As Czech home for children improves facility, its Romani graduates can't get a lease
Children living at the Prostějov children's home (Dětský domov) have a new outdoor playground. "We are doing our best to lead these children toward movement and sport, so the training playground became instantly popular. However, shortly after we installed the machinery, the real winter began. Now these young athletes have to wait for warmer weather," director Vladimír Brablec told the daily Prostějovský deník.
The Agel Foundation contributed to building the facility for "outdoor fitness", with the remainder of the cost being paid by the children's home from its own resources, primarily contributions from private donors. According to Brablec, further expansion is planned - he would like to build a multifunctional area for both the older and the younger children.
"On one side there would be exercise machines, and at the other end of the garden there would be swings for the youngest children. In addition, we would like to modify the landscaping so we could have a fire pit and places for various sports," he said.
There are 40 children living at the facility, ranging from toddlers to young adults who reside there voluntarily while they continue their educations, for example. According to Brablec, former children's home residents have problems finding apartments when they age out of facilities.
The town of Prostějov does not offer any social apartments, and reportedly landlords there frequently reject potential tenants once they ascertain that the person is a Romani man or woman. "It's important to realize that a children's home is not a place for warehousing children, but an educational institution. We do not raise welfare recipients in our facility, we teach children how to make money to support themselves and how to correctly integrate into the system," Brablec told the daily.
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