We are working in a Roma settlements in Eastern Slovakia among marginalized Roma living with improper sanitation and services. Limited education and employment have created an environment where teen pregnancy, debt, disease, addiction and abuse perpetuate hopelessness.
Motivated by our love for people and a firm conviction that God has a plan for each person we serve the Roma of Slovakia. We believe their is provision and justice available to all. We see each person as valuable and precious and know that although the situation looks hopeless, with God all things are possible.
We believe there is a long term solution to poverty and injustice but it must come in and through the Roma themselves. Our programs are designed to support and equip Roma with the inspiration, information and tools they need to effectively bring change in their own lives and in turn to others.
Not far from the comfortable family homes of Trebišov is a Roma-Gypsy settlement. Fenced in on two sides by brick walls and a sewer filled channel on the other, the small one room shacks and destroyed buildings are home to over 5,000 Roma. Each home holds an average of 15 and as many as 40 occupants. Like most Roma in Slovakia, they live on the fringes of society. The majority of homes have no running water, legal electricity or sanitation services.
Milan is 47 and unemployed. He and his wife share their home with their 7 children, 5 grandchildren and other homeless relatives; seventeen total living in two small cramped rooms. Recent welfare reform has seen his benefits slashed. He, like many Roma, work 80 hours a month for the city in exchange for 65 euro monthly support.
Hundreds of thousands of Roma are dispersed throughout Europe. In Slovakia, they make up 10 percent of the population. (2004 figure) Life expectancy for Roma is 15 years lower than the Slovak majority.While Slovakia's unemployment rate is below the EU average, among the Roma it is higher than 83 percent.
Even though it is forbidden by law, Roma children attend segregated schools, many in programs for the mentally disadvantaged.
Jireh Project has purchased a building located right at the edge of this Roma settlement. This building is a gateway, a safe place to release hope for a better future. Here we are able to offer programs for children, training programs for adults, counseling for addictions and support for those who have lost all hope.
Coming together for music, positive testimonies and Biblical instruction. The gospel brings hope for the future.
Our building located in the Roma Ghetto is a place of peace, love and joy.
A neglected minority, 25% of the population of Sečova are Roma Gypsies. Over 2000 living in the outskirts of town in a settlement with no running water or septic system. Children attend a segregated school from the age of seven but few complete the full nine years of required education. Unemployment, teen pregnancy, addiction and poverty are rampant.
Community Center 111 is one open field away from the settlement, meters from the roma school and on the main highway leading to town. From this location Jireh Project plans to launch "Good Beginnings" projects (see below)