Project #12272

Provide education for talented Roma children

by Dive maky, o.z.

„Thank you, thank you very much for convincing me to come to this Festival, to enjoy this amazing atmosphere and to support these fantastic children...“ said a young man from Chile, who came to see the Castle Devin, but we changed his mind and convinced him that supporting young talented Roma children and youth from Dive maky and being a part of a Gipsy Bashavel was definitely worth it.

And he was just one of 2000 amazed visitors, who realised that art not only breaks down the prejudice in non-violent way, but it also connects people and creates a new point of view on our children, Roma artists and actually the whole Roma community as such. We truly believe that during the Festival many visitors told themselves, YES – THESE ARE OUR ROMA PEOPLE AND WE ARE PROUD OF THEM. Those who work hard and present themselves and their culture with a smile and excitement. Yes, they are different from the majority in their nature and their habits. However, they are different in a beautiful way. In a way that you want to be a part of them, while they are having fun dancing, singing. Their presence will make your prejudice disappear and suddenly you realise that you are dancing in front of the stage with a smile on your lips.

This year Gipsy Bashavel provided a rich program for whole families. Adult visitors could finally begin with studies of Roma language. They could learn basic phrases, listen to breathtaking stories of our children, which deeply touched their hearts. They could also admire the work of traditional Roma craftsmen and jewelers; try out traditional Roma food and a great wine from Slovak winemakers :) Children could also ride ponies,  paint on stones or just play at magical children playground. Besides all that, there was also a possibility to try out face-painting, henna body painting, many craftshops and others…

Evening was gradually culminating by the performance of the Gipsy Nicol, the Hollosy band, fenomenal Hungarian band Parno Graszt and finally galaprogram of the children and youth from Dive maky. People who do not know anything about Dive maky would have probably had low expectations – „ They are just children, the performance will be nice, but....“ However, there was no time for any doubts during that day. We can honestly say that all visitors were amazed by what they saw during the performance of our children. Leader of the music band, Filip, who has been studying at conservatory only for 1 year showed an amazing technique that was praised also by professional musicians. The performance of Stanko who has been playing piano for 3 years was even better than that of the graduates from music schools. When beautiful Kristinka sang Je t'aime, people in the crowd had goose bumps. .... Visitors could experience a real Roma theatre, which had unbelievably good responses. They could also enjoy the display of drawings and paintings of our great creative artist Miso, and later they could enjoy a great dance performance.

The main idea of a Gipsy Bashavel is to connect people and to show to wide public what are our children and youth with the support from donnors and fans capable of. And we are not only talking about a financial support but also about the support provided through applause, appreciation and every single positive comment on Facebook that is saying: „ I wish you all the best, I believe in your work„… Every single „like“, every single euro, every single person, who sees and recognises that Roma people are working hard on their talents and they will be if we give them a chance. However, it is necessary to have open minds, eyes and hearts. There is no problem in the world that cannot be solved if we stick together.

Thanks to you, our great sponsors and supporters we can organise summer camp for these children and youth every year. There they can work on improving their talents, skills and personalities. We can also organise small trips, train our mentors (who are the second parents of our children) and also deal with unexpected expenses and hard life situations of our children, that unfortunately sometimes occurs. Gipsy Bashavel expresses also our THANK YOU for all your help and trust that you are giving us.

Thanks to your support and your donations via GlobalGiving we change lives of talented Roma children who need it the most. We would be very pleased if you became our donor and support our activities. With your help we can create new generation of Roma- educated, hardworking, confident and proud.

We thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts for your supprt :-)



Dive maky


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 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,, 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! 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 :)

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 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: 

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: 

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



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Organization Information

Dive maky, o.z.

Location: Bratislava, Slovakia - Slovakia
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Barbora Kohutikova
Bratislava, Slovakia

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