Every week The Slovak Spectator brings you a selection of three short stories from across Slovakia in which pessimism and negativity are absent.
1) Age is no obstacle
Renáta Bílá from Snakov, eastern Slovakia, is a 38-year-old Roma woman. Married with a grown-up son, she seems at first glance like many other mothers of her age. However, she recently graduated from vocational school and is now a beautician and make-up artist.
After primary school, Bílá trained to be a seamstress. But two years into her course she put her education on hold when she became pregnant. Motherhood and the cycle of ordinary life and work took up so much of her time she was unable to finish studies.
At one point in her life, she found herself at a community centre in Sveržov, eastern Slovakia, where community workers spotted her potential and suggested she return to school and obtain a Maturita leaving certificate. At first, Bílá could not imagine it at all, but she successfully finished her four-year course at a private vocational school in Bardejov, eastern Slovakia - all while working and looking after her family.
2) Child safety comes first
The primary school on Nevädzova Street in Ružinov has become the first school in the capital to test a new traffic regime designed to make it safer for kids when they arrive in the morning.
From 7:30 to 8:00, the immediate vicinity of the school turns into a pedestrian and cycling zone with cars banned from the area.
If the scheme turns out to be a success, similar zones - more are planned from September - will become permanent.
3) Rendez-vous car
Elsewhere, in Komárno, southern Slovakia, a new rapid-response medical car system is being tested. In Slovak, it's called the rendez-vous (RV) system.
An RV car with a physician and a paramedic and an ambulance (RZP) with no doctor aboard are both dispatched to a patient. After their initial assessment, the patient is taken to the hospital in the ambulance. If required, the physician can travel in the ambulance too, while their colleague-paramedic can be dispatched to another patient.
The new system, which is said to have worked abroad for years, should be launched across Slovakia from next year.
Here's more good news stories published by The Slovak Spectator
- Bear with head stuck in hog feeder has been rescued.
- Almost 2,500 people joined a live chain, setting a Slovak record.
- The 'Bad Water' lake attracts bathers in the Liptov region, despite its name.
- Explore two romanesque jewels in the Gemer region.
- A Slovak babička showed a Canadian mother how to pull a traditional strudel.
Funny meme for this week: Just don't get in the way
Army official: Boss, are we going to rig the [parliamentary] elections in Slovakia in favour of Smer?".
Vladimir Putin: Don't worry, they [Slovaks] will elect Smer without us [having to do anything].
Some Slovaks are worried that the Smer party, led by the populist former three-time PM Robert Fico, may win the parliamentary elections in September given it has topped recent opinion polls.
The party has been pushing forward pro-Russian narratives and promising to stop any further military support of Ukraine, among other things.
Smer and the extremist Republika party have also started to spread a narrative that the upcoming elections will be manipulated, pointing a finger at the former coalition and NATO. But the whole debate grew bigger after the former defence minister Jaroslav Naď said on live TV that Russia wants to meddle in the Slovak elections.
Last but not least, Slovak people are extremely prone to disinformation, as several surveys have shown in recent years.
You can send me your tips on positive news stories about Slovakia or funny memes at: email@example.com. Thank you!