The educational gap is increasing between mainstream and marginalised (mainly Roma) children in Hungary, which the current school system and social support systems are unable to cope with. Roma children face not only the disadvantages of poverty but also racial prejudice, resulting in school segregation.
Invisible Study Hall
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Poverty, Non-formal education, Ethnicity
Project owner: Rosa Parks Alapítvány (Rosa Parks Foundation)
Responsible person: Dóra Dalma
The Invisible Study Hall project provides after-school educational services to marginalised Roma children aged 5-18. The focus includes, individual skills development, mentoring, group activities to develop social skills, and free-time activities. A holistic approach is taken, incorporating numerous volunteers, and developing partnerships with parents and helping families in crisis.
Two full-time and two part time social workers coordinate the project activities, keep in touch with the parents and support families’ well-being. These workers also manage 41 volunteers (from all spheres of life). The project currently involves 78 children as well as employees, volunteers, and parents, all of which form a community and work together as partners.
The children who joined the program nine years ago in kindergarten have continued their studies into secondary school. The project has similarly helped in housing and income crises and supports the enrolment of 5-8 children in non-segregated schools each year. The Invisible Study Hall project has become a supportive community, resulting in a shared identity.
The project largely relies on volunteer work, thus making it possible to increase the reach. Due to the fact that volunteers are highly qualified (mainly middle-class people), different social groups can easily meet.