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Country, Date of election

Hungary 1996



Ferenc Orsos has developed a Roma-centric curriculum designed to instill a sense of pride and dignity in the Roma children of Central and Eastern Europe. Through his program, which operates both in the classroom and in the home, he is striving to ensure that Roma children succeed at school and that the Roma culture will survive well into the twenty-first century.


Ferenc Orsós confronted the problem that Roma culture does not receive the attention it deserves. Schools are lacking the financial resources and also the capability to offer children a proper education in Roma culture. Roma children are usually subjected to discrimination, which automatically results in the loss of their sense of identity and denial of their heritage. This leads to many negative consequences because if children do not recognize their roots they become rebellious and misfit students.


Ferenc and his colleagues have already organized 19 national and 6 international Roma festivals where students and ex-students of the Art School could present their talent and cultural heritage to a wider audience. During the ten years since the school was founded, thousands of students have taken part in the study of Roma culture. In 2007 the school earned the classification of ‘excellent elementary art education’. The young people studying here are acquiring accomplishments in the fields of music and dance, which has a good effect on their academic results generally.


He created the Roma Social and Cultural Methodological Centre with the mission to maintain, introduce and teach Roma cultural values and traditions. They hold cultural programs and Roma festivals regularly and also founded the Fund Roma Elementary Art School where students can attend music, dance and art classes. In Ferenc’s opinion this is essential if we want Roma children to acquire awareness, confidence and pride.


Ferenc’s dream is to expand and spread the system he created nationwide.


Ever since childhood, Ferenc always knew that he would dedicate his life to forwarding Roma culture. He comes from a family of eight children and grew up in a Roma encampment, where he learned about the importance of music and dancing. From time to time they would hold musical events, in which everybody took part. These were experiences that spurred him on to make Roma culture his career.

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