ASSOCIATION FOR CULTURE, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION
With the Together for Better Health project, the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC) aims to improve health, education, and healthcare of the Roma population in Slovakia through our Healthy Communities Program
Association for Culture, Education and Communication is a non-governmental organization, the aims of which are to create
understanding, support international cultural exchanges, deepen education and create space for the future continuation of
mutual communication. Our projects focus on current happenings in society and elaborate, secure and improve communication
in Slovakia, in international contexts, and in areas and regions deemed risky from the international perspective.
ACEC, via its projects, has always applied new effective forms of communication in its projects – and since 1999 has
implemented numerous projects deemed unique from an international point of view; in New York, Washington D.C., Paris,
Brussels, Berlin, Wien, Warsaw, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Minsk and Bratislava. The non-traditional approach has – via means of
culture and education – enabled the creation of new communication networks applied in national and international contexts.
The Association´s projects assist in the deepening of existing relations as well as in the creation of new ones.
In 2002, ACEC received the Slovak Foreign Ministry award for its contribution to the resolution of the Balkan conflict.
ACEC implemented complex programs focusing on specific targets related to Slovak foreign policy.
As a part of our educational activities, we focus on the preparation and implementation of educational programs
and communication strategies for socially challenged groups (education and tutorial programs and projects focused
on the Roma minority in Slovakia).
Our largest, longest and still ongoing activity has been the Healthy Communities project since 2003. Its main objective
is health awareness for the inhabitants of Roma settlements. The project builds on the existing situation and needs of various
locations, as well as on education and communication skills of settlements’ residents. We identified education support and
healthcare improvement as the most searing issues. Unequivocal indicators were alarming: 100% unemployment, low levels
of education, different levels of illiteracy, poor personal and communal hygiene, infectious, parasitic, and venereal disease,
drug addiction, a lack of sex education and the associated low standard of living, apathy and demotivation.
Having discovered what the situation was, we responded by starting a project aimed at disseminating health education
improving the health situation as well as the level of education. The main objective was to systematize the health education
program in Roma communities throughout Slovakia, highlight the potential uses of human resources directly from segregated
settlements and at the same time implement activities beneficial to the community. Our activities were aimed at promoting
and strengthening the position of a Roma Health Mediator as a regular job, as well as to acquire more partners from other
non-governmental organizations and responsible bodies for the active promotion of this goal. This initiative has generated
the formation of other interest groups: Platform for Support of Health of Disadvantaged Groups (PSHDG) and a civic
association- Association of Health Field Workers (ATZA).
The Platform brings together representatives of the Association for Culture, Education and Communication (ACEC),
the Association of Health Field Workers (ATZA), the Slovak General Practitioners Group, The World Health Organization Office
in Slovakia, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (MPSVaR), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior,
the operational centers of the National Emergency Service, Union Health Insurance, GlaxoSmithKline, and others.
Thanks to the joint effort of the members of the Platform and the financial support from various sources (Ministry of Interior,
Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family), the first system solution focused on the long-term National
Program for Health Mediators in segregated Roma communities (untill 2022) and started with its implementaion in the form
of nationwide Healthy Communities Project (since October 2013).
Currently there are two parallel programs focusing on improvement of health in Roma communities that complement
each other. National Program- Healthy Communities, an NPO under the Ministry of Health, is employing 280 Roma Health
Mediators in 258 localities and is still expanding. Healthy Communities project running under ACEC with 27 Roma Health
Mediators is working in 17 localities- this project mainly covers the localities not included in the National Program. Common
direct impact of these two projects is over 250 000 people living in segregated communities. Our common goal is to build
on existing activities with practical results, develop them further, and support the implementation and expansion of health
educational programs also by proving the necessity of the position of a Health Mediator in Roma communities.
Asociácia pre kultúru, vzdelávanie a komunikáciu (ACEC)
Šafárikovo námestie 2, 811 02 Bratislava