The IRIS project Roma Integration through Sport is aiming at countering anti-Roma stereotypes and their divulgation, fighting traditional and new stereotypes whose persistence and diffusion are at the roots of racist attitudes, discriminatory actions and violent incidents against Roma people. Sport is a powerful integration tool and will be used in schools and sport clubs to bring together Roma and non Roma children, no matter of their origin, family background and sport skills.
The target groups of the project are: Roma and non Roma children ofage 10-18 in areas of high concentration of Roma population; representatives of NGOs sport and non sport associations working with children, Roma associations, parents associations; representatives of local administration, educational institutes, ministries, state agencies for the protection the rights of the children, representatives of the media. The indirect target groups are ordinary citizens, who will receive information about the project from media and promotional material and will increase their sensitivity about the problem of Roma integration and understanding that integrated Roma people are just like other citizens.
One of the main problems in integration of Roma people is the early drop out of school of Roma children. There is a high percentage of Roma children who leave school at the age of 10-12 years. One reason is the low motivation of the parents to have their kids educated, the other is the discrimination and bullism Roma children face from their non Roma classmates. The IRIS project will provide the opportunities to children to know each other better so that prejudices can be overcome.