“The Play Hub is an example of child integration”

The Dutch Deputy Ambassador in Slovakia praised the Toy for Inclusion Play Hub in Spišský Hrhov.

We were pleased to receive the visit of Martijn Lambarts in the Play Hub of Spišský Hrhov last Friday 25 October. Mr Lambarts is the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands in Slovakia.

The Play Hub is located in the village’s elementary school. Mr Lambarts took the chance to visit both locations and played with the children.

He expressed sincere appreciation when he said that the school and the Play Hub “show the direction to the country and serve as a model to all the schools wishing to integrate vulnerable children into the education system”.

These words have a very important meaning in Slovakia. A country where episodes of segregation in school are not rare.

Mr Lambarts spent some time to talk with the Romani children asking about their favorite activities at the Play Hub.

Together with the children, he planted two hundred tulip bulbs in front of the school.

Read more about the Toy for Inclusion project here…

TOY for Inclusion toolkit launched

- News

The new ‘TOY for Inclusion Toolkit – A step-by-step guide to creating inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Play Hubs for all generations’, provides the necessary information to enable trainers and practitioners of different sectors to set-up and run play spaces for children, families and communities.

The toolkit pays particular attention to social integration, intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, and social inclusion in the context of ECEC.

It addresses the following topics:
  • Setting the vision for all the children in the local community;
  • The importance of community-based ECEC and integration of services for inclusion, equity and respect for diversity;
  • Play spaces as community resource hubs;
  • All generations learning and playing together (intergenerational learning);
  • The importance of desegregated ECEC for Roma and non-Roma children, and anti-bias education;
  • Quality in community-based ECEC projects.

The TOY for Inclusion partners are available to provide guidance and training to organization interested in setting up ECEC Play Hubs.

If you want to have more information about the TOY for Inclusion approach or you want to set-up a Play Hub, please contact us.

The training materials (Power Points) mentioned in the Toolkit are available upon request.

Download the toolkit here.

How children and families benefit from TOY for Inclusion’s Play Hub in Slovakia

- News

“I have never felt so welcome and respected before.” said Anna Dirdova, Roma mother of six, after being at the newly opened TOY for Inclusion Play Hub in Spišský Hrhov, Slovakia.

“The new place I have just visited with my kids is something we should have had much sooner” – she continued. “My boys are happy to play with other kids from the village and nobody treats them any differently. They even have the chance to use books and toys I could not afford. What a perfect place!” – Ms Dirdova concluded.

The TOY for Inclusion Play Hub is a safe education and care space where relationships between Roma and non-Roma young children and their families are built. So far, the project has opened five in four countries.

Since the opening on December 8, 2017, over 130 adults and children have visited the Play Hub in Spišský Hrhov on a regular basis.

This new toy library is equipped with brand new furniture, lots of books, modern toys and games. The activities that are organized have become popular among people both from the Roma and from non-Roma community in the village.

Volunteers and teachers offer children more than just a place to play: children come together to draw, play sports, read and to attend different type of workshops.

While care services are offered to children, their parents can benefit from parental support at the TOY for Inclusion Play Hub as well.

On January 26, 2018, a school psychologist met parents of pre-school children to promote the benefits of attending day care at school. In particular, the psychologist shared data on how spending more time at day care in school can improve education results.

The opening of this toy library was made possible thanks to Skola Dokoran, REYN National Coordinator in Slovakia. For more information you can contact Miroslav Sklenka.

Read more about how TOY for Inclusion’s Play Hubs can contribute to Roma integration on

The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion – Croatia report

- Blog | REYN Admin

The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI), a joint initiative of the Open Society Early Childhood Program, the Roma Education Fund (REF), and UNICEF, launched its six report about Croatia in February 2015 in Zagreb.

The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion+ (RECI+) Croatia report confirms that education is one of the most critical areas of intervention for Roma children.

Download the report in pdf here

* Picture: A Roma Good Start Project, UNICEF, OSF, REF, ISSA