The village of Rankovce is located in the District of Košice. It has 753 inhabitants, out of which 588 are Roma representing 78% of inhabitants. 575 Roma inhabitants live in a Roma settlement located on the outskirts of the village and 13 Roma live integrated within the majority population. Most of the dwellings in the settlements lack basic infrastructure, including sewage, water, electricity supply and access roads.
There is one kindergarten in Rankovce, located in the centre of the village – 500 m away from the settlement, with whom ETP has establish a good cooperation. There is no primary school in the village – therefore school-age children attend primary schools in Herľany (2 km), Kecerovce (5 km), and Vtáčkovce (10 km). The lack of positive stimuli from the settlement environment results in the underpreparedness of the local children for formal education, which ETP addresses by providing Pre-school Preparation classes to children from the age of three. There is also a high school located in Rankovce – a branch of the Secondary Vocational School in Košice. Over 20 Roma students are trained here as masons and confectioners.
The Municipality employees carry out social field work, which helps integrate Roma inhabitants with the majority. It pre-emptively targets vulnerable citizens of the village to reduce risk factors and prevent crisis situations. The Municipality has also established a Roma patrol in the village.
The ETP Community Centre (CC) in Rankovce, operated since 2012, is a result of the successful cooperation with the local Municipality, the NGO “For a Better Life” and the local Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia (ECAC). The CC is located only 500 metres from the Roma settlement in the premises of the local Parsonage of the Evangelical Church. The Church has had long-term presence in the village, engaging the local Roma in prayer sessions, working with adult Roma in biblical studies classes directly in the settlement and organizing children’s gatherings and choir practices.
The CC´s activities are carried out by the CC Leader Antónia Gordiaková, the Assistants to the CC Leader Monika Beňová and Mirón Duda, the Special Pedagogue Danka Kubinyová, the Assistant for Tutoring Activities Marta Šisková, and the Local Assistant Lucia Sameľová. The CC´s extracurricular activities are led by 4 Tutors, locals of Rankovce. There are also 5 Mentors and 3 Volunteers, who are a part of the CC team.
ETP has been present in Rankovce through several of its projects in the field of education, housing, employment, financial inclusion and health. For the list of recent ETP projects implemented in Rankovce, click on the image below to enlarge the diagram:
For more information on the particular Project activities, browse through the Projects section.
An especially significant impact on the local community has been the self-help construction of the family homes, within which 14 young families have built and 2 families have reconstructed their homes, using the ETP savings, microloans, social assistance and professional construction supervision. The second phase of the Project now enables nine more families to build their own legal houses, using the ETP innovative tools and assistance. The Building Hope project, for which ETP was awarded the golden Civil Society Prize of 2014, would not be able without the long-term systematic social work and comprehensive education services provided by the CC staff. (For more information, see Building Hope – From Shack into a 3E House.)
An important ETP contribution to the village infrastructure has been the construction of a water tank for approximately 40 households, made possible by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a significant donor and supporter of CC activities.
CC Rankovce is also unique in running several successful extra-curricular activities and participating in international arts projects. The CC´s Music Club has had a huge influence on the personality development on the boys who have formed the band, learned to play several musical instruments and rehearsed tirelessly to achieve success performing at the Art4ROM final performances in 2014, the MUSIC4ROM event in Stará Ľubovňa and the X-Camp festival in the Czech Republic in 2015. The CC´s Creative and Handicrafts Workshop is enjoyed by local girls, who craft bracelets, earrings, necklaces, candles, gift cards and various other creative items.
The Rankovce community also enjoys the cooperation with the Dramatic Adventure Theatre from New York, who have been coming over the last four years to rehearse plays with the local children and help with the self-help construction of family homes within the Building Day event.
To find out about the latest events of the CC in Rankovce, check out the Upcoming Events page.