E.L., Eastern Approaches, Economist.com
Call them Gypsies, Romanies or Roma, they represent Europe's biggest social problem and a stain on its claim to be a superpower at least in terms of the welfare of its citizens. We compiled an audio report last week, highlighting some of the conceptual problems behind the issue (how far is it a question of class, and how far one of race; how far is it discrimination, how far ingrained anti-social habits).
Leslie Hawke, the founder of Ovidiu Rom, a Romanian NGO, is one of the continents' doughtiest campaigners on the issue (her work was highlighted in a three-page briefing on the subject that we published in 2008). She has written a powerful article about the importance of early-years education in breaking the cycle of disadvantage and discrimination. We reproduce it in full below.
Read the full text here: