Helping the best we can: Series of tragic events in Eastern Slovakia


Roma communities in Slovakia were struck by a series of tragic accidents which took several lives of the local inhabitants. We were there to provide help and support. 

On December 17, 2015, there was a fire in the town of Sačurov (Vranov nad Topľou county) which killed several people living in the community. Roma Health Mediators (RHMs) together with their Coordinator Milan Adam were on the location of the accident among the first ones to help the family by providing clothes, food, toiletries, and last but not least the moral support.  

Similar situation occured in Mašličkovo settlement in Lunik IX city district of the city of Košice in early January- the fire took lives of several children living in the settlement. Our Roma Health Mediators were instantly there to help the families affected by this tragedy. Richard Koky, Expert for Activities in the Field of Healthy Communities National Project, together with mayor of Lunik IX city district and other members of the Crisis Staff agreed on further measures to be taken to maximize the cooperation and humanitarian help in this location.

Roma Health Mediators working in this location assessed the immediate needs of the families affected by the fire and given the harsh weather condidions they also monitored the overall health of the inhabitants of Mašličkovo. RHMs distributed the humanitarian help (material support- mainly winter clothes and warm bed covers) according to their findings and individual needs of the inhabitants. There were 11 RHMs, 2 Coordinators of RHMs, and Expert on Activities in the Field helping directly on the location of the incident. We also organized a fundraising campaign among our employees and we were able to collect 753 € which we presented to the Mayor of the Lunik IX city district. This money will be used for purchase of the necessary equipment.

On January 17, another fire accident occured in the town of Šíd (Lučenec county). Local RHMs under lead of their Coordinator Alžbeta Íllešova joined their efforts and in a few days they collected the most necessary material help that the family affected by the fire urgently needed.

On the evening of January 21, the fire broke out in Svinia settlement. Our RHMs who work in Svinia immediately provided the needed material and moral support. Coordinator Mária Nazarejova working with Mayor of the town managed to provide temporary accommodation for the family in the local Community Center. They also collected necessary clothing, food, bed covers, inflatable mattresses, toiletries and other necessary supplies.

The most recent and most tragic accident happened in Lomnička settlement (Stará Ľubovňa county) on Januray 23. The fire of the family house took lives of three children. Coordinator Anna Dunková together with RHMs immediately provided help to the family and are working with local Mayor to improve the situation.

We would like to thank all who helped, cooperated, and participated in helping the affected families and their close ones. We hope that the number of these tragic incidents will decrease over time.

We continue to be ready to help directly in the locations and be there for all people who might need us.



Team of Healthy Communities NPO