* The RSG Public Appeal *




Amnesty International (2012) has proclaimed the Roma people are one of Europe’s largest and most disadvantaged minorities.
In the UK, Roma children have the lowest school attainment. In 2010 the DfE recorded only 8.3% of young ‘Gypsy/Roma’ passing 5 GCSE exams at grades A-C. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2013): “Most notably Gypsy/Roma children do far less well [at school] than any other ethnic group” and “Gypsy/Roma children are considerably more likely than other pupils to be excluded both permanently or for a fixed term.”
Educational apartheid in Eastern Europe still continues and Roma children are sent to ‘special needs’ schools just on the basis of being Roma (Amnesty International, September 2013). This results in wide-spread illiteracy of parents who are poorly prepared to enter the job market as well as being unable to support their children in schools.
Despite the fact that there are at least 200,000 Roma living in UK, there is a distinct absence of support for Roma children and their parents that would enable them to fulfil their potential.
The Roma Support Group is the only Roma-led registered charity in the UK which since 1998 has helped thousands of Roma families build a new life beyond the reach of East European institutionalised racism and persecution. Although the majority of Roma are working desperately hard, the media continues unabatedly to foster prejudice and ancient myths which play on popular consciousness.
We are asking the public for financial contributions to implement the Roma Early Childhood Education Programme in London to help Roma families build a better life for themselves.




The Roma Support Group has recently been given a grant by the Roma Early Learning Programme, of the Open Society Foundation (OSF), to implement the Roma Early Childhood Education Programme. However to deliver the aims of the Programme we are seeking match funding through voluntary donations from the public and funders.
The Roma Early Childhood Education Programme will overcome the multiple disadvantages faced by Roma children in London by:

• Developing early years education provision to create a positive foundation for learning and to ensure continued achievement in line with their non-Roma peers;

Empowering Roma parents to understand and participate in the UK education system thereby preparing their children to enter into mainstream education;

• Supporting the development and vocational education of Roma Early Education Champions as potential leaders in Roma early childhood development in the UK.




We need your help through one of the following methods:

1. Donation – even £5 would help! You can donate to this dedicated fund via our fundraising page.
If you would like to make a more sizeable donation, we are offering any donor who gives more than £250 the option to have their funds returned to them should we not meet the target by 1st December. If you are interested in this option please contact our treasurer (treasurer@romasupportgroup.org.uk). Please note that we are unable to return smaller donations should the target not be met, but in these circumstances any funds received will be used, where possible, on our other education projects.

2. Trusts and foundations – if you are linked to a trust, foundation, or other grant-making body who would be interested in supporting this project please contact Tania Gessi (tania@romasupportgroup.org.uk)

3. Organise a fundraising event – if you would be interested in organising a fundraising event please contact tania@romasupportgroup.org.uk

Your contribution will enable the implementation of innovative Early Years work not just in Britain, but in Europe as a whole, by tackling educational inequality and supporting the long-oppressed Roma communities to ensure their educational advancement.




Thomas Acton is one of our supporters as well as being a professor of Romani Studies. He ran the first Gypsy Council caravan summer school in an illegal camp in 1967, and has been working for education of Roma/Gypsies/Travellers ever since. To try and raise money in support of the Roma Early Learning challenge he had a haircut done by a Roma hairdresser at the Olympic Legacy Park in Newham! You can watch here.



About gaba

Supporting overall co-ordination and management of the organisation and office management. Providing support to statutory and non-statutory organisations working with the Roma community through training, consultancy and capacity building support.