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ČT Art 2016:

ROMANO DROM 2015:

Forty Roma children from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary will be given the opportunity to develop their talent at the summer school Romano Drom under the supervision of Ida Kelarová and her team at the holiday resort near Lipany in eastern Slovakia. The summer school also schedules a concert performance featuring 40 Roma children, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and guests in the Roma settlements.

The idea behind the project: The idea of the project is to draw attention to the situation of Roma children living in eastern Slovakia, for it is evident, based on our numerous visits over a time of 20 years, that more and more generations have to survive in conditions which are absolutely inhumane. All our effort, financial sources, energy and time devoted to helping these children still, according to us, do not adequately emphasize the need to expose the problem these healthy and intelligent children are facing. This culture unbeknownst to society due to social exclusion needs to learn that these children truly need us and our help and without it have no chance. We consider this to be the only way for their better future.

It concerns the whole society. We need to realise that if these children do not get a better chance and conditions for their life, we cannot expect the consequences of their poverty to resolve themselves on their own. We would like to draw attention to the subject so as to protect the Roma children, and wish to spread information among the majority hoping that it will cease to ignore one key fact – that the Roma problem is not only about the Roma culture, but also about the extremely high level of poverty which is irresolvable. Tackling this issue is not only a question of money but also of our good will. We strive to make our world better. Our mission is to create role models which these children lack. Everyone should realise that it is not the same thing as seeing these children on TV, in the newspapers or tabloids. I know for one, that when you enter this area, for example the Roma settlements, and meets these children face to face, one sees the glimpse of hope in their eyes as a result of that contact. One can never forget those eyes as long as he lives. Every time I return home from visiting these children, I feel stronger and realise that we are all humans and must be aware of each and every human being on the planet. Every being has its place and the world would not be complete without it. Just as we have our place, so should the children have theirs, including respect, support, understanding and love. My experience is that this is exactly what the Roma children lack – the feeling of being welcome. It is one of the hardest paths to take, since we will not have immediate results, but I believe that if we start supporting these people selflessly, there is hope that this situation will change.

At the Romano Drom summer school, the Chavorenge choir will prepare a concert program, during which these children will perform with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Our goal is to bring love to these truly miserable living conditions and to remind the children that we are thinking of them and have not forgotten. With this grand show we hope to pass their own wonderful culture onto them. We hope that the Chavorenge choir will be the choir that motivates children to not to give up their dreams and goals and fulfill their destiny.

Ida Kelarová

Director of civic association MIRET