20. 05. 2024

President of the Slovak Republic Welcomes Roma Spirit 2023 Finalists

President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, welcomed the finalists of the prestigious Roma Spirit 2023 award at the Presidential Palace.

In her speech, President Čaputová praised the work and dedication of the finalists and laureates. “For 15 years, the Roma Spirit award has highlighted hundreds of stories of hope, humanity, and inspiration that have helped dispel the belief that the exclusion of Roma people is an unsolvable problem. It is my pleasure today to welcome the laureates and finalists of the latest edition, who have contributed to this precious mosaic,” she said.

“The stories of Roma Spirit and many others reveal a face of Slovakia that is empathetic and respectful. Please, do not give up, even when you feel you are going against the opinion of those around you. You are a force from which we can grow as a society for the benefit of all,” she added.

During the reception, Paulína Slepčíková, the Roma Spirit 2023 laureate in the Personality category, spoke on behalf of the finalists. “If I were to use scientific terminology, I would say that here, before you, stands a small ‘sample with a high concentration’ of successful and skilled individuals who are truly exceptional in what they do. Each substance of this diverse mixture has its irreplaceable role, without which the mixture would lose its identity. In this diversity lies its true beauty. We are different, we are exceptional, and yet we share common humanity,” she stated.

The meeting with the Roma Spirit 2023 finalists and laureates was filled with heartfelt conversations. President Čaputová personally listened to the stories of individuals and representatives of organizations actively involved in improving the position of Roma communities and coexistence in Slovakia.

The Roma Spirit award annually highlights the work of individuals, organizations, municipalities, and companies that contribute through their activities to improving the living conditions of Roma people and strengthening mutual understanding and respect in our society. Even in the 15th anniversary edition of Roma Spirit, many inspiring projects and personalities emerged among the finalists, demonstrating through their work that inclusion and respect are fundamental pillars of our society’s development.

The Roma Spirit award continues its mission to emphasize the importance of inclusion, respect, and cooperation in our society.

More info and photos can be found at: www.romaspirit.sk