President Henri Malosse together with Vice-President Jane Morrice announced the ranking of the 2014 Civil Society Prize winners during the October plenary session of the EESC.
ETP Slovakia received the first prize for their project Building Hope, through which they teach Roma communities in Slovakia how to construct their own houses.
IQ Roma servis from the Czech Republic and Reverend Archimandrite Athinagoras Loukataris from Greece shared the 2nd prize.
ETP director Slávka Mačáková: "We hope that our self-empowering initiative will be a role model for European policy-makers".
For more information on the winning projects, please read below.
Interview with Slávka Mačáková, Director ETP
ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development (“ETP”) is a not-for-profit organization that works with communities in Slovakia, supporting and assisting disadvantaged and marginalized groups, the poorest of the poor, predominantly Roma from marginalized settlements, in order to encourage integration by improving their social and economic situation. ETP has been working for more than 14 years with Roma communities in Eastern Slovakia, operating community centres, established in partnership with local municipalities, and providing social services In particular, ETP promotes employment opportunities, provides care for vulnerable people including the elderly, provides education & training, helps poor families to secure and improve their housing and teaches them how to save and manage their finances. ETP’s focus is on five main areas: housing, education, employment, health, and financial inclusion. Providing comprehensive services, ETP embraces the principle “from cradle-to-grave“– the provision of life-long education for the whole community and all age groups.
As a pro-Roma non-profit non-governmental civic association, established in 1997, the primary target group are Roma people. In its membership platform as well as within the employee team IQ Roma servis (also as IQRS) promotes multicultural approach and is an Ethnic friendly employer, fulfilling its vision in good practise on a small organisational scale, with the prospect of a wider development in the EU society in future.
Vision of IQ Roma servis: “We want a world where true and friendly relationships between Roma and majority people exist – a world in which Roma naturally hold dignified social roles with respect to their culture and nationality”.
Mission of IQ Roma servis: “To be an intermediary who supports possibilities, opportunities and resolutions of Roma on their way of personal growth and social fulfilment and protects their rights and dignity within the wide society.”
In 2004, Reverend Archimandrite Athinagoras was sent by the Holy Metropolis of Neapolis-Stavroupolis to serve the parish of Dendropotamos (in the West Side of Thessaloniki). In this area live about 5,000 residents, and most of them, around 4,000, are Roma. It is estimated that approximately 800 of them are minors.
Rev. Archimandrite Athinagoras realizing the acute problems of poverty, crime and degradation in the area proceeded, with the support of the Holy Metropolis, to the creation of a voluntary structure, the “Lighthouse of the World”, aiming to develop and implement actions to support the vulnerable group of Roma, and especially the Roma children. The organization operates in the basement of the parish church. In this space, since 2004, created, developed and operates the Lighthouse of the World as a center for the protection of Dendropotamos minors.