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June 28, 2017
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Czech Television: Successful Romani families aid the community

15.6.2017 11:47
Martin Bajger and Emil Horvát, 2017. (PHOTO: Czech Television, collage Romea.cz)
Martin Bajger and Emil Horvát, 2017. (PHOTO: Czech Television, collage Romea.cz)

A Czech Government report on the state of the Romani minority last year has found that half of the Romani people in the Czech Republic are educated, fully integrated into society, and middle class. Now public broadcaster Czech Television has visited two such families living in the Ústecký Region.

An episode of the "168 Hours" program on this topic was broadcast on Sunday telling the stories of two Romani families who are doing their best to aid their community and be positive examples in society. Martin Bajger, for example, is a graduate of the Department of Socioeconomics at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.

At the age of 20 Bajger went into business. He owns a construction firm and employs almost 50 people.

Bajger talks about encountering discrimination during his very first job interview. "All was in order when it was communication by e-mail and telephone. When I arrived for the personal interview, my prospective employer immediately told me, in the doorway, that the job had been taken, but it hadn't, because one hour before I came there they had been telling me they looked forward to me. At that time I told myself that unfortunately I had no choice but to begin my own business and simply hire my own people," Bajger says in the reportage.

The Horvát family is also doing its best to contribute to their community and be positive role models. Emil Horvát grew up in a children's home.

Today he and his wife Andrea are raising two children. Education is the basis of their children's lives.

Horvát graduated from the Báňská College in Ostrava. He began working as an educator at the Primary School in Lom (Most district) and then worked in the grocery industry in Great Britain.

He has been back home in the Czech Republic for nine years. Today he manages production at a Czech factory for injection molding.

"I manage about 30 people, from operators to process engineers and maintenance. It's control and management of the production plant," Horvát describes his current job.

Andrea Horvátová teaches English and aids Romani people who are moving away from the ghettoes in her job as a social worker. "We visit families and work not just with the children, but also the parents. We prepare them for job interviews, aid them with finding work online, organize various business meetings," she said.

How do these successful families believe other Romani people can move away from the ghettoes and out of poverty? Horvát believes it is necessary to get "weaker people" out of the excluded localities and interacting with "stronger people" who will be able to influence them.

"If we develop the ghettoes but leave [weaker people] all living together we will achieve nothing," Horvát said. For his part, Bajger said he hopes "the next generation of Romani people will work as bureaucrats, doctors, lawyers, just in all fields, because unfortunately the representation of Romani people in such positions currently is not very high."

dm, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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integration, Soužití, Zaměstnanost, Zaměstnávání



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