ROMEA announces Romani Scholarship Program for 2020/2021 in the Czech Republic
Until 17 July, Romani students in the Czech Republic are able to apply for a scholarship from the ROMEA organization for the 2020/2021 school year. The scholarship program has been running since 2016 and will support 90 Romani students this year attending secondary schools, higher vocational schools, and this year for the first time, universities.
Students attending university at any level, whether for Bachelor's, Master's or doctoral studies, and whether attending in person or through distance learning, can apply to the program. For those interested, an online form is available at www.romskastipendia.cz through which students are able to apply.
"We are really looking forward to the new scholarship recipients and to those who will be awarded the scholarship again this year! The scholarship is mainly intended for Romani students in high school courses leading to a diploma, in colleges, or at universities who have good academic track records, but who are also grappling with a negative socioeconomic situation that endangers their completing their studies. Detailed information about how to correctly apply and what is necessary for that, as well as direct access to the application form, is available on the scholarship website in the 'For Students' section. We are glad to provide aid with any questions about how to complete the application," explains Jitka Votavová, manager of the scholarship program.
The scholarship program offers much more than just financial aid during one's studies. During the year, Romani students attend many other educational activities made possible by the program, meet other Romani students from all over the country, and establishing contact with professionals from the different fields they want to dedicate themselves to in the future.
"One component of the scholarship program is the regular meetings of students called BARUVAS ("We Are Growing"), during which we emphasize strengthening healthy self-esteem, motivation to study, and personal devvelopment. We discuss current subjects such as the identity of Romani people, active citizenship, etc. We do our best to facilitate access to subject areas that are frequently lacking in the Czech education system, such as the history of Romani people or the Romanes language. Our program also offers opportunities for mentoring and tutoring," Štefan Balog, the coordinator of ROMEA's educational activities, describes the comprehensive nature of the program.
During 2020/2021 ROMEA will support 90 Romani students with scholarships. The annual scholarship for high school students is CZK 14 000 [EUR 525], for students of higher vocational schools, CZK 21 000 [EUR 785] and for university students, CZK 25 000 [EUR 935].
"Students attending either private or public schools can apply to the program, whether they are in distance learning or attend courses in person, and the scholarships are not limited in terms of age. Older people who are completing their educations for whom the scholarship will represent important financial aid to their family's budget can also apply," Balog said.
Last year almost 150 applicants applied to the scholarship program. This year the program anticipates even more interest.
The deadline for submitting applications is 17 July. The program has been striving to support Romani students' academic careers since 2016.
In the long run, this support will lead to an increase in the economic, political and social capital of Romani people, both as individuals and as representatives of communities. ROMEA is doing its best to increase young Romani people's belief in their own capacity and to involve them in decision-making processes through which it will be possible for them to achieve changes to the societal and structural inequality they face.
For more information about the Romani Scholarship Program, visit www.romskastipendia.cz. The program is implemented by the ROMEA organization with the support of the VELUX Foundations (Denmark), the Albatros Foundation (Czech Republic), Bader Philanthropies (USA) and other institutional and individual donors who give at www.romskastipendia.cz/darujte.
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