Roma Returnees


Roma families returned from EU countries to their country of origin - Albania, North-Macedonia and Serbia.

During this enriching journey I witnessed many different destinies of Roma returnees. While some returnees, even though they were integrated in societies of developed countries, managed to adapt fast and start building their life from scratch back home, on the other hand some are in a very bad position - faced with harsh reality - poverty and diseases that prevent them from living normally and developing socially. Certainly, the positive side of this story is that although they are faced with various challenges, they are determined to improve their position and gladly accept any suggestion. They are also very grateful for the help provided to them in the form of securing documents, work, social assistance, schooling for children, but also for adults who did not have the opportunity to do so in their youth.

What I learned on this trip is that changes for the better are happening in Roma life although there is still much to be done. Every transition is slow, and needs a lot of effort from institutions and organisations, but also from society - to change perspective on Roma people in order to become inclusive and fully integrated into society.

September / October 2022