From 16 to 27 July ADC ‘Memorial’ organized summer camp for Roma children from the settlement in village Verkhnie Oselki in Leningrad region. The first shift of the camp (from 16 to 20 July) included schoolchildren from the first and second grades and the second shift (from 23 to 27 July) included schoolchildren from the third and the fourth grades. In total, about 60 children attended summer camp.
The children from Roma settlements in Leningrad region are registered in common school but, in fact, they study in a different place, not with other children. Among other consequences of segregated education there is a low level of knowledge Roma children get at school. Thus, summer camp is both a very good way to have fun and to catch up.
On the territory of a bison farm, where the camp located, the children could see and learn more about different animals. Study program of the camp included classes in writing, maths, plasticine modeling, painting, sport trainings and different games.
The organizers of the camp appreciate help from volunteers including Roma ones (Khariton Simoi from Pskovskaya oblast and Suleyman Yanopol from Novgorodskaya oblast). A group of capoeira fighters gave classes for the children twice. The children’s parents helped during the camp as well, especially Elsa Mikhay, who has already been participating in many projects by ADC ‘Memorial’ for several years. The first experience of summer camp for Roma children can be considered successful: both organisers and volunteers are satisfied. And the children are already looking forward to going to the camp next year.