Cooperation for the Health of Roma people 

People’s University of Kočevje got funding for implementation of the project “Cooperation for the health of Roma people – SORO” through the Programme Norway grants 2009-2014. The project will last from February 2015 till April 2016. Six partners from Slovenia and one from Norway were invited to cooperate in the project: Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC Novo mesto), Municipality of Kočevje, Municipality of Novo mesto, Community Health Centre Kočevje, Community Health Centre Novo mesto, Roma association Romano Veseli and Landsforeningen for Pårørende inen Psykisk Helse.

In Municipalities of Kočevje and Novo mesto, located in south-eastern part of Slovenia, there is a Roma population of approximately 1440 inhabitants. They represent a segment of population with higher health risks due to social and economic circumstances such as inadequate housing facilities, social exclusion, lack of formal education and unemployment. The majority of Roma population lives in inadequate living conditions that are linked to poor hygiene, poor diet, smoking, illegal drugs consumption and lack of physical activity. These factors directly increase health risks.

Besides limited access to healthcare there is also a problem of ineffective communication between the Roma people and medical personnel. Their higher level of health risks derives also from poor recognition of symptoms of illness and consequently inadequate use of preventive measures.

With the development and testing of new educational programs, project SORO will contribute to smaller differences in health status between Roma people and general population.

We will develop and test the following programs:

1)      Training of healthcare personnel and other public employees who are in daily contact with the target group;

2)      Presentation of the healthcare system and health insurance to Roma people;

3)      Trainings on healthy diet and preparation of healthy food;

4)      Education of Roma parents on healthcare of preschool children;

5)      Promotion of healthy lifestyle to prevent addictions among Roma people;


Within the SORO project a new program of mobile health service for visits in Roma settlements will be developed. It will provide the Roma people with easily accessible health services and health preventive activities.

The project aims to improve communication between public workers and Roma people as well as cooperation between different public welfare institutions. Through the project we want to prepare a proposal for funding of mobile health care services in Roma settlements by the system of public funding and ensure sustainable funding of Roma coordinator.

During the project we will organize an awareness raising campaign for Roma people on importance of health and healthy lifestyle.

During the project the following activities will be organized:

  • Trekking in nature to promote healthy lifestyle;
  • Distribution of apples in Roma settlements;
  • Promotion of healthy eating, organization of vegetarian picnic;
  • Distribution of toothbrushes to Roma children and their parents;
  • Cultivation of the vegetable garden in Roma settlement
  • Football tournament;
  • Design of playing cards presenting various diseases and treatment options;
  • Preparation of short movies on the difference between healthy and unhealthy lifestyle.

More about the project:

Web site:


Programme Norway grants 2009-2014:

Programme Operator:

Julija Škarabot Plesničar, project manager,