In Serbia, children and young people belonging to the Roma minority experience strong discrimination, live socially disadvantaged lives and only few attend school. The aim is to enable them to improve their education, especially musically and artistically, and thus integrate more confidently into their social environment in the long term.

  • Ort, Land:
    Belgrad/Niš, Serbien
  • Partnerorganisation:
    GRUBB
  • Laufzeit:
    01.10.2014 - 31.12.2020

Serbia has about 500,000 people who belong to the Roma minority. The majority of them live in extreme poverty. More than 40 % of them are under 14 years of age, making them the largest and youngest minority in the southeastern European country.

Due to strong prejudices, Roma are excluded from many areas of social life. This is particularly visible in the education system: One third of the children cannot attend school at all, at most 35 % complete elementary school and even fewer continue their education in high school. Integration into society and recognition of their cultural background is thus denied.

Approaches for action

In the cities of Belgrade and Niš, the organization “Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats” (GRUBB) has established schools where students receive learning support in the main subjects in addition to their regular school lessons. German and English courses are also offered. Through intensive care adapted to their special needs, more children successfully complete school and have better chances on the job market.

In addition, there are a variety of offers such as artistic workshops on dance and music, creative writing and photography. In these areas, the children and young people can gain self-confidence and learn to actively shape their own culture. However, participation in the creative workshops requires regular and successful school attendance. Children and young people who are not Roma  also take part in the courses. Even today, such joint learning is an exception.

One of GRUBB’s focuses is also to give young women an opportunity for exchange outside their community and to give them a voice. This has resulted in the group “Pretty Loud”, which performs successfully both in Serbia and internationally.

What is special

In keeping with the motto “Because those who have no voice should be able to sing”, children and young people are given the opportunity to be part of major public performances. These not only strengthen self-confidence, but also shape a positive public perception of Roma and promote their integration in Serbian society. Especially talented young people have the chance to participate in their own musical “GRUBB Show” and to tour internationally.

 Further information: grubbmusic.com