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July 9, 2020
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Czech Republic: Romani caretakers to supervise building safety in Zlín Region

Zlín Region, 2.2.2015 18:56, (ROMEA)
A clean-up project at the Romani-occupied housing estate of Chanov in Most, Czech Republic. (Photo:   Lukáš Houdek)
A clean-up project at the Romani-occupied housing estate of Chanov in Most, Czech Republic. (Photo: Lukáš Houdek)

The Zlín Regional Administration has approved a subsidy to the ARGO civic association for the sixth time for the provision of Romani caretakers in selected localities. The Romani localities in the towns of Holešov, Kroměříž, Uherský Brod and Zlín will each receive a Romani caretaker.

A subsidy of CZK 400 000 has been approved to pay for their work. "Experience from previous years has shown us that this is a time-tested method to maintain not just cleanliness and order in Romani localities, but to prevent intolerance of them among the surrounding population. Support for the employment of these groups is also an important element," said Taťána Valentová Nersesjan, the Zlín Regional councilor responsible for social policy.      

The Bořenovská locality in Holešov will have a caretaker working at a housing complex of five apartment blocs made of plastic. Caretakers will also work at the Romani locality of Račín in Kroměříž, where there is a total of 29 apartment units, and in the locality of Obecina in Zlín, where Romani people are in the minority.

"In Kroměříž and Zlín we are seeing great progress. In the past, many people complained of disorder in those localities and today those complaints have stopped," Nersesjan said.

The sixth locality where a caretaker will work is that of Větrná a Vazová in Uherský Brod, which is again a locality with both a non-Romani and Romani population. The main activities of the caretakers include cleaning around the outside of apartment bulidings, inside their common areas, and near garbage cans, clearing snow in the winter, maintaining the cleanliness of playgrounds, and oversight of good relations between neighbors.

The nonprofit organization ARGO has been implementing programs in the field since 2005 that target the Romani minority in Zlín Region. In 2010 the group added caretakers working in Romani localities to its activities.

press release of the Zlín Regional Authority, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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