THERE are song lyrics that say “money makes the world go round” and one could interpret this to mean that money can make good ideas materialise, grow, spread and do good. This is the best way to view the Wild Poppies (Divé maky) project, which has grown from very modest beginnings into a widespread NGO, one that supports talented Roma children who would otherwise not have much of a chance to break through barriers, study with professional artists and develop their talents to the best of their ability.
This project has a variety of activities, but the main concept is to identify a donor for each participating Roma child and for that donor to support the student financially, mentally and practically – through a system of tutors who oversee the children, keep in contact with their parents and also accompany the children, some of whom have never left their home villages, to workshops or performances. This year’s activities have included: spring and autumn workshops; a Summer Academy in August with training workshops on music, dance, art, woodcarving and theatre activities; and a Roma Bashavel that brought many well-known artists to work with the children and was a presentation of the results of the children’s work at the summer camp.
Recently Wild Poppies launched the sale of a CD from a concert held in October 2008 in which children from the project performed with Ida Kellarová, a Roma singer, musician, teacher and tutor from the Czech Republic. The concert took place in the beautiful Klarisky church that had become a concert hall, and although it was held several days before the start of Advent, it evoked a festive atmosphere. The Divé maky CD can be purchased via the project’s website www.divemaky.sk as can some of the children’s paintings which are part of an auction collection. This school year 75 children and two artistic groups have donors and will be tutored and take part in all project activities but eight additional children, a theatre group and a musical band are still looking for a sponsor. By Zuzana Vilikovská