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May 27, 2022



Czech nonprofit Romodrom celebrates its 20th anniversary

25.10.2021 7:21
The Romodrom organization celebrated its 20th anniversary in Prague in 2021 - founder Marie Gailová is on the right. (PHOTO:  ROMEA TV)
The Romodrom organization celebrated its 20th anniversary in Prague in 2021 - founder Marie Gailová is on the right. (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Romodrom organization in the Czech Republic. During its years of social service provision the organization has aided many families and individuals with solving their difficult living situations.

In addition to social counseling, support with finding housing and jobs, addressing personal debt, and running programs in the field, Romodrom also focuses on children's education. The organization was born in Prague but today has branches in all regions of the Czech Republic. 

The beginning of the organization was the unwavering effort of its founder and director for many years, Romani community member Marie Gailová, to aid those in need. "I began working as a field social worker in Prague 22, where I first advocated for the closure of a ghetto. Back then I said to myself that far more needs to be done," she recalled in an interview for ROMEA TV about what led her to establish her own organization.   

"The prison program was born thanks to my first client from Prague 22, whom I visited in prison. I discovered it is also necessary to do something for prisoners, because they have no work and they need to send money home to their families. We established a carpentry workshop and gave jobs to prisoners at Vinařice," she described.

Another project that has been covered by the media and is successful is "Housing First", thanks to which homeless or socially excluded people are able to be housed. This year Romodrom and the Nová možnost (New Opportunity) association won the prestigious European FEANTSA - Working Together to End Homelessness in Europe award for that project.  

"My opinion is that housing is a basic necessity. In the Czech Republic there are big barriers to accessing housing, and great attention is being paid to Romodrom exactly because we are successful in this area," executive director Nikola Taragoš said in an interview for ROMEA TV. 

"Attention is not important, though. To me, what is important is that we are actually able and willing to aid people who are in need," he explained.  

The organization celebrated its 20 year anniversary together with members of the public in Prague in September. ROMEA TV covered the event (here in Czech only).

th, vhl, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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