A new agency for unemployed Roma in Prague

Author: Katerina SidonovaLocation: PragueA new service for unemployed Roma in Prague. Free of charge.Personal Agency of Roma is a non-profit agency that was established by the Romani Union in the Czech Republic. The project is supported by the City Council of Prague. Its aim is to help Roma to find work and stay employed. It […]

I had a vision about how to build a team of people

Eva BajgerovaRomany AssistantOffice of the Regional GovernmentUsti nad LabemThe Stories Exchange Project is about sharing experience. It’s about meeting other people and getting to know them. It’s a mutual relationship, a mutual communication, an exchange of knowledge and skills.I had a vision about how to build a team of people who would go around town […]

Using stories is the best way to educate people

Monika HorakovaMember of the Czech Parliamentin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange ProjectCzech Ministry of Foreign AffairsPrague1 December 2000Jack ErwinWhat good is it, do you think, to do this: to get stories from Roma and Czechs about each other, about their experience of each other? Does that accomplish anything?Monika HorakovaFor sure. I think that […]

I’d like to be a stewardess on Czech Airlines

John ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange ProjectNew York "Well – I think… Really, I think I’d like to be a stewardess on Czech Airlines.”It’s 1993, and Irina is standing in the center of her grandmother’s kitchen in Prague: tall, slender, tentative. About sixteen. She smiles, then tosses her head – as if to free it from wanting what she too […]

Now I can’t get rid of him

Author: David Ferko, Usti nad LabemLocation: Stories Exchange Project Workshop #4EastWest InstitutePragueI never used to get along with my father. We had conflicts over money, and we were always getting into arguments.But when this project started I went to my father and asked him if he could tell me a story. He said to me, […]

He lost his own life trying to save the violin that had been his livelihood

Milo Husár(written by Emilie Horackova, Prague Group)20 July 2000Jarovnice, Mocidlany, SlovakiaYou often hear that the Roma have an inborn sense of rhythm, and that they inherit an ear for music and talent for it from their forefathers. Every baby boy is considered a musician from the very moment he is born. Music means a lot […]

I spend the rest of the day cursing

Jan CernyUsti nad LabemJune 2000When I come to Maticni Street on this very nice late May day I just miss the postman delivering welfare to the local needy. Instead, I run into "Fig” Kurej, furious and cursing.He turned eighteen last month and is now eligible for welfare. He had to fill out loads of paperwork – and […]

You have to get up in the morning and go back and go on working with them

Author: Workshop VLocation: EastWest Institute – PragueHelena JavurkovaCoordinatorThe Stories Exchange ProjectThe Drom Center in Brno, the Romany social and cultural center, is very active. But I also understand that people complain about what Drom is doing. For people who work for Drom it must be frustrating, because they try to do something and they’re alwaysbeing criticized, by […]

These people just don’t understand

Author: Workshop VLocation: EastWest Institute – PragueZuzana GaborovaLocal Project Coordinator, Stories Exchange ProjectLegal and Social Adviser, Drom CenterBrnoLast year people in Drom’s house in Bratislavska Street house could work off rent that they owed. They could contribute a certain number of hours cleaning cellars and attics etc. in exchange for the rent. The conditions were pretty bad: […]

These people turn up the volume

Author: Workshop VLocation: EastWest Institute – PragueEva BajgerovaRomany Advisor, Usti nad LabemLocal Project Coordinator, Stories Exchange ProjectThere are problems communicating with — I don’t want to say working-class: with socially weak Roms. They look at us as having become too assimilated. They call me a coconut. That is, that I look like a Rom, I’m dark but inside I […]