One of the most vulnerable aspects of Roma youth communities can be seen when they need to get a job, mainly because, more often than not, Roma youth lack the employable skills needed nowadays. As a fact, this group of people needs a reliable centre of motivation and reinforcement that can provide them with the means for self-activation and entrepreneurial thinking, thus leading towards a transformation of their community as well. This is true even more when we speak about rural areas, such as Košice – Olšava region, where the projects developed by the Association for a Better Life are located.
Association for a Better Life was founded in 2004 and its mission is to strengthen the development of Roma marginalized communities in eastern Slovakia. The Association supports rural development in these communities, with an emphasis on personal development such as raising the educational and employability level. Being an active presence in the region of Košice and Olšava since 2004 and also a member of the international network YEPP (Youth Empowerment Partnership Program), the Association for a Better Life is well-aware of the challenges and disadvantages that Roma youth have to face on daily basis. Setting up business initiatives and enabling Roma and non-Roma youth leaders to engage in their community development has thus became their aim and strength, leading in this way towards maintaining a healthy convergence of different cultural and social groups among the present communities.
More precisely, the above mentioned problems are tackled through projects already developed, such as Romani SUV, ROCKS, Wall Art and ECOstorye, all of them enabling young people to discover their own talents while developing products such as: eco – briquettes, embroidered linen bags, herb bags and a tailor workshop – all of them created by Roma youth.