Published: 19/04/2013 10:47
There are about 10 to 12 million Roma people in Europe and most are EU citizens. However, they have faced generations of social and institutional discrimination.
© shutterstock.com - Tom Wang
The Roma are largest and oldest minority group in Europe and for more than a thousand years, they have been an integral part of European civilisation. But today, they are also the ethnic group experiencing the highest levels of poverty and social exclusion across Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The Roma continue to be excluded from fully participating in economic, social, political and cultural life and from enjoying a standard of living and well being that is considered normal in the society in which they live.
Who are the Roma?
The Roma are a European people of Indian origin, whose ancestors left the Ganges valley around 800 years ago. They live today throughout the world, but mainly in Europe.
"Personally, I consider myself first a person, then a Serbian citizen of Roma origin. We are all first of all persons, then citizens, and then Europeans: don’t waste your time feeding up prejudices; there are more interesting things to do and to discover in life!"
Djordje Jovanovic, Serbian citizen of Roma origin
Decade of Roma Inclusion
From 2005 to 2015, the Decade of Roma Inclusion represents a political commitment by European governments to improve the status and social inclusion of Roma. The Decade links governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as Romani civil society. The main priorities of this initiative are: education, employment, health, and housing.
Roma Education Fund Scholarship Programme
The Roma Education Fund Scholarship is merit-based and is awarded for one academic year (with the possibility of renewal) to Roma students in the course of obtaining a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD.
The aim of the scholarship is to promote the academic mobility of Roma students and support their academic integration internationally.
To find out how to apply, and when the next deadlines are visit the scholarship page.
Join the young Roma
If you are a young Roma person or simply wish to help their cause, the International Roma Youth Network brings together organisations from the countries with the biggest Roma population. Check out if there is one in your country.