EDUCATION IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT. The Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guarantees available secondary education for all children within all EU member states. Yet, only 15% of young Roma people get to finish high school compared to non-Roma students. We figured that this percentage is due to the lack of chances and equal opportunities for a quality education that is provided for Roma people. Our goal to provide everyone equal rights (no matter their backgrounds, race, gender...) was the main inspiration behind our project.
What it does
Our project is called The Roma Inclusiveness Project (TRIP). TRIP is a project from the youth for the youth - in particular for the Roma youth. Since Roma people are more likely to not get a high quality education because of stigma, discrimination and other factors, TRIP aims for an education system that is inclusive and empowers every Roma young person to be included in the educational process and to use every educational opportunity in the 21st century.
How we built it
First, we built this idea using our past experiences in the fields of education and justice. Although we are coming from different countries as group members, we realized that our countries had similar problems. After doing researches on this issue, we found out that Roma young people were not able to fully use their rights such as access to education. The idea started to grow as we brainstormed and talked to different mentors. We are planning on using a social media campaign to raise awareness and get financial aid from angel investors and EU funds to make our project come true.
Challenges we ran into
Since the beginning we had a storm of ideas on different topics and we couldn't decide which one to choose. As we wanted to make an impact in various fields, we had a challenge defining the problem we want to target and focus our attention on. As every single one of us is coming from a different country and facing different societal issues we had hard time agreeing on a issue that can make an impact in every of these countries. But with dedication, long discussions and hard work we got the one crucial problem that is common not only in our countries of origin, but globally and that's the lack of inclusiveness of Roma young people in educational processes
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating diverse designs for our social media campaigns as well as our website. Being able to come up with designs and creating them on a technological matter took a time but was definitely worth the effort since visuals are very crucial for project concepts. We are also proud of being able to collaborate with four mentors of different backgrounds and having many Learnings after the sessions with them! Lastly, being able to fulfill all the deadlines, productively working within the team, appreciating each other's skills and ending up with a project that is close to our heart, is the biggest accomplishment.
What we learned
In a short period of time, we learned about the matter of Human Centered Design - from creating a design challenge, the ideation process and prototyping to creating an innovative solution. This learning will be beneficial for our leadership skills in further hackathons and projects. Another thing that we learned was how to productively collaborate with our team and actively working in sessions together and individually. Different other learnings were brought to us by values and ideas from the mentors and the coach that we collaborated with.
What's next for The Roma Inclusiveness Project (TRIP)
We are now trying to build a network and community of young Roma and non-Roma people through social media campaigns! This is definitely our focus for the next couple of months, and we definitely have to keep up with the fast-paced life within social media and making sure that we spark a conversation for long enough. If we launch successful campaigns and become viral, we definitely reached a big goal. We also want to reach out to local communities and make Roma children and non-Roma children collaborate on fun intercultural projects. TRIP is also planning on collaborating with Özcan Purcu, the first ever Romani representative in the Turkish parliament, a person whose story is very close to our heart.