Characteristics of the area
The Kecerovce-Olšavamicroregion is in eastern Slovakia, 30km to the north-east of Košice, the second largest city in Slovakia. It brings together 15 villages with approximately 10,000 inhabitants. Segregated Roma communities form the majority of a population whose average age is low and with high levels of unemployment and poverty. The overall infrastructure is poor: road networks are in poor quality,gas and water supplies only partly cover the residential areas and there is no sewage or wastewater system.
The area attractive natural features including two natural reserves and a geyser, as well as historical monuments such as churches and castles.
- The total area of the micro-region is approximately 15 000 hectares
- Thepercentage of marginalized people in the micro-region is up to 50% (in many villages up to 90%)
- Typically high unemployment rate of up to 32%
- Low level of education, up to 2 out of 3 are people have only received primary education
- High birth rates
- Significantly lower average age than the national average.
When did the YEPP Local Site become involved?
Our YEPP Local Site became involved during the autumn of 2010.
Why did the Local Site start implementing the “YEPP” approach and methodology?
Our attention in terms of the projects focus on four selected villages of Rankovce, Kecerovce, Boliarov and Vtáčkovce. These villages were affected by the location of the office of our organization (which is in Rankovce village and the remaining three villages are neighbouring), and also by the fact that these villages are characterized by a high poverty population. We want strategically work with youth in the region. The "YEPP" approach and methodology is very well suited for the particular needs in our identified area.
Main issues and objectives?
Our main intention is the inclusion of young Roma into mainstream society. Specific intentions are:
- Empowermentof youth in the development of the region
- Support of education and employment of young Roma
- Supportfor volunteering
- Activation of key players to take responsibility for the development of local communities.
What are the projects and achievements to date?
Our greatest achievements are:
- Created situational analysis, in which we defined the key problems of local communities and young people
- Created a common working platform where young people and key players from different sectors, meet to discuss relevant issues and forge strong partnership. Representatives come from local communities, Church Organisations, Social Workers, Teachers, Health Authorities and a special representative for Roma Communities from the Slovakian Government.
- Supported participation of young people in creating local non-formal groups and one microregional non-formal group.They planned a series of events for all residents of the microregion.
- Opening of youth low-threshold club which called KERA Klub in Kecerovce with support of local self-government.
- Provided meeting spaces for Young People in the villages of Rankovce and Boliarov, and later expanded toVtáčkovce a Bačkovík.
- Successful fundraising, the most important sponsor is Erste Foundation from Vienna).
- Scientific publication called Láčhečháveadadživeseskére (Good youth of nowadays)
- Active participation at significant international events, in year 2010 in Genoa, Italy, in 2011 Görlitz/Zgorlec, Germany/Poland. Also in 2011 representatives from our YEPP Local Site participated in the Eurochild Conference in Cardiff, Wales. This event dealt with the question of increasing youth participation.
- In the October 2012 we participated in the YEPP IRC Workshop "Working Solutions for Young People" which had the main theme of entrepreneurship for local communities.
There are many challenges ahead of us - the most important are considered to be:
- Expansion options of formal study for our youth (development scholarship program through a new website, searching for potential students of colleges and universities).
- Development of business plans for projects created by young people (for example napr. creating of painting group aimed on beautifying the interior and exterior of local buildings).
- Inclusion of Roma youth into the society of non-Roma.
- Furtherexpansion of the "YEPP" approach and methodology to villages inVtáčkovce and Boliarov