Saturday, October 18, 2014

Roma Home Building Partner WINS EU 1st PLACE PRIZE

ETP Slovakia - the NGO that the Church partners with to give aid to the Roma people of Slovakia (see our post of Sept 17, 2014)- just won the TOP PRIZE as the most outstanding NGO in the European Union this year!!!

Here is the announcement: 

This last Thursday, October 16th, the European Economic and Social Committee, located in Brussels Belgium, has announced the winner of the 2014 Civil Society award. Out of 81 excellent organizations nominated from throughout the European Union, ETP Slovakia was awarded the top prize.
President Henri Malosse together with Vice-President Jane Morrice announced the ranking of the 2014 Civil Society Prize winners during the October plenary session of the EESC.
ETP Slovakia received the first prize for their project Building Hope, through which they teach Roma communities in Slovakia how to construct their own legal homes.
ETP is a non government organization that has 10 community centers in Eastern Slovakia. ETP has worked in Roma marginalized communities for 12 years with the purpose of helping them help themselves to integrate into Slovakian society. 

Elder and Sister Miller with Elder Stay and the ETP contractor at Roma home

Notes from our current Humanitarian Missionaries in Slovakia, Elder Ross and Sister Rosina Miller :

In 2007  Elder and Sister Behunin, the first Slovakian Humanitarian missionaries for the LDS Church,  began partnering with ETP to provide help.  Humanitarian aid has been given in several projects since that time.   We have been very impressed with ETP's complete approach to helping the Roma.  Most people in Slovakia have very negative attitudes toward the Roma.   We know that a lot of time and money from several sources have attempted to address the problem of helping these people to become a part of the normal society here in Europe.  A list of issues and historical perspective has kept them isolated.  Somehow, Slavka - the director of ETP - and her organization ETP Slovakia, have worked tirelessly to adapt their efforts to find a way to truly change the lives of the Roma by giving them hope and dignity.  We believe that ETP well deserves this recognition.  The Church Humanitarian Services has supported the 'Building Hope' project in Rankovce, (with providing clean water for the homes being built) which is the focus of this year's award and recognition.  LDS Humanitarian Services are currently helping ETP with the reconstruction work to expand their efforts in the community of Velke Ida, funding the materials for the refitting of the community center. We are grateful to be allowed to work with such great people to serve the Lords Children.

Elder and Sister Miller, Kosice, Slovakia

Both of these projects are shown in the video titled, The 3 winning projects
The first video box is a video of each of the 3 organizations, finalist for the reward, sharing the work that they are doing and what they have done to lift, change the lives of the Roma people.
ETP Slovakia begins at 1:50.  The LDS Church is funding the refitting of the community center at Velke Ida shown at 2:42 and the housing shown at 3:05 and 3:32.  Note that all the actual labor on the community center and the homes is done by the Roma themselves (3:13)

To hear from the director of ETP (Slavka) after she was  presented with the EESC  award and her acceptance speech, click on the video entitled  Winner of the 1st prize : ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development     Interview with Slávka Mačáková, Director ETP 

Slavka is constantly putting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints forward and recognizing the Church for their support. 

Here is a blogpost of some of our young missionaries volunteering with ETP,  highlighting the last service day that the missionaries were able to participate in.