A WOMAN writer, an artist-carver, a female activist, a businessman, a nun and the girls’ trio Sabrosa should become positive role models for Roma children thanks to the Romane Hangi project. It has installed these figures in a virtual gallery of Roma personalities in business, art and culture that the Prešov civic association Slovenská Obecná Vzdelávacia Asociácia (Slovak Communal Education Association, or SOVA) has published on its website.
The project, aimed at getting to know Roma culture and history and identify role models, has received financial support from the Slovak Government Office. The profiles can be found at www.romanehangi.sk. The site states that every one of those who made it onto the website’s list did not just demonstrate talent and skill, but also had to assert themselves and succeed through hard, long-term,
goal-directed and systematic work, the SITA newswire wrote. Furthermore, they had to struggle against unfavourable conditions.
The personalities include, among others: musical actor František Balog, who started singing in a choir at the Slon / Elephant orphanage in Šariš-ské Michaľany; the artistic woodcarver Martin Kaleja Januv; and Sister Maristella, who graduated from a health-care school and now helps abused women and mothers in need. One practical problem facing the project is that many Roma children only have access to a computer at school.