TSA is prioritizing high school graduation because we know that graduation has the power to make a profound impact on quality of life outcomes, with Roma secondary school graduates earning 83% more than their non-graduating peers.
The World Bank has calculated that Bulgaria loses nearly 526 million leva annually because young roma people are ill-prepared and therefore not able to successfully integrate into the labor market. Roma youth and children are struggling to succeed in school. Only half of them are finishing the eighth grade and approximately 15% are graduating from secondary school.
Cost barriers also play a serious role, especially for students living in remote or rural areas where there are no secondary schools. Until recently, no support existed for these youth. To continue their education, they needed to have access to sufficient financial resources to cover both transportation and the cost of textbooks. To meet these needs, TSA designed the “Equal Chance” project to provide stipends that help young people continue their studies .