Valjmir i Fatmir Rama: There is progress in education, however, there is no progress in resolving the housing issue

The Rama family from Tivat can be proud of their sons. Valjmir and Fatmir Rama, graduated from the Secondary School Mladost, majoring in automechatronics, are the only members of the Egyptian population who enrolled in college.

The future freshmen of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering point out that their two sisters are also in school, that is. attend primary school. Parents support them in their intention to continue their education and they have always encouraged them to be better than them, to invest in themselves, because knowledge is a power that no one can ever take away from you. Valjmir was our collaborator on the project New beginning for 500 Roma students. He helped families enroll their children in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Both were beneficiaries of mentoring support as part of a regional project Increasing access and participation of Roma students in secondary educations and transition to labour market funded by the European Union, which our organization as a national partner implements through the Roma Education Fund. We talked with the Rama brothers about schooling, extracurricular activities, the role of a mentor, the vocation of a car mechanic, the problems of the Egyptian community in Tivat, the urgency of resolving the legal status and the housing issue. We wish them a happy journey into the world of academics and successful studies!

You graduated from the Mixed Secondary School Mladost, majoring in automechatronics. Can you explain to us what that call means. What are the tasks that a car mechanic should perform?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: A car mechanic repairs car faults and mechanical and electronic faults.

Did you do an internship or work in a profession during your schooling?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We did an internship with both the employer and the school because it is done alternately, one week at school, and the other at the employer. We learned the craft in the company…

Since you are from the coastal municipality and your peers usually do seasonal work in the summer, did you have the opportunity to do so? What were those jobs and what were your impressions?












VALJMIR: Last year at the Airport I was employed as a transport worker, unfortunately due to the epidemic I was not able to find a job, but I participated in the project of the NGO Young Roma New beginning for 500 students.

FATMIR: I worked privately with my father, I helped him, and this summer I also couldn't find a seasonal job. I think that the Covid-19 virus, which had the greatest impact on tourism, contributed the most to that.

What memories do you have of high school? Were there any problems communicating with other students or professors?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We have all fond memories of high school, we had great communication with everyone, there were no problems.

Did you have mentoring support during your schooling? How significant was it? How did your mentor help you?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We had full mentoring support, which was very important to us. Mentor Snezana Krsikapa helped us with everything we needed and was always there if we needed anything.

Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities?

VALJMIR: Yes, we were involved. I was a member of the student parliament.

FATMIR: I was the vice president of the department.












You enrolled at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Podgorica. How did you decide to take that step? Was it difficult to make a decision?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We decided that because we saw that nothing can be achieved without school. We are the only children of the Egyptian population in Tivat who have made so much progress and it was not difficult to decide if you love the craft. We will apply to get accommodation in the Podgorica student dormitory and we hope to finish college together successfully.

Tell us something about your family. How many members are there, are they employed, educated?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We are a family of six, my father works in a utility company, he finished half of the High School of Economics. The mother is a housewife and has four grades of elementary school. We also have two sisters who attend elementary school (fifth and eighth grade).

When it comes to the Egyptian community in Tivat, do you think that their position has improved or not? In which areas do you think the situation is the best, and in which the worst?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: There is progress in education. However, there has been no progress in addressing the area of ​​housing, and the housing issue is related and has a major impact on education. The worst area is in the settlement of Lovanje, the best situation is in Gradiosnica, and Bonici are in the middle.

What would you like to change in Egyptian settlements in Tivat?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: We believe that the most important thing is to resolve the housing issue. After that, the focus should be on education and employment.

Valjmir, you were hired as a field associate for the municipality of Tivat to help enroll RE children in preschool, primary and secondary education. What are your impressions from the field? Was it difficult to complete the task, what was the biggest challenge? How many children are enrolled in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools this year?

VALJMIR: The problem I faced on the ground was the unresolved legal status of the children. Many of them have foreign documents. Forty-one children are enrolled in kindergarten, 20 in the first grade, and two people will attend high school.

Do you have a message, advice for your peers regarding education?

VALJMIR and FATMIR: Finish school, don't suffer like your parents. Let’s try to change our future generations because we need as many educated people as possible. Without education, we will not get anywhere, but we will have to clean the streets as our parents do.


Interview conducted by: Milena Cavic, journalist, associate of the NGO Young Roma

Translation: Milena Cavic, Milos Knezevic

The views expressed in this text can in no way be considered the views of the NGO Young Roma, the Roma Education Fund and the European Union

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