After War conflict in Kosovo, over 4.000 Roma (RAE – Roma, Ashkalies, Egyptians) fled to Montenegro and settled in the periphery of Podgorica (the capital of Montenegro) – Vrela Ribnicka.
UNHCR, together with other humanitarian organizations, supported by the Municipality of Podgorica, reacted promptly and made emergency tent settlement. Strong storm on December 5th 1999 destroyed, or damaged majority of 400 tents that were set up.
Very soon, the Italian humanitarian organization, supported by other agencies, UNHCR and Municipality of Podgorica, built a settlement and managed it until August 30th 2003, when Montenegro Red Cross took over management of the Camp.
Having in mind that the level of illiteracy was enormous and that Roma population is the poorest in the area of education, Montenegro Red Cross started a pilot project of kindergarten for childern who live in the camps, at the end of 2002. The project was supported by Danish Red Cross.
During the previous years, Montenegro Red Cross developed variety of educational activities for Roma population, for children and for adults, with the financial support from Danish Red Cross, UNHCR, European Agency for Reconstruction, Roma Education Fund, Ministry of Education and Science in the Government of Montenegro, Swiss Development and Community Organization (SDC) and many ithers.
Today, the project is being supported by Danish Red cRoss and SDC and it complies numerous activities whose aim is to support the implementation of the Stretegy for poverty reduction and social exclusion, while its specific objective is the improved approach to formal and nonformal education for RAE children and youth from the camps in Konik.
The following activities are being realized within the above mentioned project:
Creation of the manual for work with children in preschool, so as to enable teachers who work with them to prepare the children for the enrollment in first grade, in the most quality manner. This manual was created by the team of experts, and it was made in accordance to the conditions and habits of children who live in camp Konik I and Konik II;
Kindergarten activities and preschool activities for 160 children, age 3-6, every working day for 2-3 hours. In these kindergartens, children learn and develop their skills according to their interest, and they prepare for the easier enrollment in schools. These children work according to the specially developed programme, in order to be better prepared for school;