emphasis on children aged 0 - 7 (IOCC, 2001). During our activities of health education, directly in the field, most of 2,500 inhabitants of Veliki Rit settlement were involved. The activities were directed towards an organised removal of garbage and deratisation, in cooperation with the public companies "Cistoca" and "Ciklonizacija". It is interesting to mention that Veliki Rit settlement was built on a former waste disposal site, and as such, it was unhygienic, and without the sewage and water supply system. It was a source of infections. During the implementation of the project, the image of the settlement started to improve. The inhabitants of the settlement themselves talk about that: "We were aware of the problems in this settlement, but we did not know how to solve them."

University in the Eyes of Romas - the aim is motivating the primary and secondary school Roma children to continue their education, and the preparation for sitting the enrolment exams for secondary schools and University (Fund for an Open Society, 2002). Secondary schools, Novi Sad University Rector's Office, Department for Education, Culture and Science, the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina's Department for Ethic Minorities, the Ministry of Education, NGOs (as a logistic support), and media participated in the implementation of the project.

Results: 15 secondary school students enrolled in the School for Kindergarten Teachers, 2 students enrolled in the Law Faculty, 1 in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, 1 in the Business School, 9 primary school pupils enrolled in the 4-year secondary schools (in this way, they will be able to enrol in the University later on).

Health Education of Romas in Veliki Rit and Banglades Settlements - this project was a logical continuation of the project "Health Education of Romas". As part of the programme "Integrated Care for Romas through Novi Sad Health Institutions", the Association prepared the vaccination of the children, and implemented the health education of the inhabitants of the settlements (Malteser, 2003, 2004)

Roma School in Veliki Rit - the programme of support to the Roma children from Veliki Rit for the integration in the education institutions (UNHCR, ICS, 2004).

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