WASCO: Laundry Service that Helps

The Association of Young Roma (hereinafter referred to as „AYR“), a non-governmental organization working for disadvantaged people, especially the Roma was established in 1999.

To achieve its goals AYR established the Horehronie Multifunctional Center in Valaská. It provides services not only to children but also to their parents. It carries out various activities to encourage disadvantaged people in pursuing their interests, efforts and willingness to take steps to improve their situation.

By providing support, help, and education it helps its clients develop skills, working habits, and healthy self-confidence while also learning to take responsibility for their lives. It provides them with various forms of education and training thus inviting them to build a better life. Through the implementation of the projects it also provides them with permanent job opportunities, training, leisure activities and institutional support.

The project provides working opportunities to variety of disadvantaged groups of the long-term unemployed, single mothers with children, health-disadvantaged, the Roma from marginalised communities, young people but also for those over the age of 50. The projet also offers employment to people who have been unemployed for 15-20 years. Work experience helps them gain self-confidence, skills, habits that they haven’t had yet or have lost long time ago.


The community centre works on 3 levels:

* Community Building offers the target group Professional Counselling Services through social and community work.

* Education ensures non-formal education with emphasis on skills and competences for practical positions (assistant teachers, health assistants, field social workers, community workers).

* Employment: AYR is a non-governmental organization that does not have the capacity and space to create jobs by itself. For this reason, three non-governmental organizations operating in the region joined together and founded the Wasco Cooperative.


Quantitative results:

  1. 30 people employed
  2. laundry and ironing operations wash 20 tons of laundry per month
  3. 30,000 kilometres of customer orders each month


The economic results in form of profit (100% of profits) are used to improve the quality of service delivery, employee training, employment growth, and technical / technological completion of a social enterprise. In November 2018 the W – coop. requested the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic to grant the statute of a social enterprise. At present, our request is in the stage of completing the last technical requirements.