The town of Stará Ľubovňa has a population of 16 350, of whom 2 060 are of Roma origin. The majority of Roma live in the Podsadek district, where 980 (74%) out of 1 330 inhabitants are Roma.
ETP has operated the Community Centre in Stará Ľubovňa since 2003. The Centre is located in the Podsadek district, only a few minute´s walk from the local Roma settlement.
The presence of the ETP Community Centre is visible on the many renovated houses in Podsadek, which are a result of the ETP Savings and Microloans Programs, thanks to which the clients have reconstructed their bathrooms, replaced the flooring and windows and renovated their houses´ facades.
As for education facilities, there is no kindergarten in Podsadek, so the Pre-school preparation classes run by the ETP Community Centre (CC) are the only form of pre-school education in the local settlement. The Primary school in Podsadek is attended by 226 students, all of Roma origin. Its high attendance results in the school operating double shifts with teaching taking place in both morning and afternoon sessions. In the academic year 2015/2016 a new so called ‟container school” is going to be opened, which will allow for all grades to have only morning classes. In Podsadek, there is also a local branch of the Secondary Vocational School in Kežmarok, in which 20 Roma students are being trained to become masons and confectioners.
Our long-term presence in Podsadek has been reflected in the fact that there are several secondary school students, and even some university students, in the settlement. This is an indicator of the quality of our work within the local community.
The CC in Stará Ľubovňa – Podsadek is operated by a dedicated team, which consists of the CC Leader Peter Gomolák, Special Pedagogue Soňa Pavlovská, the Assistant Lukáš Bužo, five Mentors, two Tutors and three Volunteers.
Throughout the years of our presence in Stará Ľubovňa, we have had very good cooperation with the local Church, Municipality and schools. The activities of the CC have been very rich and popular among the clients. The Centre has recently engaged in the following Projects (click to enlarge the image):
For more information on the particular Project activities, browse through the Projects section.
In 2012, the Podsadek Community Centre was the first point of contact with the artists of the Dramatic Adventure Theatre (DAT) from New York, which has resulted in long-term cooperation with ETP. This summer, DAT actors and volunteers returned to Stará Ľubovňa again to work with the local children on drama workshops to enhance their artistic skills and help them develop their personalities.
For long, ETP has also worked with talented young musicians from Podsadek rehearsing in our CC. Within the MUSIC4ROM project, the band from Podsadek performed at a concert in Rankovce and created a sample collection of musical instruments from recycled materials according to a methodology developed by ETP.
In October 2014, dancers and singers from the Podsadek Roma community contributed their performance to a conference on minorities in Poland.
One extraordinary event that took place at the Centre in January 2015 was a Gala Concert experiencing a full hall of community members and visitors cheering the singing, dance and drama performances of the children and young people.
To find out about the latest events of the CC in Stará Ľubovňa, check out the Upcoming Events page.