Budapest, January 15, 2015 – The Sigrid Rausing Trust has awarded CEU a €113,000 (£90,000) grant to support the CEU Roma Access Programs (RAP). Since 2006, the Trust has partnered with RAP on a variety of initiatives, ranging from student scholarships to internship support.
Over the next three years, the new grant will fund an internship program, piloted in 2014, for RAP students and alumni to enhance their academic and professional skills through real-world work experience. Additionally, Sigrid Rausing Trust will provide scholarships to students enrolling in RAP's Roma English Language Program (RELP). Since 2011, this intensive 8-month English-language course for young Roma has helped enhance participants' English language skills to the level necessary to upgrade their careers or pursue advanced educational study.
In accepting the grant, RAP Director Matyas Szabo said, "We are very happy to continue our long-term partnership with The Sigrid Rausing Trust to create life changing opportunities for some of the region's most talented and deserving Roma students. It is an honor for us to collaborate with the Trust, which is recognized internationally for its work with a range of organizations working against xenophobia and intolerance."
The only program of its kind, RAP addresses the roadblocks to Roma integration in higher education and professional life and aims to build a critical mass of educated Roma who have the skills and experience necessary to work across borders, conduct advocacy work on the international stage, and serve as successful role models and mentors who encourage other young Roma to succeed.
The CEU-Sigrid Rausing Trust internship program offers individual grants to cover the cost of travel and accommodations for participants who might not otherwise have an opportunity to gain the kind of practical experience generated through apprenticeships, which often come unpaid.
In the 2014 pilot program eight RAP graduates received SRT grants to carry out internships in seven different countries at international organizations and research projects such as the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Austria, and the Zurich University of Teacher Education in Switzerland.
"We were particularly impressed by the organizations in which students secured internships and the impact these experiences have on all the participants," says Beth Fernandez, program officer at the Trust, reflecting on the 2014 pilot program. "Not only do students gain needed skills and contribute to important research and training projects, but they are also building a professional network that will be invaluable down the road. This program has the potential to open up new channels for further integration."
In addition to support for internship grants, the Trust's RELP scholarships will target students from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia, Russia and Ukraine, to make funding available to participants from countries currently without targeted scholarships from other sources.
Now celebrating 10 years since the Roma Access Programs were founded at CEU in 2004, RAP's flagship program – the Roma Graduate Preparation Program – has graduated more than 120 talented Roma youth prepared to shatter stereotypes and break down barriers to education, employment, housing, health, and environmental resources.
About Sigrid Rausing Trust
The Sigrid Rausing Trust is a UK grantmaking foundation, founded in 1995 by publisher and philanthropist Sigrid Rausing to support human rights globally. Since then, the Trust has granted approximately £208.3 million to human rights organizations all over the world working on human rights issues including detention, torture, the death penalty, free expression, transitional justice, women's and LGBTI rights, transparency and accountability.
Central European University (CEU) is a U.S.- and Hungarian-accredited institution of graduate education specializing in the social sciences and humanities, public policy, and business. It seeks to contribute to the development of open societies in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and emerging democracies worldwide through an educational system rooted in the creative, critical, and comparative examination of ideas. CEU is an advanced center of research and policy analysis that facilitates academic dialogue while preparing its graduates to serve as leaders and scholars.
For more information, please visit: www.ceu.hu.