The new centre (kindergarten for up to 12 children between 3-5 years old) in the Roma neighbourhood of Fakulteta (Sofia, Bulgaria) is the first step of FSCI's Early Years Education Programme, which aims at reducing the school drop-out rate among Roma children and so increase access to education for this vulnerable group. This first project of the programme aims at providing a safe place where the children and their parents will be able to receive care,training,support and encouragement.
There is a tendency of early dropping out of Roma children from the educational system (primary school). This determines the future development and social inclusion of those children, their access to labor market, and also shows the motivation (rather the lack of motivation) of these children's parents regarding the importance of education.
This project aims at providing a safe place where children from the Roma community of Faculteta will be able to receive care, training, support and encouragement, free of charge. Specialists in the field of pedagogy, psychology and social science will be part of the multi-ethnic programme team. We hope to improve the level of school attendance amongst Roma by creating a group of parents and families whose common goal is to see their children successfully attend primary school.
The activities included in the programme are aimed at reducing marginalisation in education and social adaptation in early childhood. By widening access to education, the Programme aims to help more Roma children overcome their disadvantages, break out of poverty and deprivation, and, in time, enable more Roma people to gain legitimate employment.