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First Czech Gypsy Spirit prizes to be awarded today, ROMEA nominated

Prague, 1.12.2009 15:33, (ROMEA)

Today, for the first time ever in the Czech Republic, the Gypsy Spirit prize will be awarded. The prize is an opportunity to present successful Roma minority integration projects to the public. Five categories of prizes will be awarded at the Prague Crossroads center for activities benefiting the Roma. Representatives of businesses and NGOs, designers of after-school educational activities and individuals have been nominated. There will also be a special award for saving a human life.

Nominees include the doctors at the burn treatment center and intensive and resuscitation care unit of an Ostrava hospital for their treatment of little Natálka, the Romani girl who almost burned to death during an April arson attack by neo-Nazis in Vítkov. The ROMEA civic association has been nominated for its media activities, primarily the Romano voďi magazine and the news server Romea.cz.

The Gypsy Spirit prize was announced for the first time this year by Czech Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocáb, who will also be one of the jury members deciding on the prizewinners. Former Czech President Václav Havel is also among the jurors.

By appreciating successful projects that support the Roma, Kocáb intends to create a new space for presenting positive examples of integration. The new prize is part of the long-term international Decade of Roma Inclusion project, which involves countries from Central and Eastern Europe. Decade organizers want to particularly improve the quality of Roma education, employment, health and housing.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, ROMEA, ROMEA, ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert
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