On Friday, 11 October the fourth ceremonial gathering of the students supported as part of the ROMEA organization’s Romani Scholarship Program for High School and College Students will take place. The students will be ceremonially awarded their scholarships in the Brožík Assembly Hall of Prague’s Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice), where they will also meet the organizers and sponsors of the program.
The scholarship was awarded this year to 69 high school and college students. The event will be moderated by Lukáš Kotlár.
ROMEA TV, the first Internet television channel in the Czech Republic with Romani content, will broadcast the ceremony live online. The City of Prague has provided the beautiful spaces of the Brožík Assembly Hall for the event.
Dignitaries attending the ceremony include Karel Karika, a local assemblyman in the city of Ústí nad Labem and Romani community member; Czech MP Olga Richterová; and Hana Třeštíková, a local assembly member and Prague City Councilor. The Romani scholarship program is implemented through the generosity of many foundations, with the most support coming from the Danish VELUX Foundations, the Albatros Foundation, and the US-based Bader Philanthropies, as well as many individual donors, including Romani community members.
Yechiel Bar-Chaim will speak to the students on behalf of Bader Philanthropies, as will the co-owner of Albatros Media, Silke Horáková, and the director of the Albatros Foundation, Jindra Marešová. The Romani scholarship program offers students much more than just financial aid.
Scholarship recipients attend many educational activities and during the course of the year meet with other Romani students from all over the country, as well as establishing contact with professionals in the fields they want to dedicate themselves to in the future. “The regular ‘Baruvas‘ meetings are part of the scholarship program where, in addition to further education, we place great emphasis on strengthening the students’ healthy concepts of themselves and building friendship ties among them. We offer students tutoring and mentors to work with who aid them with any eventual difficulties they might encounter in high school. Volunteering in different organizations, such as in drop-in clubs for children and youth, is an integral component of the scholarship program,” says Štefan Balog, coordinator of the ROMEA organization’s educational activities.
Romani students can apply irrespective of whether they attend private or public schools and whether their studies involve daily classroom attendance or distance learning. Eligible high school students who are chosen receive CZK 14 000 [EUR 540] for the academic year, while college students receive CZK 21 000 [EUR 810].
Adults who have decided to complete their educations are also eligible to apply. More information is available at www.romskastipendia.cz.