The Roma community development program will be dedicated to children and families

The fourth year of the program, organized by the Ekopolis Foundation and the Carpathian Foundation, plans to support five projects in the Roma communities of central Slovakia this year, with a sum of 40,000 €, while seven other projects will be supported in eastern Slovakia. Projects are focused on the healthy development of children at an early age and improving the environment in which they grow up.

Despite economic growth, there are still hundreds of thousands of people living in extreme poverty in Slovakia. It is very difficult to break free from such conditions. “The development program for Roma communities is based on the results of work in Roma communities and previous years of the program. Those results allowed us to define the basics, identify strengths and opportunities to improve the program. Great emphasis is placed on working with whole families of early childhood children, their wider communities and involving all key stakeholders in Roma inclusion and desegregation processes,” says program manager Milan Hronec. Supporting activities for the main goal of the program are also education towards responsible parenthood for adolescents, prenatal education, projects aimed on improving the overall care for the family as well as for the change of stereotypes in Roma families, which disadvantage the position of Roma women.

Supported projects:

Hope for Children (Banská Bystrica) – Community kindergarten is developing Most of the children living on Cementárenská street and Na Hrbe in Banská Bystrica do not attend pre-school facilities. However, in the home environment, many lack sufficient stimulation, some have no drawing aids, books or toys. The aim of the project is to stabilize the emerging community kindergarten, to prepare 14 pre-school children for compulsory schooling. The project is enhanced by targeted support of mothers, fathers and community.

 OZ Čarovné husle (Fiľakovo) – Investment in Early Childhood II L. Mocsáry’s primary school in Farská lúka is attended by 96% of Roma children, most of whom come from a socially disadvantaged environment. For these children, but also for their smaller siblings, it is necessary to create specific conditions of education through an individual approach. The aim of the project is to prepare Roma children for school attendance and to involve Roma mothers in pre-school preparation of their children.

The Way Out (Sirk) – Omama – early stimulation of children in generational poverty Poor children have already a significantly worse starting position than their peers: speech lagging, lower vocabulary, poor cognitive skills and motor skills. The school is widening the differences. Hunger, tension, and other stressors cause socio-emotional backwardness. The aim of the project is to cross the cycle of generation poverty by developing the personality of children from a poorly stimulating poor environment from the early age (0-3) and pre-school age (4-6), which will build a healthier foundation for their success in life.

Community Center for Minorities (Velký Krtíš) – Improving the position of Roma women and increasing health literacy For the healthy development of early-age children and improving the environment in which children grow up, it is necessary to work with Roma women, who dominant position in childcare. The woman is responsible for running the household, the woman recalls administrative matters at the social authorities. Its main mission, however, lies in education, in which it focuses primarily on educating the oldest children. The mother teaches them mainly to take care of younger siblings. The aim of this project is to improve the quality of health care as well as overall care and to develop the abilities of pre-school children through regular work and mother’s education in MRC in Veľký Krtíš.
Cultural – Educational Civic Association Láčho drom (Kokava nad Rimavicou) – Preparing children and their parents to start school. The project focuses on solving problems related to the social exclusion of Roma and is interested in shaping the optimal coexistence and cooperation of citizens at the regional level, providing social and counselling services in the area of ​​personal hygiene and health of children and adults. It also aims at improving children school attendance and their better pre-school preparation for education and training. The main objective and scope of the project is to involve children from disadvantaged (social) backgrounds and their parents in pre-school education in an innovative form of games, trainings and mentoring in the context of their successful entry into school and better preparation for life.

Projects will be launched from April 2019. For more information, contact HERE or the program manager of the Ekopolis Foundation, Milan Hronec: 048/470 10 95, 0911 452 457,

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