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Inclusion of Roma refugee children from Ukraine


Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, various civil society groups have provided immediate assistance to Romani refugees in Hungary. In the current educational context, which is characterised by increasing segregation and drop-out affecting Romani pupils, we believe that coordination and cooperation are needed in the civil sector so that Romani refugee children receive adequate support for their successful school integration.

Romaversitas – as a Roma-founded and Roma-led community-based education NGO – have been following closely the plight of Romani refugees, especially the situation of children. We have been in touch with many grassroots initiatives providing support. In June 2022 therefore we started a project focusing on the educational inclusion of Romani refugee children, within which we work with civil society groups.

Within the project, we aim to convene those grassroots initiatives that work with Romani refugee children and provide:

  • a platform for information exchange, sharing of problems and good practices,
  • a situational analysis that can serve as a basis for joint advocacy,
  • support for partnership projects that develop innovative solutions for the inclusion of Romani refugee children,
  • mentorship for project implementers and knowledge generation and transfer through thematic trainings and meetings. Since September 2022, we have been working with the following partners:

Budapesti Sportszolgáltató Nonprofit KFT. – BSK, Via Viridis, UCCU

BSK has been providing accommodation for Romani refugees since March 2022 in Pilisszanto. The shelter can provide accommodation for 78 persons. Basic amenities, including daily three meals are provided for its residents.

Aim of the project: to support the school enrollment of children, enhance their motivation to regularly attend school and to provide support in catching-up with their peers. We also aim to strengthen children’s Roma identity and their peer relations.

Somnakuno Drom Romani Women Association, Association of Romani Women of the XXI. Century

Somnakuno have been providing support to Romani refugee families since March 2023, at border crossings and in Szabolcs county.

Aim of the project: we aim to provide catch-up classes for Romani refugee youth through regular skills-building in multiple locations in Szabolcs county.

Academy without Borders, Sátor Suli

Academy without Borders aims to ensure access to world-class education for anyone, regardless of their social and economic situation. We adapt the interactive learning materials of the Khan Academy into Hungarian.

Aim of the project: we wish to develop mathematical learning materials available to Romani refugee youth and the teachers and volunteers working with them, so that children can learn the subject according to their individual needs and level and catch-up with their peers.

Uccu Roma Informal Educational Foundation, Működők Egyesület

Uccu was established in 2010 and is ran by Romani women. We use non-formal education methods to provide opportunities for students, teachers and anyone interested to get acquainted with Roma culture and history through Romani young volunteers.

Aim of the project: to develop and launch a campaign to help change stereotypes affecting Romani refugees. We will showcase 6-8 stories in the form of videos and pictures, and build press coverage around it.

Partners for Democratic Change Hungary, Mandák Ház, Működők Egyesület

A Partners helps people to find their place in their communities, and find strength and courage to generate changes. Our main areas of work: education, early childhood development, alternative conflict resolution, integration.

Aim of the project: we wish to help the educational inclusion of Romani children participating in the Mandák Ház refugee program. In the project, we wish to establish a game park and include volunteers in this work, and also try to mediate between teachers and parents to seek solutions for children at school.

Foundation for 21. Century Pedagogy, NestingPlay, Működők Egyesület

The Foundation has been operating an E-study hall program for disadvantaged children, during which high school students going to elite secondary schools in Budapest mentor children through digital learning materials.

The aim of the project: we aim to help develop meaningful peer relationships and provide mentoring and catch-up sessions for refugee children staying at Fonyod.

Summer camps 2023

n the summer of 2023, we supported six organisations in the implementation of summer leisure and development activities, where our partner organisations enabled refugee and Hungarian Roma children to develop their skills and participate in experiential education programs, many of them for the first time leaving the refugee accommodation where they have been living with their families for more than a year. The planning and implementation of the programs was also assisted by ten Roma university students as interns.

Implementing organisations: Somnakuno Drom Roma Women’s Civil Association, XXI. 20th century ROMA WOMEN’S Association, E-tanoda – The Foundation for 21st Century Pedagogy, The Foundation for Global Human Dignity, Kis Bocs Baba-Mama Non-profit Association, Bódva-völgy Public Roma Women’s Association.

Action research

During the summer of 2022, we have engaged our (former) students so that they visit Romani refugees across Hungary and share crucial information with them, especially related to regularising their status and enrolment in school. They also collected information through interviews on their situation in Ukraine and Hungary, with a special focus on the educational opportunities for children. Within two months, our young researchers reached more than 160 families, drawing up a unique picture on their experiences and needs.


“When the war started I felt that immediate relief needs to be provided. I believe the research project is a great initiative to assess the situation of Romani refugee families and we could influence how they are viewed by civil society and state actors.”

Lilla Eredics

“I participated in a vaccination campaign aiming to inform Romani people, this is equally important for me, because we need to mobilise ourselves as Roma. It always feels good to help and bring some joy to fellow Romani community members.”

Dániel Szőcsi


“My doctoral research focuses on Romani parents, thus it was obvoius that I participate in this research project. This way, I will look into the situation of another parental group within the Romani community.”

Jenifer Balogh

“We previously worked together with Romaversitas colleagues on research projects. I am just finishing my PhD studies and I am also very dedicated to the plight of Romani refugees.”

Ádám Virág


Community research 2023

In 2023, we continued to map the situation of Roma refugee families. Our research focused specifically on the education of children. As part of this, we wanted to better understand how Roma refugee parents perceive their children’s schooling in Hungary, and what problems and good practices in the field of education are identified by NGOs with expertise in the field, who often play a key role in supporting refugees, in the light of the situation in the country a year and a half later. The 108 or so interviews with parents were collected by our student researchers, who are themselves involved in raising awareness of the situation of Roma refugees through their studies or work. The knowledge gathered is summarised in a comprehensive study.


“My motivation for joining the initiative was my belief that all people should have equal opportunities and rights, regardless of their origin. Roma refugee families should therefore also have access to human dignity and a full life.”

Tímea Mezei


“I have always been concerned about the educational situation of Roma children. I too have encountered many obstacles during my studies, which I have only faced because of my ethnicity. The situation of Roma in Transcarpathia is no different.”

Fanni Iváncsik

The project is supported by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Only Romaversitas Foundation can be held responsible for the content of this website, which does not reflect the views of UNHCR.