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REF in One Page

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The Roma Education Fund and its mission

The Roma Education Fund (REF) was created in the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005. Its mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma, including the desegregation of education systems.

What are the activities of the Roma Education Fund?

Through its activities, the REF promotes Roma inclusion in all aspects of the national education systems of countries participating in the Decade of Roma Inclusion, as well as other countries that wish to join in this effort.

What are the objectives of the REF and how does it pursue them?

The objectives of REF include the following:

» Ensuring access to compulsory education, for example, through the involvement of parents in education, initiatives to reduce dropouts, and provision of free textbooks and other educational materials.
» Improving the quality of education, for example, through curriculum reform, introduction of Roma language teaching, anti-bias and tolerance teaching, and training of school mediators.
» Implementing integration and desegregation of Roma students coming from segregated schools and classrooms and from special schools into mainstream schools, as well as eliminating all segregated classes and schools.
» Expanding access to pre-school education, for example, through information campaigns, assistance with the registration process and work with parents to promote pre-school attendance.
» Increasing access to secondary, post secondary and adult education, for example through scholarships, adult literacy courses and career advice for secondary school students.

What are the activities of the Roma Education Fund?

REF runs five major programs:

1. Project Support Program which finances projects and programs.
2. REF Scholarship Program which is the largest tertiary scholarship program for Roma students.
3. Policy Development and Capacity Building Program which supports activities that help create a framework for dialogue with governments and civil society on education reform and Roma inclusion.
4. Communication and Cross Country Learning Program which includes activities to promote the exchange of knowledge on education reforms and Roma inclusion.
5. Reimbursable Grant Program to help Roma NGOs and local governments access EU funds for the purpose of Roma education.

More information about REF can be found on our website: