The Roma Spirit 2022 finalists were received by the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová at a reception at the Presidential Palace. The warm welcome included a speech by Madam President.
“The sum of your activities creates an astounding body of work. You possess an admirable determination and ability to see others for the people they are and unearth the aspect of Slovakia, which is empathetic and respectful,” said the President.
A speech on behalf of the finalists of the 14th Roma Spirit was given by František Balog, an actor and laureate of Roma Spirit 2022 in the Culture category.
“Today we stand here together, because we believe in our ability to listen to and respect each other, because we believe that our strength dwells in our mutual support and also the occasional, but needed help,” stated František Balog in his speech.
The Roma Spirit finalists also thanked Madam President for her efforts drawing attention to the marginalised issues and the need for social inclusion and gave her a Roma Spirit Heart as a symbolic token of their gratitude.
“In the recent years it has been you, Madam President, who significantly contributed to highlighting our efforts, and even awarded our Roma persons of distinction. Owing to your direct contact with inhabitants during your visits to Slovak regions, you draw attention of the majority population to the issue of social inclusion and we consider this to be beneficial not only to us, the Roma people,” František Balog addressed Madam President.
“Allow us to acknowledge your honest efforts. Accept our thanks and a Roma Spirit Heart as a symbol of our gratitude to you and to all those people in Slovakia who demonstrate their character and values not only in their words, but more so in their actions,” he concluded his speech on behalf of the Roma Spirit finalists.
Madam President received the Roma Spirit Heart from Miroslava Richtáreková, a representative of Tesco Stores SR, s.ro., a Roma Spirit 2022 laureate in the Company and Employer category.