On May 6-7, 2019, we organized a two-day professional study trip in Slovakia within the framework of our program ‘Building Capacities for Effective Early Childhood Development of Marginalized Roma in Hungary’ to include members, colleagues and volunteers of civil society organisations participating in the program.
During the two days, the Hungarian group visited Velke'Ida, Dobšiná and Rankovce / Kecerovce, to get to know organisations and initiatives aiming at promoting Roma integration.
At the local primary school in Velke'Ida, the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment, a method promoting successful socialization of disadvantaged children and making a significant improvement in the learning outcomes of the children participating in the programs was presented by ETP Slovakia.
After that, we visited a program called “Childhood for Children”, in the city of Dobšiná. The aim of this program is to enable disadvantaged children living in extreme poverty to grow up knowing and experiencing “real” childhood. The organizers are primarily working with young people, who have become parents before their age of 17, and trying to support them in successful parental child-rearing and childcare. On the second day, we went to Rankovce, where we could learn more about ETP Slovakia’s housing promotion programme.
People living there can build their house from interest-free micro loan, which is conditional on saving one year before taking a loan. The building of these houses is based on legal, organized and orderly conditions. It could cost anything up to 8-9000 euros to make it habitable. Each house consists of a kitchen, a bathroom and 2-3 bedrooms. During the construction of the houses, ETP staff and other professionals assist and supervise the work.
The last place we visited was a community supported by The Association for Better Life in Rankovce. This organization mobilizes local resources, builds partnerships, and develops community members. We saw how handmade briquettes are made, without electricity or power supply from another service provider.
We thank the host organizations and our partner, Karpatska nadácia for their contribution to the successful completion of this study tour.