(Sir Europe – Bratislava) – The Salesians of Don Bosco are going to reconstruct a block of flats in the largest Roma settlement in Slovakia situated in Kosice. The project, which has an educational and pastoral dimension, aims to provide accommodation support to the socially disadvantaged Roma inhabitants of the settlement. "We see signs of hope in some people and families and we read them as an opportunity to create a community of those who want to grow and show their neighbours a new journey, that the Roma people here can live with dignity", explains the Salesian delegate for missions, Fr. Peter Jacko, adding that "help to emarginated, socially disadvantaged people and youth is the main mission of the Salesian community". The building has been sold to the Salesians by the municipality for symbolic 1 Euro and according to their plan it should be reconstructed into flats of lower standard. Through the program of assisted social accommodation, the congregation wants not only to provide a space for living but also to lead its inhabitants to cooperation on its reconstruction. "Not all of them are used to work because their attitude was more about "using" than about "creating". This is something we want to change. We don’t know how fast they will be able to adopt this model of behaviour but we are willing to invest all our efforts in it", concludes Fr. Peter Besenyei who is in charge of pastoral care for the Roma.

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