NEWS – Exchanging Goods and Good Times in Slovakia

The Wide Open School is working with seriously disadvantaged people: the Roma community. They live in very poor settlements. At the same time, through their expert work for universities (in cooperation with professional consultancies) they are connected with wealthier people as well, amongst which are many from the private IT sector.

Different groups, but Wide Open School has brought them together. Building a bridge between the two, exchanging useful things, such as: toys, books, furniture, clothes, necessities for newborns, bikes, strollers, etc.) to Roma settlements. They also have organized several get-togethers between Roma and the IT community. As a result, they have established almost familiar relationships.

This in itself gave the team of Wide Open School big hope, because it shows that not all Slovak inhabitants are intolerant, or even worse: racist.

Full value life
Wide Open School pursuits an environment where all families live in heterogeneous communities, especially children at an early age. Living in a full-value and tolerant environment, where they have access to education and social services and where all people are free in addressing their needs to a reliable, open and competent public administration.

Over the years, Wide Open School has created a broad range of services to help grow the resilience of the communities in which they work. Their offer and experience concerns parenting programs and community building, early childhood programs and aid with social and financial literacy (0-15). In addition, they offer services on topics such as social justice and leadership & governance in multi-cultural environments.

National challenges
Despite their current activities on advocacy, they do realize such activities on both national and regional level are of the enduring kind. On national level, things are more complicated and efforts need long time to take form. Wide Open School therefore believes that these results will be visible in the future only. On regional level, change and successes are more evident. The reason for this is their close cooperation with Mayors. While they endorse the work and cooperate it immediately becomes more visible.

Wide Open School will surely keep up the good work. For us, they have the following advice: Keep working hard for children – your work makes

About ISSA
ISSA is the driving force behind REYN. At ISSA we commit ourselves to the development of every child, across all domains. Ever since ISSA was founded as a network in 1999 we have grown significantly – sharing knowledge and tools to improve the quality of Early Childhood Development and its workforce. In (pre)schools, creches, kindergartens and daycare centers across Europe, and in other services for young children and their families. As a network, we gather and generate prominent studies and insights on child development and learning and convey them to our peers, member organizations and policy makers, so they can put them to good use.