I emphasized, and continue to do so, the focus on urban poverty within training conducted for Non-Governmental Organizations I have been working with. The experience working with teachers and social workers providing training, support and collaboration to integrate issues of poverty and social exclusion into classrooms and formal education system in the Czech Republic allowed me to understand how deeply rooted stereotypes about poor and excluded people are. These stereotypes are notably observed in urban areas worldwide. Thus, the housing or urban poverty must be partly perceived as a social construct in hand with the urban poor’s vulnerability and the lack of assets.
The term ‘slum’ is vastly understood as a descriptive term for dilapidated, despaired, dangerous and dirty places on the margins of a society. I challenge this prevailing perception and advocate that ignorance and blindness to the ‘slum’ dwellers’ effort to build a home as everyone wants to have, takes a place in failures of urban policies, programmes or projects.
This attitude is promoted and incorporated cross-cuttingly through the following collaborations in particular:
- Training sessions, seminars, lectures
- Awareness raising (articles, reports, columns)
- Advisory service (writing project proposals, monitoring and evaluation, consultancy)
The target groups consists mostly social workers, teachers of different levels, trainers, NGO workers, volunteers and students. However, the tailor-made approach attempts to address also public sector employees and government officials.
Working languages are English, Spanish or Czech.
To consult the organization I worked or work with, go to Cooperation.