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August 20, 2018
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ROMEA raises funds to support Czech school subjected to racist attacks online

17.11.2017 14:46
Support the Romani Scholarship program. (Collage:  Romea.cz)
Support the Romani Scholarship program. (Collage: Romea.cz)

ROMEA, along with other organizations and many public figures, has decided to respond to the current wave of hatred and racism that is spreading through the Czech Republic. Together they are joining a campaign to promote the Romani Scholarship Program which, during this academic year, has already supported 86 Romani secondary school students from all over the Czech Republic.

Part of the current fundraising drive will be donated to children, irrespective of nationality, who attend the primary school in Teplice that has recently been attacked online. "We have decided that 30 % of the funds raised will be used to support children from the primary school in Teplice that has become a target of hateful, racist attacks," said the director of ROMEA, Zdeněk Ryšavý.

 

"The other 70 % of the funds will be used for our comprehensive program of support for Romani secondary school students," he told Romea.cz. Part of the financial support will be used by the school administration for needed equipment and educational materials for the first grade class.

At the same time, pupils from the ninth grade will be supported in their preparations for entrance examinations to secondary school. The aid raised for the Teplice school will be distributed to all pupils irrespective of nationality.

"To not respond to the expansion of violent racism at a moment when extremists are entering mainstream Czech politics means to accept that development. That is not my case, and I believe many other people feel the same way," Ivan Gabal, initiator of the fundraising drive, told Romea.cz.

"Those people must get a chance to respond," Gabal said. Monika Mihaličková, fundraiser for ROMEA, said: "There are many people among us who do not want to just passively watch what is happening and who want to demonstrate that they do not belong to the group of people obsessed with this absurd hatred."

Marcela Prokůpková, the director of the Primary School with Expanded Instruction in Computer and Information Technology in Teplice, responded to the offer of aid:  "On behalf of all pupils, their parents, and the entire school, I would like to thank the organizers of this campaign, who have decided to donate part of the funds raised to meet the needs of the first-graders and ninth-graders here. We are very glad this assistance is being offered to our children and we greatly appreciate this helpful attitude."

The campaign is called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" It was launched on 14 November and will run until 31 December 2017.

The ROMEA organization has long promoted the education of Romani students at colleges, high schools, and higher vocational schools, not just through scholarships, but also through a comprehensive program of student support. In addition to direct financial aid, students are able to access mentors, to pay for additional training, to complete internships at firms, to attend motivational weekends with other Romani students from all over the Czech Republic, and to voluntarily aid Romani organizations.

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Kampaň, Nenávist, Racism, ROMEA



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