Paving the Way

Over the last 15 years, ETP has designed comprehensive solutions to the challenges faced by the inhabitants of marginalized Roma communities (MRCs) in Slovakia and applied them directly in the segregated ghettos through its network of Community Centres (CCs).

Community Centres are easily accessible and safe facilities, where the members of MRCs can meet with professional social workers, teachers and mentors, who guide the CCs’ clients through the process of realizing their potential and provide them with tools, resources and knowledge that empower them towards taking control of their own lives for the sake of a better future.

ETP has so far established 35 Community Centres in cooperation with the Municipalities in Košice, Prešov and Banská Bystrica Regions. (For the full list and description of ETP´s past and present Community Centres, click here.) ETP currently operates Community Centres in three localities: Rankovce, Stará Ľubovňa and Veľká Ida. After the successful implementation of the projects YOUR SPIS, Community Bridgebuilding, Chances for the Roma and Community On Its Way To Prosperity, in which we tested and verified a wide variety of services (social, housing, educational, employment, financial and health) in 24 Community Centres, we have decided to focus on the three localities. Our aim is to intensify our assistance provided to communities and individual clients.

Our approach within the community work addresses the specific needs of each socially excluded community and reflects our understanding of the interconnectedness of problems and challenges faced by their inhabitants. The activities realized in our Community Centres concentrate on improving the conditions of MRCs especially in the areas of education, health, housing, employment and financial inclusion.

The key activities, taking place in our Community Centres, each designed to address more than one area of interest, include (click to enlarge the image):

CCs

For more information on the particular activities, please browse through our Projects section.

The model of provision of comprehensive services in Community Centres has recently been adopted by the Implementing Agency for Employment and Social Inclusion. Gradually, inhabitants of 160 MRCs in Slovakia will have the opportunity to benefit from the same services which have been piloted and verified since 2000 by ETP Slovakia and other non-profit organizations (People in Need Slovakia, Association of Community Centres, Slovak Catholic Charity, Minorities Community Centre).

Currently, we concentrate our efforts on advocating for the exact scope of services and activities provided by the community centres to be clearly defined within social integration and inclusive education legislation, so that inhabitants of all marginalized communities across Slovakia can access the same services.

For more information on activities and services provided in our network of Community Centres, download our publications Community Centres – Oasis for People from Disadvantaged Communities (2008) [SK], From Our Lives (2011), From Our Lives 2 (2015 – soon available for download).

To learn more about the activities of our current Community Centres, click the links below:

Community Centre Rankovce

Community Centre Stará Ľubovňa

Community Centre Veľká Ida

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