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Rankovce

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INTRO

Rankovce is a village with a Roma mayor located about 30 km from Kosice in Slovakia. Stanislav Hada is working with the NGO "ETP Slovakia" on a project to establish micro-loan funds for transformative change in socially excluded Roma communities.

The foundation also supports the construction of homes by the Roma themselves, who are then granted ownership.

Four families joined the pilot project.
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The village has 788 inhabitants and 629 of them are of Roma ethnicity, which is about 80% of the residents.

The building site in August 2013.


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Grandfather Rudolf (left), his son Rudo with daughter,
and neighbour, Emil. They are among four families
which participated in a pilot project involving the
construction of low-cost houses.
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Rudo’s daughter with buildings built by
the families In the back. (January 2016)
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The Families

Rudolf (52) chopping wood for heating.
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“We came from Rozhanovec and we were registered here. People brought us a trailer, which we bought for 100 Euros, and we lived in it for about 3 years. Then the project started and we signed up, bought our own piece of land and it all started slowly.”

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Rudolf with his granddaughter.
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Grandfather Rudolf (left) with his son Rudo.
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”We want to accomplish something in our lives. We will be old but our children are alive and they are young.”  Maria (22)

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Children playing in one of the bare brick structures.
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Rudo and his partner Maria with
their daughters and son Kevin.
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Rudolf’s grandson and granddaughter are playing in the window of the newly built house.
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Janka - born in December 2014.

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After one year of construction (04/2014)
the family is already able to live in the
building.

Rudolf with his granddaughter.
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Rudo getting a haircut from his neighbour.

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Three generations walking from the construction site down to the village. (Rudolf and his grandson Kevin, his son Rudo and his daughter and Emil and his son).


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The micro loan pilot project

The pilot project: A 3E (Ecological and Energy Efficient) House.

Proposal for a building permit // Mayor Stanislav Hada
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Rankovce was the village in which ETP piloted the project involving new self-built homes. The Roma villagers applied for micro-loans from ETP/Habitat Revolving Fund - all the builders were unemployed Roma living with their families in difficult conditions.

At first, the Roma had to deposit money in a bank for one year. Only those who deposited regularly for a year could get a loan from ETP/Habitat Micro-loan fund. The Village Authority has no stake in the ETP/Habitat Micro-Loan Fund. The mayor (actually a young employee of the village administration) is responsible for collecting payments every month from the Roma and transferring them to the ETP Micro-loan bank account.

Clients pay for their own homes using micro-loans to be repaid in ten years, thus relieving the burden on public finances. The model proposes that clients themselves, under the guidance of a construction supervisor, build their own houses and that the state, an NGO, a church or the local council assist in the construction.

It is a model in which everyone is a winner.

Self-construction helps break down stereo- types about people from socially excluded communities regarded by the majority population as abusers of social benefits, incompetent, passive and dependent upon state assistance.

The approach gives people the opportunity to take care of themselves. The aim is to ensure that the opportunity can be taken advantage of. It is preferable for individuals – i.e. the builders, with the maximum use of their potential and abilities – to bear the burden of responsibility.

If the builder one day discovers that his house is lacking in space or some other aspect, he may extend it without interfering with the existing house construction. Such an approach is called ‘incremental’. Incremental housing is a construction system which anticipates the future enlargement of spaces.

The pilot construction in Rankovce, which lasted about 12 months, involved the construction of four new houses and the legalisation and completion of two existing buildings.

Currently - in 2016 - there are 16 clients in Rankovce who have received loans from the ETP micro-loan fund and sixteen new houses. Since 2008. ETP has been disbursing micro-loans for minor reconstructions and refurbishments to more than 500 Roma people in 15 villages and towns in Eastern Slovakia.

The micro-credit scheme was developed by ETP Slovakia, Source: ETP www.etp.sk













Proposal for a building permit // Mayor Stanislav Hada
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A resident of Rankovce walking with his children on the road to the neigbouring village of Kecerovce.
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Kevin examines the vegetables growing in
his grandmother's garden.

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       Juraj leaning on the bare brick wall of his son
       Michal’s house, which he helped to built.
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The overall unemployment rate is about 75% and
 estimated at about 99% in the Roma community.

Juraj and his son walking down the main road
of Rankovce.

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The trailer where Rudolf and members of the family
lived in before they joined the pilot project.
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A new window with a curtain
and an unfinished facade.
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"In our village we have social field workers who got us to take part in a project in which we built our own houses ourselves. They told us that if we saved money for a year we would be able to build. They helped us with the loan and we started the construction work. We built the house in which I am sitting in now. We’re living well here." Michal (22) with Valeria (18) and daughter Olivia.

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Olivia.
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Emil, a twenty-year-old father of two children in the newly built house of his friend and neighbour Michal.
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       Jana (23), the wife of Emil (20) and mother of their
       son and daughter is preparing lunch for her family.
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              Jana (23) with her son; Michal is passing
              by on his way to build a well.
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Emil, Michal, Rudo and a relative are working on a new
well for their own water supply close to their houses.
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Emil drinks water for the first time from the
newly installed well in front of his home.
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A young Roma man transporting wood across a field.
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A man displays a 'Gitano' (Gypsy) tattoo while working on the reconstruction of an old school building.
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                                            A small house in the village of Rankovce.
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Michal and Emil having a coffee and cigarettes
in Emil's newly built house.

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Evening in the Roma part of the village of Rankovce.
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There are 16 clients in Rankovce currently who have received loans from the micro-loan fund and sixteen new houses have been built.

This story is part of a long-term project and was made in-between September 2013 and January 2016. 

ETP Slovakia will start a similar project in Lunik IX soon.

Preview
The next chapter will be about the Roma settlement "Podsadek" which belongs to the city of Stara Lubovna
about 100 km from Kosice.

Music by Mario Bihari
Photography // Video // Audio by Björn Steinz
More here: http://a-wall-runs-through-it.oka2.com
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Rudolf (52) and his wife Jana standing on the entrance of a container the family lifed in before they joined a pilot project constructing low-cost houses called "From Shack into a 3E (Ecological and Energy Efficient) House" (08/2013).
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