Children
 Slovakia
Project #12272

Provide education for talented Roma children

by Dive maky, o.z.
Vetted
Jarko playing his new clarinet
Jarko playing his new clarinet

Another fulfilled dream, another story which continuation is full of happiness and hope. However, this story hasn't ended yet. It's only at the beginning.

Jarko was born under a lucky star even though it doesn't seems so at the first sight. The first sight might be something like this: He is a young Roma from socially deprived family, who lives with his mother, father and 2 other siblings in tiny 2-room apartment in small town Sered. Mother works for minimum wage as a nurse and takes care for older and disabled people; father works mainly seasonally as a construction worker. About a year ago, his parents didn't know how to pay for his studies at the Conservatory.

And now, let's look at this from a different point of view: Jarko is young, extremely talented boy who lives in a loving family which would do even the impossible to make his dream (studying clarinet play) come true. His mother is thankful to have a job. Not only because she can make some money for family, but also because she- herself can help others. Dad comes from work quite tired every day, but he smiles. He is thankful to have a job as well. It means brighter future for his children.

The first turning point in his story was, when his mom sent an application to Dive maky. After a short period of time we found him generous donors, who were interested in his story and were beyond happy to make his dream come true. And so Jarko started to study at the Conservatory in Bratislava clarinet play. However, it was clear that he will need a good new clarinet. Our first idea was to start public collection and to share it among our acquaintances. The first guess was that it would MAYBE take a year to collect enough money. But then miracle happened! :) Organization of Muscular Dystrophy called us. They said they would like to donate 541€! When we heard that, we just sat speechlessly back in our chairs ant thought how amazing creatures people are. Because they, who needed the help most, help. They, who needed the hope most, give hope to others. Selflessly. Smiling.
About a month later, lady from ludialudom.sk called. She said that new mobile operator 4ka would like to support Jarko's dream, too. We were so excited to hear that! It was totally clear that it is just a matter of some short time to make this dream come true and then….

The clarinet arrived! We called Jarko. He said he would come as soon as possible. He came into our office. We handed him package and he opened it, smiling. There was a sign of pure joy on his face and we just kept asking: “Do you like it? Is it the one you wanted? Play something!”  And he, still smiling, silently says: “This is the love of my life.” He picks up brand new clarinet and starts to play it. “Beautiful!” we think to ourselves. It is true happiness to see that what you do change lives. To see smiling face of young boy who has a dream and keeps going towards its fulfilment.

We would like to thank to Organization of Muscular Dystrophy, ludialudom.sk, 4ka, Good country and you, your help and faith in our work. We couldn't do it without you.

If you would like to read more stories like this, do not hesitate to support us via globagiving.org! We can't wait to share more stories like this : )

 

Thank you so much for your support, it makes children's dreams come true : )

new clarinet
new clarinet
jarko is excited about his new love :)
jarko is excited about his new love :)
Mirko
Mirko

I'll tell you a short story about our „Wild poppy“ kid Mirko. Recently he has become face of our organisation, because his life story represents everything our children has to go through and what they can achieve.

Who is Mirko?

Mirko (19years old) is our “Wild poppy” and he comes from poor settlement in the village Sol. He came into our program as incredible theatre actor and regularly performed at theatre plays at Roma festival Bashavel. However, theatre is only his hobby now and currently he studies sophomore year of Chemical engineering at Slovak Technical University in capital Bratislava.

He is one of those, who took his chance in his early childhood and never let it go. He grew up into a person who himself can lend a hand. To give a better explanation: Dive maky has about 40 children all over Slovakia and they have their mentors- our co-workers in field. Mentor is a person, who supports the child, guides him and encourages him even when the world turns back on him. Last 6 months we have been working on improvement of our system, because we wanted our children to know that they are the most important and we truly care. Children are very sensitive creatures, sometimes with very complicated life stories and each one is unique. Our mentors show them that it is okay to take one step forward and two steps back, because that just sometimes happens in life. Since we have hired new mentors and made a brand new team, our bonds has become stronger and we often listen to touching stories about how children opened their hearts and found true supporters in us. This whole change has been made under supervision of Janette Motlova and Andy Harsanyova whom we thank from the bottom of our hearts. Actually, it was Janette's “crazy” idea, this amazing thing when she suggested: “Let's make Mirko mentor of other children!” It was a brilliant idea- to show people how far our children can go and what they are able to achieve. Imagine that. Former child of Dive maky would be our colleague! Mirko, who came from settlement, lived in small house, surrounded by people who hardly graduated from elementary school, maybe the smartest from high school. He is the best role model- modest young man with great gratitude and yet so educated. He has been through lot and now he would be the supporter of other children.

We wanted to meet Mirko and hear what he wants to say about it. We thought that maybe he wouldn't be ready for such step. He has lot of work to do at school and mentoring means to have some obligations. However, when we told him about this idea, he agreed with no hesitation: “ I want to help because in the past I was the one seeking for help.” And thus we granted him first and unique title: “Poppy-Mentor” and he became a mentor to 2 boys.

We have to tell you he is doing great and we couldn't make a better decision than this.

We are very proud that we can tell you that our former child is the one who helps now. Other kids turn to him for help and he does his best to show them how they can create better future to themselves. We want to make more stories like this. This story makes our donors see what impact their help have.

We will be very thankful if you support us through globalgiving.org so we could make more stories like this.

Thank you for your help and support

Dive maky

Mirko in theater play at Bashavel 2015
Mirko in theater play at Bashavel 2015
Mirko with other kids from Dive maky
Mirko with other kids from Dive maky
Ivan- amazing violinist
Ivan- amazing violinist

Once again Divé maky have, thanks to YOUR support, changed a life of talented Roma boy. We are very proud, that this year is going to be the last for Michal in our program. Why proud? Because he successfully graduated from School of Applied Arts and Scenic Arts and it seems that he will no longer need the support of Dive maky.

Michal's life has changed after his School of Applied Arts in Kosice was shut down. It was beyond his parents' financial possibilities to allow him to study in another town. At this point they couldn't see a solution and thought it would no longer be possible for Michal to study and live a better life. That's where Divé maky came in and gave them  hope. Dive maky took care of Michal and made sure he was able to continue his studies in the capital- Bratislava. Michal is very smart, yet humble boy and managed to find himself a little room for rent for small price in a house of a very nice, religious family. Very soon we got lucky and found him a generous donor who paid him all necessary costs, such as rent, food, travelling costs, tuition fees, etc.

We are more than glad to have had this thankful young man in our program. - “I thank Dive maky for the positive change in my life.” Michal

Every day we do all we can to create more stories like that one. We do everything possible to find as many life-changing donors as we can for other children who know that education gives them power to live different lives. One of such children is the extraordinary violinist Ivan. His life situation has been quite complicated from very childhood. As a very young boy he had to undergo difficult heart surgery a he still has to take medicaments and avoid stressful environment. Nevertheless, his biggest passion is violin and it is hardly possible to keep him from practicing several hours a day.  “My dream is to study violin, go to conservatory and then later to University. For this I practice couple of hours every day”

Ivan lives with his family in a 2-room flat and shares a room with his little sister. They say their situation isn't the worst, but you can imagine that family of 4 living in two rooms with a talented boy with heart condition and little daughter is far from perfect, especially as Ivan’s mother is on maternity leave and his father only has limited employment opportunities. They don't have resources to move to a bigger apartment, not to mention to pay for Ivan's violin lessons and to fulfil his dream.

Please listen to his amazing talent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7ECsVAIlgk 

We want to do our best to find him a donor.

Will you be his life-changer and support his dream to become a professional violinist?

 

Michal- artist
Michal- artist
Michal has a great talent
Michal has a great talent
one of Michals works
one of Michals works
Our talented violin player Anabela
Our talented violin player Anabela

The new year brought new challenges but we are happy to face them as we know that overcoming them makes us stronger. We recognise, that in order for an organisation to function well it needs to be regularly evaluated. Divé maky devoted a lot of their time in the last two weeks to the evaluation of our tutoring program - we gathered feedback from students and their families. We will use this information to improve the tutoring program in order to deliver even better results.  

Katarína, our former project manager left for maternity leave and we have been happy to welcome our new senior manager Mária Potocárová Rybaricová. 

Next week we are going to a fundraising photo exhibition. Anabelka, our talented violin player is going to play at the opening and hopefully we will manage to gather some funds for her scholarship. 

Spring flowers are blooming already and we are doing our best to make sure the talent and personality of the students involved in our program could flourish too. Unfortunately, we could find an individual donor for 10 of our children. It is a hard time for NGOs, but we are working on increasing our visibility and on bringing the complexity of the Roma education issue into the forefront of popular discourse. For example the 8th of April marked the International Day of the Roma people and we released modern remixes of two traditional gypsy songs. You could listen to them here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLmV8b1pQmU&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkFO5IlmAAQ 

The summer season is finally around the corner and we have started to prepare for the Summer academy where our students from all around Slovakia come together to spend two weeks to get to know each other and to work on their talents together with inspiring teachers. 

Talented young musician Mario
Talented young musician Mario

Links:

Kamila gains 2nd place at a singing competition
Kamila gains 2nd place at a singing competition

Wild Poppies were kept busy throughout the past few months. We have always aimed to provide the best fitting individual tutoring for the children and youth involved in the scholarship program. Throughout the fall we have been focusing on the development of professional skills of our administration as well as tutoring team and held a teambuilding, best-practice sharing weekend for our tutors who visited our office based in Bratislava from all corners of Slovakia. At the moment we are planning the next session which would take place in the beginning of February.

Our exceptional students spread joy and good energy through their talents in a number of diverse settings. To give some examples Zuzka Šimcíková co-lead a dance and rhythm workshop for the youngest students of an international school in Bratislava; Anabelka Patkolová brightened the day in a local home for elderly with a beautiful violin concert and Michal Oravec exhibited some of his recent artwork at a Christmas market.  Our talented singer Kamila Mitrášová achieved second place at the 2014 Golden Roma Nightingale awards.

We are ready to dive into this new year with enthusiasm, to do our best to enable the development of the talent of Roma youth and to build a better image of minorities in this society. 

Michal at the winter market exhibition
Michal at the winter market exhibition
Dance and rhythm workshop with Zuzka
Dance and rhythm workshop with Zuzka
Tutor traning and teambuilding at Wild poppies
Tutor traning and teambuilding at Wild poppies

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Dive maky, o.z.

Location: Bratislava, Slovakia - Slovakia
Website: http:/​/​www.divemaky.sk/​
Project Leader:
Barbora Kohutikova
Bratislava, Slovakia

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