In the project “We connect for more opportunities” LDI02014, the benefits from a 749 105 € grant from Norway through the Norway Grants. The project has been co-financed from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of 112 365€, the City of Lučenec together with partners BBSK Employment Agency, Project DOM.ov and Norwegian partner CBNRM Networking is trying to bring an innovative and comprehensive approach to the inclusion of marginalized Roma communities.
The series of events with experts and interested parties within the project continued with a meeting of mayors and mayors on March 24, 2023, in the building of the historic Town Hall in Lučenac. The aim was to map the potential and possibilities of cooperation between municipalities, the city and partners with the aim of improving living conditions and quality, but also education, employment and social inclusion of marginalized Roma communities through this project.
The main topic of the meeting was the possibility of self-help construction and accompanying activities offered by the DOM.ov Project to all municipalities in the Banskobystrica self-governing region. The innovative project won several awards. In the east of Slovakia, it has already brought new housing and opportunities to improve living conditions for several Roma families. It also impressed the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová, who visited such self-help construction. The non-profit organization offers a unique opportunity to all interested parties from marginalized Roma communities to break out of generational poverty through their own activity and merit, as well as education and active work with clients, improving their financial literacy, as well as acquiring manual skills.
Despite some difficulties, mainly related to the lack of available land for such self-help construction, as well as breaking down prejudices and mistrust among future clients that something like this is possible, several mayors expressed an interest in further information. The cooperation of the partners brings the effect of united vessels, when the municipality of the City of Lučenec, which prepares the land and also covers other activities, the BBSK Employment Agency, or the Norwegian partner, bring connections in the field of education and employment in the project. We believe that even in Novohrad we will be able to set an example of good practice, even if it is only one family that can prove that change for the better is possible for all who make it themselves and get support that will help them in it.