What we do


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Promociona Programme[editar]

The enrolment of Roma children in schools in Spain started just a bit over 30 years ago. The educational level of Roma youth is significantly lower than that of the general population, as high as 64% of Roma youth (aged 16-24) fail to complete lower compulsory secondary education (ESO) compared to 13% for the population as a whole[1].  

Early school leaving[2] rates among Roma youth is 63,7% compared to 25% among the general population.

During the 2000-2006 period, the FSG managed actions targeting the Roma population through a Multi-Regional Operational Programme to Combat Discrimination financed by the European Social Fund (Acceder Programme). This programme is focused on providing access to employment through the training of the Roma population in Spain. Today, within the framework of the new 2007-2013 period, a new Operational Programme is being implemented which continues to focus on labour market integration but which also includes a new line of action in the field of education.

The aim of this new line of action is not only to encourage Roma students to complete their compulsory studies but to go on to higher levels of education. This requires a reduction in early school leaving, a problem affecting a significant proportion of Roma students.

To this end the Promociona Programme, supported to a large extent by the European Social Fund and the Spanish Ministry of Health and Social Policy through the allocation of income tax funds, targets the different players taking part in the educational process of young people: the students themselves, their families, schools and other social and educational professionals.


[1] According to data in the research study “Roma students in secondary education in Spain, a comparative study”. FSG, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. Madrid, 2013. https://www.gitanos.org/upload/20/77/RESUMEN_EJECUTIVO._El_alumnado_gitano_en_secundaria__ingles_.pdf

[2] Percentage of young people aged 18-24  who have only lower secondary education or less and are no longer in education or training.

Currently the Promociona Programme is being developed in 49 cities of 13 Regions in Spain.

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Target Group

The Promociona programme is aimed at various agents involved in the educational process of minors: the student body, families, education centres and other stakeholders.

Students and their families are the principal actors of this programme, although the FSG pursues its work in close collaboration with education centres.

Promociona Scheme with families, students, educative centres and other agents
Promociona Scheme with families, students, educative centres and other agents


The beneficiaries of the programme are Roma students, primarily in the final cycle of primary (5th and 6th form) and compulsory secondary (1st to 4th form) education, as well as their families, in the areas where the programme is implemented.

The profile of the students with whom the actions are being implemented is that of minors engaged in the mainstream process of education, and who are deemed, on the basis of selection criteria, to require accompaniment in order to allow them to obtain the compulsory Secondary Education qualification and to achieve success in post-compulsory studies.


The central objective of the Promociona programme to achieve higher rates of academic success in Lower Compulsory Secondary Education (E.S.O) of Roma students, and promote continuation on to higher education to reduce early school leaving rates and the promotion of their permanence in post-compulsory studies.

The starting-point of the programme is a commitment to interculturalism, which promotes the use of existing public services by the population in its entirety and with a methodology that promotes the involvement and change of mentalities in the families themselves. This intercultural and mainstreaming approach aims to ensure a real and sustainable improvement in the academic situation of Roma students.

Requirements for the implementation of the Promociona Programme

  • Students should be in the last two years of primary education or in compulsory secondary education.
  • Students must regularly attend class, i.e. at least 80% of the classes during the past quarter.
  • There must be an agreement between the student's family and those responsible for the programme 
  • The school where the student is enrolled must commit to participate in the actions carried out through the Promociona Programme, i.e. prior consensus.

Human Resources

  • The professionals carrying out Promociona actions are Educational Counsellors. Their work focuses mostly on individualised monitoring and tutoring of both students and their families and close collaboration with schools and other agents involved in the educational process of the young people.
  • Specialised staff are also on hand to carry out small group school support sessions (Promociona Classrooms) along with those responsible for these and other actions, which the Fundación Secretariado Gitano carries out in the different Autonomous Communities, together with a programme coordinator at the national level.

Involvement as co-funders of departments of the public administration (state, regional and local) and private entities. This programme is part of an overall national programme funded by ESF- Spain called Multiregional Operational Programme against Discrimination whose aim is to promote access of the most disadvantaged groups into the labour market. This programme started in 2000 and still will continue until 2013-15. The programme is managed by the most outstanding NGO in Spain (Caritas, Red Cross, ONCE (Organisation for Blind people) and FSG). Each organisation develops actions for different target groups: migrants, disabled, Roma… FSG runs the activities for Roma, both in employment and education. The combination of the two types of actions means FSG is developing, with the support of public administrations in Spain (local, regional, national and European) what could be considered some sort of integrated approach for social inclusion of Roma, tackling two of the main factors for inclusion: employment and education.

Schools, as main actor involved, participates in the Promociona activities. Without their daily collaboration this project would not be so successful.

The main actions of the Promociona Programme target Roma students and their families in the final stages of primary education and in compulsory secondary schooling in the areas of action. Collaboration with schools and joint work with teachers constitute another of the essential pillars of the implementation of actions.

These actions are specifically aimed at children who are in a standard school environment but who have been identified as requiring accompaniment to increase their likelihood of obtaining their compulsory education degree and to pursue post-compulsory studies.

Supporting finalisation of compulsory education is considered to be a key for social inclusion.

What is it about

The basis of the Promociona programme is the individualized educational guidance, ie direct action with students and families, in close collaboration with schools.

Three levels of intervention have been defined for the actions, although the Promociona Programme stresses individualised work with students and their families (Individualised Intervention Plan). Collaboration with schools is also a key factor in the development of the programme, as is collaboration with other resources and services involved in the education of the student.

  • INDIVIDUAL LEVEL: work with the student and his/her family should be personalised and priority should be placed on the proper sequencing of actions. This translates into the design of an individualised Intervention Plan and individualised tutoring and counselling sessions with the student and his/her family.

Types of actions:

  • Individual educational counselling for students and their families
    Providing support and counselling to the student and his/her family through individual sessions with the students and their parents with the aim of facilitating the educational attainment of
  • Mentoring activities in collaboration with organisations and companies

Programs are developed with companies to allow students to get an insight into an array of professions and explore different career options. The objective is to motivate them to stay engaged in school, complete lower secondary education and continue on to higher education.

  • GROUP LEVEL: priority is placed on group formation to reinforce academic support and to put into practice the behaviours promoted, thereby contributing to the learning and reinforcement of values and attitudes.
  • The Promociona Classrooms

Are one of the actions playing a relevant role at this level. In terms of academic support and reinforcement, we work on the acquisition of skills focusing on learning habits, rhythms and rules conducive to the formal educational inclusion of young people and their continuation and permanence in the education system.

  • Competency-based group work

These are group sessions aimed at both the students and their families, to work on the development of cross-cutting competencies (also known as soft skills) necessary to achieve academic success such as motivation, time management, autonomy or compliance with norms and tasks, among others.

  • Training and advice to professionals

The work with schools and other agents is a necessary element for a correct development of the program, as well as the professional advice and the training of teachers and education professionals.

  • SOCIAL-COMMUNITY LEVEL: focus is placed on the environment and on social agents close to students and schools as elements which have an informal influence on their educational process and on the achievement of the Promociona Programme's objectives.

There are three types of actions:

  • Awareness raising campaigns

Developed by Fundación Secretariado Gitano (more information: https://www.gitanos.org/actualidad/campannas/     https://www.sensibilizaciongitanos.org/

  • Gatherings of students & families

These gatherings are a space for debate, reflection and to exchange experiences and are of great support for a large number of Roma students who are in the last years of Compulsory Secondary Education. They are organised both at local and national level.

During these meetings, mention is made of the Promociona students who throughout the year have made an effort to complete the school year, in order to give visibility to the examples of success and which can be a role model for other students and their families.

Some 2,000 people from all over Spain participate in these local and / or regional meetings: Roma and non-Roma students, teachers and members of other organizations in the field of education and the Roma community come together in these spaces.

  • Fostering social participation

The participation of young Roma in actions of participation with other young people from their own community is an essential element for achieving the objectives of this program as well as for the promotion of citizenship.

Likewise, participation in spaces with young people belonging to other cultural groups facilitates social interaction and increases mutual knowledge among young people, regardless of their characteristics.

This practice has been financially supported by ESF in Spain and the co-finance of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality for a period of 6 years (structural funds programming period). Within this period framework, the practice has been fully sustainable. However, it remains to be seen whether after 2013-15 and because of the economic crisis Spain is specially suffering, there will be so many resources allocated to this programme.

Promociona family
Promociona family


The FSG managed in the period 2000-2006 the Multiregional Operational Programme Fight Against Discrimination through the Acceder programme – financed by the European Social Fund and centred on the access to employment of the Roma community.

In the framework of the 2007-2013 programme, Acceder was complemented by a new line of action in the educational field, which fundamentally aims to reinforce Acceder itself by promoting the improvement of the schooling – and hence, future employability – of Roma beneficiaries. The Promociona programme is the materialisation of this line of action.

Taking into account the experience of professionals in the educational, training and employment fields, as well as of beneficiaries themselves, the acquisition of basic compulsory academic qualifications can facilitate significantly the generation of an adequate itinerary of personal development and of employment, which guarantees in turn social inclusion in equal conditions as the rest of the citizenry.

Training is a basic pillar of personal development as well as of labour inclusion; the greater and more specialised the qualification is, the more open is the horizon of possibilities and choice, and the greater the possibilities of professional success and personal fulfillment.

The impact of this line of action in the education field on Roma youth is clearly positive at the individual level. However, these personalised interventions also have highly beneficial consequences for the promotion of the Roma community in general, given that the future of the community depends on the trajectories of its members. The scarcity of positive role models in secondary or higher education and in skilled employment within the Roma community renders the work of the FSG in education all the more relevant; its objective to reduce early school leaving and achieve higher rates of academic success among Roma youth is therefore a priority in the broader effort to promote Roma social inclusion.

The Promociona programme emerged as a result of an intense process of reflection and assessment of the past educational practice of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano, and corresponded to the need for quality social and educational intervention in contexts where social change is needed.

During the current Programming Period (2014-2020) the actions of the Promociona Programme will continue being developed within the Operational Programme POISES.