The day full of good solutions and options open

On Friday, June 6th, ETP Slovakia organized a mobile workshop for invited representatives of foreign embassies in Slovakia, the European Commission Representation in Slovakia, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Programme and also representatives of the Government Office.

The seminar was attended by Mr. Christian Lepage, Ambassador of Belgium, Mr. Theodore Sedgwick, U.S. Ambassador, Ms. Inga Magistad, Ambassador of Norway, Mrs. Bernard Gradišnik, Ambassador of Slovenia, Mr Ivan Ivančin, director of the department of management and implementation of the Swiss Government Office of the Slovak Republic, Mr. Dave Green, deputy Canada Border Services Agency, Mr. Ivan Bašnák, a policy specialist from the U.S. Embassy, Mrs. Mária Kadrliaková, political Secretary of the European Commission Representation in Slovakia, Ms Michaela Maráková, Secretary for political, media and European Affairs of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Mr. and Mrs Miller, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Slovak humanitarian specialists.

The program began in Košice, where the bus drove all the participants to the first stop: the self-built houses in Rankovce. Because the weather was nice, a meeting was held on a hill near by the houses. Some information was shared about how the construction proceeded, what goals all clients had to meet in order to become part of the project, and what they still working on this year.  All of this was presented by by Eva Zelizňáková, housing program coordinator for ETP Slovakia. Monika Beňová, Member of OCZ Rankovce and Lutheran priest, Františka Ondrašíková and František Turták, social workers and Ivana Galdunová, client of housing program ETP Slovakia, all participated in a discussion of the Project. The project „From Shack to 3E Houses“ engaged the attention of all the invited guests.  A number of questions were also addressed to employment opportunities and labor inclusion of members of community.

The second stop for the mobile workshop was the village of Veľká Ida. First, guests visited the community center, where preschool children like to run. Information about the activities that ETP Slovakia regularly offers in 10 community centers was shared with the guests by Michaela Csalová, deputy director of ETP. Later, at the invitation of the mayor Július Beluščák, the participants moved to a large meeting room,  a community center located in the building of the local manor house. The mayor had prepared a brief introduction on the history and current state of the village and after some light refreshments and a walk through the park, they moved to the elementary school of Veľká Ida. There the school headmaster, Terézia Besterciová talked about how the school presents special education classes for under-achieving and disadvantaged students. Martin Vavrinčík and Simona Šimková explained the pilot project „Lets Learn How to Learn“, which is the heart of the special educational program  using the methods of Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment. Alongside the children of Feuerstein’s club, the guests took a moment to become direct participants in teaching, led by  three teachers, Mária Heveriová, Vladimir Horvath and Natália Pilipčuková.

The third location which the invited representatives of embassies visited was Moldava nad Bodvou. They were welcomed by leader of the community center located in the settlement of Budulovská, Irma Horváthová and by several boys, who are members of the Slumdog theatre. They greeted guests in a way that is dearest to them – playing  the guitar and singing. After visiting the settlement, the last stop was the Wine Museum in Moldava nad Bodvou, where the guests joined Mayor, Mr István Zacharias. After a small refreshment the group moved on to the airport in Košice, because many of guests were taking an evening flight to Bratislava.

This joint meeting was the setting for inspiration and many individuals offered options that can help improve the future of people living in marginalized Roma communities. Thanks to all the guests who accepted our invitation for a pleasant and educaitonal day and for many new suggestions they offered.



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