Social Integration Programs

Teaching / learning of basic and transversal skills

Brief description of the main purposes and contents

The focus of social integration programs is to find and apply new ways of solving problems related to the issue of socially excluded Roma localities in Slovakia. The organization operates five community centres in those areas of Slovakia where most Roma settlements are concentrated. Community centres are a space for individual work with members of the community, including education.

Reasons why the project / program is considered a “good practice”

Poverty and socially excluded Roma communities – these are the focus of social integration programs, which the nonprofit organization People at Risk has been implementing since 2006. The organization has long sought to find and apply new ways of solving problems related to socially excluded Roma localities in Slovakia. – extreme poverty, longterm
unemployment, low levels of education, unsatisfactory housing conditions or tense relations with the majority society.

Managing authority / organisation

Človek v ohrození, Baštová 5, 811 03 Bratislava, Slovakia

Main target group

Minority groups (ethnic, linguistic, religious)

Source of funding


Stakeholders involved

The organization operates five community centres in those areas of Slovakia where the most excluded localities are
concentrated – Roma settlements: in the Prešov and Bratislava regions – KC Roškovce (2006), KC Petrovany (2008), KC
Sveržov (2009), KC Kojatice (2014) and KC Plavecký Štvrtok (2015).

Contribution of the practice in improving / promoting the social inclusion of the beneficiaries

Community centres provide comprehensive social services for children and adults to support their social inclusion:
education of preschool and school children; tutoring for children who already go to school; arranging dual vocational
training so that they have a better chance of finding a good and stable job in the future; support for motivation to
improve their qualifications; job-oriented skills training to get and keep a job;
organization of job and career counselling and co-operation with specific employers in placement; trainings focusing on
the development of communication, manual skills; financial literacy education; organization of various preventive or
leisure activities; financial advice; legal aid; Social counselling; housing assistance; organization of collections and
exchanges, thanks to which families in need also provide material assistance.
The organization does not focus only on direct activities in the field. In order for a sustainable and meaningful change
to take place in Slovakia, a change in public policies is also needed.
Last but not least, it carries out activities aimed at educating the public and companies in order to eliminate prejudices.

Elements of the project / program that could be easily transferred to other contexts

Creating a permanent support centre is important for the habit of going somewhere and expecting help there with
confidence. Advice for various situations and non-formal education.

Other potential target groups to which the project / program could be extended

Experience with social integration programs can also be applied to other people at risk of social exclusion (long-term
unemployed, homeless people, returnees …).

Participation data 

Dozens of clients have already been employed in the innovative employment program.

Description of the methods of implementation and any recommendations

A similar approach as in the case of work in excluded settlements – the establishment of a community centre and work with the community can be applied, for example, in the case of migrants or other minorities. What is important is the existence of some place where they can find informal help – in solving social issues, financial or employment, where children can also come. This assistance is comprehensive and sensitive. Community workers must be well prepared for their work. It is important that the centre operates around the clock, so that people can always find help there. It is also important that the centre cooperates with other organizations in the area – such as local government, labour office, employers, schools, educational organizations, libraries, etc. Sustainability and expansion of practice often require a change in public policies, and the centre and its founding organization should take this into account. This means that the centre and the organization should communicate their activities and the problems they address outwards to the public. Information and activities of an educational nature aimed at eliminating prejudices should also go to the public.

Project / program website or other online reference resources