Background of Nominees for the Roma Integration Awards

Bosnia’s Otaharin (awarded) works as a citizens association for the promotion of Roma integration in the community of Bijelijina and Zivinice. Established in 2005, Otaharin provides a multitude of services to improve and expand participation of Roma children in education. Implementing activities that ensure access to schooling includes enrollment assistance, parent meetings, and activities that raise awareness on the importance of education. Additionally, workshops and trainings are held in areas of peer education, non-violent communication, and pedagogical classes. Projects have resulted in 75% school enrollment for unevaluated children, a 95% increase of those successfully finishing primary education, a reduction in class absences by 50%, and at least 48 children enrolled in the Preschool Education Program.  For more information on Otaharin visit or

FYR Macedonia’s Ambrela (awarded) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on social inclusion and participation through education, health, human rights and gender equality. Comprised on field-research and daily contact with the community, Ambrela translates community needs to development projects. The projects have three focus groups: ensuring enrollment to institutionalized ECD services, integrating classrooms to involve Romani and non-Romani parents, and empowering families, particularly women to understand the importance of preschool. Projects have resulted in 744 participants spanning the completion of 11 community events, over 100 children aged 3-6 enrolled in kindergarten, and 1,487 families visited for vaccination. More information on Ambrela can be found at or

Serbia’s CSO Hands of Friendship (awarded) works in the field of Roma education for the protection of human rights and preservation of culture and traditions of the Roma community. “Hands of Friendship” is nominated for the “Mother-child educational project” which aims to improve access to early childhood education in three ways of formal education, alternative early childhood programs, and by developing the capacities of mothers within the family.  Evaluation of the program found major positive impacts after the first phase including improved position of Roma women in the community, improved patience among children, and increased attendance rate in PPP by 30 percent to 72 percent. The program serves more than 350 Roma mothers and over 500 Roma children aged 0-7. 
Kosovo’s Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (nominated) NGO is a general mandate to improve living conditions and social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups in Kosovo. The program educates community members of their rights and available public services.  Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians is an NGO that provides services focusing on three different branches of education, living conditions, and employment. The impact of these beneficiaries has resulted in 77 families living in better housing conditions and more than 100 families in a position to generate income and financially support their families.