MINELRES: Roma Education Fund Donor Conference 11-12 November 2009, Brussels. Press Release

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Nov 14 20:10:03 2009

Original sender: Bodoczky Valeria <vbodoczky@romaeducationfund.org>

Dear Colleauges, 
I hereby inform you that the Roma Education Fund Donor Conference  is
over /11-12 November 2009, Brussels/, 
information in nutshell is in the press release, for further information
please visit our websites.
Kind regards,

Valeria Bodoczky
Donor Conference Coordinator
Roma Education Fund


Press Release 
Roma education to get crucial boost in funding 
Contact: Luis Montero, +44 (20) 70311704, +44 (77) 98737516,
Alexander Rowland +32 25040992; arowland@worldbank.org 

BRUSSELS 12 November 2009 – At an international donor conference hosted
by the Open Society Institute, the World Bank and the European Economic
and Social Coimmittee, donors swung their financial support behind
education for the Roma, Europe ’s largest minority population. The ˆ25.5
million in funding commitments announced by donors today is targeted for
the Roma Education Fund (REF) and will provide the essential ingredients
needed for children to succeed in school: scholarships, school meals,
teacher training and academic support. The added financial support will
also help governments develop stronger national policies for Roma

“Roma want to contribute to society. They want to improve the lives of
their children and give them a better life than they had. The most
important factor that keeps so many Roma trapped in poverty is a lack of
education; with increased political will and improved cooperation we can
tackle this problem head-on,” said George Soros, chairman of the Open
Society Institute and one of the founders of the Roma Education Fund. 

The REF is a grant-making and policy analysis foundation established in
2005 that designs and supports programmes and projects to improve Roma
education outcomes in Europe . With help from the Fund, last year alone
over 30,000 students, from pre-school to university, showed improved
test scores while more than 800 Roma students attended and graduated
from university. 

Roma continue to face discrimination and exclusion from opportunities
available to most citizens. They often lack access to good quality
education or other social services, holding low quality and low-paying

“The primary school completion rate among young Roma is similar to that
prevailing in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This strikes me as
something that does not belong in the Europe of the 21 st century”, said
the World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. 

The amount committed today will enable the REF to continue closing the
gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma children by
supporting quality education for Roma, desegregation of education
systems, and improvement of Roma’s social inclusion. “The REF has
identified what works in Roma education. The time has come to move to
large scale interventions,” said Costel Bercus, chair of the REF
governing board. 



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