The baton was passed – After the Conference: Developing Communities and Community on Its Way to Prosperity

We will keep returning to the conference on the community work in marginalized Roma localities that was organized by non-profit organizations People in Need Slovakia and ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development yesterday (11.2.2015) in Prešov. It has proven that the issue is very broad and can be viewed from many different angles, each of them deserving our attention.

The subjects of the conference were the projects of these two organizations – Developing Communities (PiN) and Community on Its Way to Prosperity (ETP) running thanks to the Swiss-Slovak Cooperation Programme. For more information, please read the press release:

As we could hear several times during the conference, it is not enough to do limited duration projects – even if they bring results on their own; it is important for the results to be sustainable, to have continuation and to further develop. People in Need Slovakia and ETP Slovakia have done a great deal of work in marginalized Roma communities but now it´s the others´ turn.

That is why the directors Slávka Mačáková (ETP) and Tímea Stránska (PiN) passed three symbolic race batons to those who should continue the work that has been started: one to the representative of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, one to the representative of the Ministry of the Interior Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of Slovakia for the Roma Communities and one to the representative of Slovak municipalities. Together with the children from Stará Ľubovňa that crafted the batons, we should trust that their present holders will run a long and lasting race with them.

The conference was attended by over a hundred participants: representatives of government offices, mayors and members of local municipalities, members of charities and donor organizations, university pedagogues, social and community workers and others.

The conference was opened by the performance of the music band from Rankovce and the coffee break was accompanied by the performance of children from Roškovce.

The event presented an opportunity for a closer discussion and exchange of experience.

It was preceded by a field trip to the community centres in Spišské Podhradie where PiN runs its successful project and to Stará Ľubovňa-Podsadek where significant achievements are accomplished by ETP.