Skip to main content

KfW Projects in Serbia

Improved Education and Integration Opportunities for Roma in Serbia, Empowerment of Young Roma, and Reintegration of Returnees

Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Partner: Roma Education Fund
Project period: 2016-2019 (Phase 1) and 2019 – 2022 (phase 2) – extended till the end of 2023 without cost extension


  • To combat discrimination and to create conditions under which Roma can obtain access to quality education and employment


In late 2016, EUR 2,373,950 and in December 2019, EUR 4,000,000 were granted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to the Roma Education Fund (REF). Administered by KfW Development Bank and implemented by the Representative Office of the Roma Education Fund in the Republic of Serbia, this grant seeks to combine the scholarship-graduation program from high school with job-related skill training for Roma entering the Serbian labour market.

The project consists of three components: Supporting secondary school education for Roma youth, supporting employability of graduates of the REF secondary school scholarship program, and promoting the re-integration of Serbian Roma returnees from Germany into Serbian society.

The prospect of few income opportunities after graduation, combined with socio-economic and cultural pressure, frequently leads to Roma abandoning their studies. Simultaneously, many employers remain hesitant to hire Roma high school and university graduates, even if they are suitably qualified. Moreover, stiff competition for vacant jobs, worsens the situation.


  • The promotion of secondary school education for Roma youth:
    • Scholarship support provided to 500 secondary school Roma students per year in the first phase; Reduced dropout rate from 7% to 2.4%; Increased GPA from 2.88 to 3.17; 109 mentors supported
  • The promotion of employability of graduates of the REF secondary school programme:
    • 249 young Roma employed; 1300 Roma individuals received career counselling support; 434 young Roma provided with internship; 171 cooperation agreements with different companies signed
  • The promotion of the re-integration of migrants returning from Germany to Serbia:
    • 515 Roma families, returning from Germany to Serbia, are supported in their reintegration process – especially when reintegrating their children into the Serbian educational system. The program supported 843 children (5.5-14 years old).

© 2024 German Cooperation in Serbia. All rights reserved.