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Gylten’s story is a story about persistence, second chance and strengthening family.

Gylten is a 23 year old woman who was included in programs of the Centre for implementing services in the community “Izvor”, Selce which finished its transformation from institution to community based centre in 2015, and is a shiny example of good practice in the process of DI in Croatia. Gylten’s family was included in different activities of the Centre since 2012.

Gylten is a woman in love with school and education. As a 16 year old girl she also fell in love with Albert. Her family soon found out about their relationship and made her give up school and get married. “In Roma community it is forbidden to have a boyfriend before marriage and I was forced to marry him and leave the school when I was in the second grade of high school. I cried so much! I was so unhappy! My only wish was to return to school and finish it one day. And my wish came true with the great help of Mrs. Ivana from the Centre “Izvor”.

With the aim of prevention of social exclusion, social worker Ivana Azinović made a plan of family support with family Mitiši. Part of this plan was Gylten’s education. According to official state statistics only 10% of Roma people finish secondary education in Croatia.

At the end of June 2016, Gylten finished her secondary education with excellent grades. During her schooling she became a mother but with the support of the Centre “Izvor”, she was able to finish her schooling and receive a marketer diploma. This diploma increased her chances to find a job and insure better future her family.

“I finished the school! I can’t describe my happiness! I just want to say to everybody to whom the tradition or culture won’t let finish the education – never give up. There is always hope and good people to help you.”

The Centre “Izvor”, along with schooling, helped Gylten’s primary family (family of 11 members) to settle debts for electricity, to realize rights for a different money supports, to enrol children in regular kindergarten program, to find jobs (mother and two sons)… and stay together.