School Enrolment and Community Action in Csörög

1st Prize 2009

Country: Hungary

Region: throughout Hungary

Fields of action: Kindergarten education, Criminality, Migration

Project owner: Chance for Children Foundation

Responsible person: Erzsebet Mohacsi

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What is it about?

Race and class based segregation in Hungarian schools – following trends in the CEE region – has increased since the political changeover. Over 700 schools segregate Roma/socially deprived children at class and school level. The project is about ensuring the equal access of Roma children living in Csörög to quality education in primary school in neighbouring towns and villages. The project sought to achieve this through community empowerment targeted mainly at Roma mothers and complemented by PR and legal defence work.

Appreciation of the Jury

Full use of the legal parameters, public denouncement and an energetic activation of those affected by the situation. This network has had a profound impact on the self-esteem of the dedicated women and subsequently on the Roma community itself, on the way the community is perceived by others, and on the actions of educational and political decision-makers. The Roma mothers become empowered through their own activities and compel those actors who seek to exclude them to be cautious – and to uphold the law. We wish the group every success.