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Country/partner countries

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Roma institute n.o.

Project information – start and end date (if available)
2007 - 2013

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
Supporting young talented Roma students in combination with the support of volunteering in the inter-cultural dialogue through individual university volunteers to help Roma students and support their activities in the form of scholarships.

The nationwide programme Big B / S (inspired by similar programmes in the English title Big Brother / Big Sister) is the oldest programme of the Roma Institute, which has been carried out since its inception in 2007.


The programme focuses on the individual and dedicated development support of Roma children - pupils at grammar schools - and their education through non-Roma volunteers. The role of the volunteer is to be a colleague student to Roma pupils in the role of a "big brother", a positive model. The programme is complemented by a specific element of intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, presuming personal interest of the volunteers - university students. In the years 2007 - 2012, the programme was funded by Orange Foundation, at the end of 2012, the donor Endowment Fund Philip Morris International took over.

Results of the project
The programme was realized at two levels: college students - volunteers and their direct individual work with the pupils of primary schools. Meetings were part of a weekend camp (Bigbisácke víkenďáky), a 5-day summer workshop (Bigbisácky camp). Non-Roma students show the opportunity to Roma pupils to explore the world outside the Roma community, they build a relationship with them, contribute to their education and lower their distrust towards the majority population. On the other hand, Roma children / students help their "big brothers" or "big sisters" to know and understand the mentality and life of the Roma community, which contributes to a better preparation of the students for the practice after graduation.

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
The target group of the programme are talented Roma boys and girls, as well as volunteers - students in higher education in the profession of teacher, special education teacher or social worker.

Sources of funding
Roma institute n.o.