Czech Republic: Pope Francis gives his blessing to the sixth year of the Roma Spirit awards
The Michael Kocáb Foundation, in collaboration with Otevřená společnost, o.p.s. and the Museum of Romani Culture, has launched the nomination process for the sixth year of the Roma Spirit awards in the Czech Republic. The mission of Roma Spirit is to appreciate and popularize the work of individuals and organizations who contribute toward improving the situation of Romani people in the Czech Republic.
Pope Francis has sent his apostolic blessing to the Roma Spirit 2016 awards in the Czech Republic and has promised to keep them in his prayers. Auspices for the award are being provided by Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, Auxiliary Bishop of Prague Monsignor Václav Malý, and Czech MP Karel Schwarzenberg.
"I am very glad to have received this letter from Pope Francis. It is an appreciation of our work that exceeds expectations and has put new blood in our veins :). Other leading figures are becoming more and more involved with Roma Spirit and we are grateful for that. One of the new men who will actively contribute to this significant event is Culture Minister Daniel Herman, whom I hereby thank. This year we would like to give the floor to the ministers and the Government Commissioners who have been responsible for human rights, as well as to those who will receive the award," writes Michael Kocáb.
The 2016 Roma Spirit awards in the Czech Republic will be given in the following categories:
Non-governmental/non-profit organization - for implementation of a specific project focused on developing and supporting the Romani minority and the results achieved, implementation of a project focused on after-school educational activities for Romani children and youth.
Company/employer/firm - for supporting projects focused on social aid and support to the Romani community.
City/municipality - for programs focused on integrating members of the Romani minority into society and activities benefitting the Romani community.
Individual - appreciation of an individual for long-term work that has contributed to improving the position of Romani people.
Media - appreciation for a journalist who has presented objective or positive information about Romani issues, or who has broadcast or published positive references to mutual tolerance and understanding.
Good Deed of the Year - for an action that contributed to saving a life.
Romani Culture - a special category of appreciation for contribution to Romani culture in the area of Romani language, spoken or written, and in an artistic discipline such as dance, film, literature, music, photography, song, theater, visual arts, etc., as well as other creating activities by various communities and groups of Romani and Sinti people in the Czech Republic. Activities that lead to the preservation, reproduction and further development of the culture of Roma and Sinti may also be nominated for appreciation, such as the organizers of cultural events, sponsors, etc. An extraordinary cultural advance may also be nominated. The expert guarantor of this seventh category, Romani Culture, will be the Museum of Romani Culture.
How to nominate candidates
Any inhabitant of the Czech Republic can send a nomination in an category using the simple online form. The nominated activities or deeds must have occurred between December 2015 and the end of September 2016.
The deadline for sending nominations is 30 September 2016. Winners of the Roma Spirit awards will be announced on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2016, at the Prague Crossroads.
The aim of Roma Spirit is to appreciate and make visible those commercial ventures, individuals, municipalities and nonprofit organizations that actively contribute to resolving difficult situations and that promote aid to Romani people and good coexistence in Czech society. The author of the idea of the Roma Spirit project is Ms Lubomíra Slušná-Franz, President of the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC), which implements the Roma Spirit project in Slovakia.
Financial support for Roma Spirit is provided by Bader Philanthropies. The main media partner of Roma Spirit is Czech Television, and the Romea.cz news server is a media partner.
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