Giving Memory A Future
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Education, A Path to Emancipation

The story of Marius, a 16-year-old Roma boy from Romania who immigrated to Milan and lives in a shantytown there.
Marius never went to school until he was 15

(Slum Stories Tv).

Eva Rizzin, an Italian Sinti with a Ph.D. in Geopolitics, writes:

“Schooling is most certainly the key to the future emancipation of younger Roma and Sinti generations, and it is all too well known that the low level of schooling of many Roma and Sinti in Europe currently represents the chief obstacle to their access to employment. Everyone pays lip service to this concept, and it has also been used to support discriminatory measures such as the ethnic profiling and the recording of fingerprints of Roma people even if underage. However, rhetorical declarations are not enough to ensure the right to education: it is also necessary to promote a social status and to introduce policies to make this right truly accessible. It should be important to ensure that all Roma and Sinti children and youngsters receive a non-discriminatory education in a stable and effective manner, in other words, that they are granted the same right to quality education as all children, irrespective of their ethnicity. Is is therefore essential to raise the public’s awareness of the problems that Roma and Sinti children come up against and on their possible solutions. This should be done by involving teachers, trade unions, educational authorities and the children’s parents. For many children it simply becomes impossible to attend school, what with the combination of everyday experiences of forcible evacuations, discriminatory behavior and inadequate access to education due to expense and the schools’ distance from their places of residence. Furthermore, the school curriculum often fails to respond to the needs of Roma and Sinti pupils, as it hardly ever emphasizes the positive contribution these children could give to their peers in the classroom.”

(E. Rizzin, L’antiziganismo in Italia e in Europa ["Anti-Gypsyism in Italy and in Europe"], in G. Loy, R. Cherchi, Rom e sinti in Italia ["The Roma and Sinti people in Italy"], Ediesse publishers, Rome, 2009, pp. 84-85).