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Coalition of Romani representatives in Czech region of Liberec appeal to Romani community to follow COVID-19 pandemic regulations

1.11.2020 14:13
PHOTO:  Coalition of Romani Representatives of the Liberec Region, Czech Republic (2020).
PHOTO: Coalition of Romani Representatives of the Liberec Region, Czech Republic (2020).

The Coalition of Romani Representatives in the Liberec Region is appealing to Romani people to follow Government regulations to counter the COVID-19 pandemic as part of combating its dissemination. They are calling on the Romani community to not just maintain physical distance from others and wear facemasks, but also to limit their contact with their extended families 

"The anticipated second wave of the pandemic has postponed our opening of the Club of Romani Parents, those who take an active interest in their children's education. These clubs are attempting to re-enroll children who currently attend schools for children with special needs into mainstream primary schools, where they would be educated together with others using support measures," said Ladislav Martha, the club coordinator, in a press release. 

According to the coordinator, each child should have a chance to access education of the same kind, and if people do not begin following the across-the-board regulations to ameliorate the pandemic, the chance of everybody returning to normal life by the close of the year will vanish. The Coalition was involved in sewing facemasks and delivering them to senior citizens, single mothers, and the socially vulnerable when the pandemic began in March. 

Because of the pandemic, the local activities of the Parliament of Romani Students and Youth have also been halted; the group functions as part of a project called "Community Work in the Socially Excluded Locality of Liberec" and brings Romani high school students together. "The young students had been planning to hold a series of motivational lectures for pupils, both at the schools for pupils with special needs and in the primary schools, beginning in October. We are of the opinion that education is the way to a better, higher-quality life and that if we support Romani youth in their studies and in their identity as Romani people, all of us will see the benefits. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic and the closing of schools, we have not managed to implement this project," the coordinator said, adding that the organization frequently has worked as a "life preserver" for people experiencing difficult, distressing times in life.   

"It has already happened that we have had to address cases where a mother and her child ended up homeless with nowhere to go. It doesn't matter if it's 10 PM, we must address such a situation immediately," said community worker and coordinator Ján Lányi, who is proud that the organization has managed, along with the tenants of the Ještědská and Mydlák residential hotels and with the participation of the owner, to establish a community club room and other backup facilities there for the tenants' needs.   

Unfortunately, those people will now have to wait some time before the club room can be opened. The tenants are being offered individual consultations during which they have the opportunity to acquire information and contacts to organizations that are able to aid them in any unexpected, unfavorable situations. 

hor, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Liberec, sociální oblast, sociální práce



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