This week’s Work-in-Progress features a presentation by Margareta Matache, noted Roma Rights activist and instructor at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Matache will talk about the Romani Champions Project, which is currently being implemented in Serbia by Harvard FXB Center. This research project builds on the outcomes from the Reclaiming Adolescence Project, in Belgrade, which focused on obstacles to Roma educational and employment success. The Reclaiming Adolescence research adopted a bottom-up/participatory methodology, providing young people and their communities with an opportunity to lead research about their living circumstances and challenges, and to collectively foster leadership and advocacy skills.
Building on the findings and capacity strengthening generated by the Reclaiming Adolescence Project, Romani Champions moves from a focus on obstacles to empowerment to a study of success and the factors promoting it. While previous studies focused on obstacles facing youth, this study will explore success in education and the factors that promote it. We seek to identify the first generation of Romani adolescents who, despite familial, historical, ethnic and socioeconomic disadvantages, have made it to tertiary education.