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Letters to the editor

Some are trying to solve gypsy problems
Lets hear more about gypsy solutions

Some are trying to solve gypsy problems

Dear Editor,
We hear so much about the Romany problem in Slovakia [Culture Shock - "Roma Village: A different world", by Michal Šebesta, Vol. 6 No. 35, September 18-24] but I would like to report that there are people in this country who have a vision to help bring solutions to this problem. One solution can be found in Plavecký Štvrtok, the same gypsy community where early Tuesday morning (September 19) innocent people were senselessly beaten by police.
In 1997, Slovo Života Christian Association bought a demolished materska [kindergarten] school on the edge of that community and for two years have been reconstructing that piece of property to become a place of hope for the community's 500 residents. When completed, it will house a kindergarten, bible training centre, church, activity area for youth and children, and a place where people are trained for employment.
A pilot programme was begun last spring to prepare pre-school children for first class. These children were then tutored every afternoon by a trained teacher. At the end of the school year every child was promoted to the second class, a rare occurrence among gypsy schoolchildren. This programme has continued up to the present. Also, under new legislation, 20 people have been given employment within the centre in construction, maintenance, and working with children. A weekly programme also trains children in music. This organisation is not trying on their own to solve the Romany problem, but is trying.
Please write KZ Slovo Života, Národná 32 90002, Modra or call 0704-647-4480 for more information.

Sherry Pederson
Modra


Lets hear more about gypsy solutions

Dear Editor,
I read with interest the article regarding the Romany community and their culture.
I believe that there are many groups now working to help bring solutions to their plight. We learned recently of the beatings that took place in the village of Plavecký Štvrtok early on Tuesday morning (September 19) and could not believe such things really happen in a civilized country.
There are people who are doing things to help improve their lives. Could we see some coverage on the solutions that are now in place to help these people? One such solution is the work of Milan Juriček, who is helping provide job opportunities, preschool and tutoring for children and other programmes to bring hope and a better future for the Romanies in Plavecký Štvrtok and other communities.
Thanks for the series on cultural shock; it has been very interesting.

Mike and Ruth Matthews
(address not given)

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