A group of young Roma, Traveller, muslim and migrant people met between February 8-9. 2020. in Paris and as a follow-up of their meeting, they participated in the platform on March 13. 2020 in Toulouse.
In the beginning of the meeting young migrants, Roma and Travelers shared their own personal stories and they victories to access equal education and the way they want to change the system as oppressed groups.
Statements by young people from minority groups living in France:
ANA MARIA STUPARU
“Hello, my name is Ana Maria STUPARU, I’m a Roma from Romania. I had problems registering for school when I arrived in France because I didn’t have an address. Today I am a high school student and together with Sow, Linda, Andrei and others we fight, so that all children and young people in France have the right to realize their dreams.
What makes us strong is that we, young people, living in slums, squats, social houses, we, young migrants and Travellers, fight together. We take hold of our destiny and are the first to make our voices heard and assert our rights.
One day we all met together and we saw that we had difficulties in accessing and succeeding in school. So we decided to create a Collective to make sure that the situation changes for us and the 100,000 children and young people concerned.
We told our stories to understand what kept each of us from going to school, staying in school and feeling good about succeeding. As a first action, we chose a video letter addressed to JM Blanquer; November 20, 2018 on the occasion of the international day of the rights of the child, because we know that education is fundamental right and it is his duty to listen to us and therefore with the video we asked him to receive us.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, My name is Saifoulaye SOW, I come from Guinea Conakry. When I arrived in France, I lived 8 months on the street without being able to go to school. I waited 1 year 8 months to get child protection. Today I am in the Second Bac pro with the Compagnons Devoirs. But my contract will end in 7 months, if it is not renewed I do not know if I could continue my studies.
Hello My name is BALDÉ Hadiatoulaye, I come from Guinea Conakry. Currently I am in final year Bac pro Gestion Administration. When I arrived in France I had difficulty going to school because of the slow processing of my file or because of myself to find a place of reception. You know one of the biggest problems is enrolling in school. Because when you want to register, the town hall asks for a bunch of documents that you don’t necessarily have. After a few months of work, we proposed to the National Assembly an amendment to the “school of confidence” bill simplifying the documents required for school registration. Which was finally voted last July. It has become article 16 of the law “school of trust”. Then we made a 2nd request which concerns school mediation. And with the collaboration of our allies, we have obtained that within the framework of the poverty plan the State finances 20 posts of social mediators. But it is not finished ! We have still just had a third victory, So we asked, in collaboration with our allied deputies, the creation of a parliamentary information mission, which will be created in 2020!
Hello, my name is Andrei Nicolae. I am 17 years old and I live in Toulouse. In Toulouse, it’s easy to enroll in school, compared to other cities. So we decided to focus on staying and succeeding in school, working on racism in colleges. I lived it, and all the others who campaign have lived it too. Many have dropped out of school because of this. We don’t want our brothers and sisters to stop too. We know that it is with school that we will succeed, that we will achieve our dreams. So, since December, with the help of the Rencont’roms nous association, we have been conducting workshops on racism in several colleges. We start from our stories, from our experiences and we work with the students. We want to create awareness among students, to show that racism can be everywhere and that it can have serious consequences. It frees speech, those who experience racism in the classroom speak. We are talking from young people to young people. For all the work we do in Toulouse, the Rencont’roms association received an award in Paris from the Cognacq-Jay Foundation. It motivates us to go further. In Toulouse, we want to show that we, the young people concerned, have solutions, things to offer. We’re here on the ground, to make a difference. We want them to make their dreams come true. I am happy to be here today, because to realize these dreams we also need you.
BOIRO SEYDINA ALIOU
Hello, my name is Boiro Seydina Aliou, I come from Guinea Konacry. Currently I am in 1st Bac pro electricity. My colleagues have told you who we are, the battles we have fought, and the victories we have achieved. But I want to tell you that these successes were possible thanks to the support of many allies: members of parliament, like Mrs. Sandrine Morch, associations, like Aset 93 or Romeurope, institutions like the Ombudsman for children, but also teachers, school directors, to name a few. I’m so happy to see you so many, and if today we are here together it is because this fight that we are waging leads us to resemble our strengths, our imaginations to restore smile and hope to these young people, to these 100,000 children who are still at the door from the school of the French Republic. Today we are going to work together to find the causes and propose concrete solutions which will be applied here in Toulouse by all of us: by you, teachers, social workers, elected officials, but also by us, and with us, the first concerned.