Country, Date of election
István has designed a program for education reform and skill training that addresses discrimination against Roma people in Hungary. He has been remarkably successful in involving municipalities in decreasing school dropout rates among Roma, also known as Gypsy, children and in helping adults find jobs.
The main problem, according to Istvan Aba-Horváth, is that the disadvantaged Roma minority, living on the poverty level, are denied a fair and comprehensive outlook on the world, because they lack the Information enabling’ them to make changes in their environment. The aim is to open the right windows for them. To make them realize their potential, study languages, participate in training’ programs. The most important challenges that face them are caused by cultural differences; for example in many cases Roma children are the actual money-makers in the family, which is why they drop out of school.
After many years operating in this field, the Association’s goals have become more far reaching’ so that today it offers a much more comprehensive prog’ram. Over a period of ten years, the Association has provided assistance in the writing of application forms, counseling and training programs for approximately 25 thousand people. Istvan has won recognition nationwide – 53 representatives in 19 counties have implemented his program. By involving local governments, he contributed greatly to lowering the number of school drop outs as well as increasing adults’ chances of finding a job.
Istvan has designed a new approach to educational reform and training in technical skills that addresses discrimination against minorities in Hung’ary. This can only be achieved if there are many participants in the scheme – schools, ministries, governmental departments and public org’anizations. The program is wide in scope. On the one hand, the program allows children to attend school and work simultaneously and, after finishing school, it gives them the opportunity to participate in different training programs. On the other hand, the program provides them with communication skills, writingjob applications and accounting, in Order to strengthen the Roma civil groups and the local government.
When Istvan was a kid, his dream was to score a wonder goal in a Stadium. A couple of years later he was wishing to score a goal against poverty as a member of the parliament. Today his only wish is to have a positive effect on someone’s life each day.
Since his childhood, Istvan has wanted to help Roma people living in encampments. He would like them to gain the self-confidence to rise above the limitations of a dead end existence. Until now, the opportunities available were not compatible with the community’s needs because the problem was being approached in only one way. But to make the System and the Roma Managers ‘Professional Association sustainable, there has to be a solution to all the challenges.
Roma Managers Professional Association / Cigány Vezetok Szakmai Egyesülete