"Amaro Tan" means "our place" in Romani, the language of Albania's ethnic Roma minority. Amaro Tan School, located in an economically challenged part of Pogradec, Albania, provides a safe place for low income Roma, Albanian Egyptian, and Albanian children to learn and grow. Roma and Egyptian minority groups, which make up about 3% of the total population, disproportionately live in extreme poverty. Although in Albania overall enrollment in primary school is about 94%, among Albanian Roma and Egyptian children only 48% attend some school, and 25% complete primary school. Lack of education in turn contributes to a 25% employment rate among these groups, with most work in the informal sector.
Amaro Tan School educates 140 Roma, ethnic Egyptian, and low-income Albanian children, grades K-9, every year. It provides hot meals for the children, health and dental services, social worker services and parent engagement, vocational education for a variety of ages, and opportunities for play. The curriculum is the same as that taught in Albanian schools. Access to education and an array of social services makes the difference between endemic poverty and secure, sustainable communities. By offering these children at the margins of society the same access to education as their Albanian peers, the Amaro Tan School works to break the cycle of poverty in the Egyptian and Roma communities.
We are requesting $986 from Rotary District matching funds with $493 being provided by the Rotary Club of Estes Park, to help run a camp for 55-60 Amaro Tan students during summer vacation in August 2020. For many of Amaro Tan's students, time out of school is time that they are at increased risk of being forced into begging and trash collecting on the streets of Pogradec, and at increased risk of being trafficked. Summer camp allows these children to be children, enjoying age-appropriate activities and field trips in a wholesome atmosphere. Along with activities, students receive breakfast and lunch and transportation to and from camp.
Rotary Club funding will be used to pay for breakfasts and lunches for fifty-one students for twenty days, to be prepared and provided by the Nehemiah Cafeteria at the Nehemiah Gateway campus in Pogradec.
Members of the Pogradec Rotary Club will help out at the camp by hosting a session about jobs and careers for the children. This will give the children broader exposure to people in professional careers. The Estes Park Noon Rotary Club will liaise with Amaro Tan staff to manage reporting.