Susanne Drakborg, Country Manager Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland & Ukraine

Only ten minutes from Vilnius airport

Only ten minutes from Vilnius airport lies the Roma community of Kirtimai. It is a collection of houses and dirt roads, an illegal settlement which has existed for decades. Around 500 people live there despite inadequate water, electricity and waste collection. The Roma Community Centre, where Childhood is funding workshops on children’s rights, handicraft and other activities, says that many of the 200 children living in the community have parents who are in jail for selling drugs. The overall aim of the project Childhood supports is to contribute to social integration of the community. I hope that the children living in Kirtimai will succeed in receiving an education as well as reducing the stigma surrounding Roma people.