Our team

Iveta Bartošová

omama, Muránska Dlhá Lúka

Ivetka is 43 years old and lives in a Roma settlement in Muranska Dlha Luka, in the Revuca district of the Banska Bystrica region.  She has 6 children and 4 grandsons. Despite the fact that she has only completed elementary education and has very short work experience as a cleaner and an assistant in the local community center, she is one of the most active women in the settlement.  For example, she approached the Labor Office and she completed a confectionary course. She has expressed a strong desire to find employment. She is happy that due to the support of you, the donors of Cesta von, she was able to find her first real job. She likes children and she enjoys working with the youngest ones and their parents.  To help her success on her journey, she will receive guidance and mentoring from Monika Podolinska.

Monika Podolinská

mentor, Muránska Dlhá Lúka

Monika Podolinská, a former director of the school, located directly underneath the Rúbanka Roma settlement.  She is currently teaching the “zero” (preschool) class at the same all Roma school in Muránska Dlhá Lúka. In 2016, Monika received the White Crow (Biela vrana) award for constant and dedicated support of vulnerable Roma children despite the odds of society and part of the local community. She lives her students and they love her.  She takes them on various trips, she works with them on different projects, enrolls them in painting and musical competitions and helps them to succeed. Due to her work, she was able to gain respect of the children’s parents and to involve them in different projects.  

Hana Ondrušová

expert methodologist
Hanka is a graduate of the special education program at the Pedagogy department of the Comenius University in Bratislava.  She passed the state exam in art therapy and play therapy. It was the latter one which initiated her experience with the Maria Montessori pedagogy and  she found it enchanting immediately. Her internship at the Child Psychiatry Clinic during her studies allowed her to gain experience in working with children with various psychological disorders.  She completed the Play wisely lecturer training for children starting at 4 months up to 3 years old which was led by the Play wisely founder from the US. She was long-term experience with volunteer work with children and youth as an animator.  She is dedicated to working with children in the early age in the Play wisely program and to supporting healthy child development of healthy children and children with various disadvantages.


Denisa Pechová

omama, Kecerovce

Deniska is 35 years old and she lives in Kecerovce, in the Kosice region where out of 3200 inhabitants, approx. 3000 are Romas.  She has not been able to find employment, but she has volunteered with Zdruzenie pre lepsi zivot on the eco-briquettes project as well as in the community garden.  She lived in Belgium where she worked as a health advisor for other Romas in Slovakia. She has 4 sons and 2 granddaughters. Her husband works with older children as an assistant of a local social worker, that is why Deniska is very happy that with the help of the Cesta von donors, she can help to develop the potential of the youngest ones.  Her mentor is Katka Sinanska.

Katarína Šiňanská

mentor, Kecerovce

Katka works as an expert assistant at the Department of Social Work of the Kosice Philosophical University.  She specializes on teaching classes focused on community development, prevention, and the topics of youth and children.  Since 2002, she has worked as a social worker in the Roma communities. She also works as an evaluation facilitator for the international Youth Empowerment Partnership Program and she has been involved with the  Zdruzenie pre lepsi zivot organization for many years. In the past, she worked as an expert in charge of managing the Rankovce community center which was a part of the National project Community Centers. She has also served as a manager of the temp job agency for the organization Psychosociálne centrum in Košice.  While working for the Center for community development, she participated in a research about the Barriers in the education of Roma children.

Viera Burešová

financial manager

Vierka studied the University of Economics in Bratislava. She has worked at area of accounting and taxes from 2000. She is a certified tax advisor and auditor. She provides her professional services to many companies and non-governmental organizations. She loves Slovakia, nature, tourism, cottage, work in garden, meeting with friends.

Oľga Shaw

deputy director, program manager

Olga has worked in the non-profit sector since graduating with a Master of Social work at Augburg College in the United States.  Since the very beginning, she has worked with people under the poverty line, whether it was single mothers in the Projec Break-Through program in the US, or later with asylum seekers and refugees during her work at the Ecumenical Council of Churches.  She spent three years working on development project in Malawi, Kenya and Sudan as a marketing manager for the Integra Foundation. In 2008, she started working for the POntis Foundation where she managed endowment funds of several corporations and organized events focused on development of corporate philanthropy and corporate responsibility.  She helped to launch the Mobile Educator program focused on providing early intevention to deaf children. Outside of her work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children hiking trips and concerts.

E-mail: olga.shaw@cestavon.sk
Telefón: 00421 911 866 933

Helena Hricová

member of the board

Hela is one of the founding members of Cesta von.  She advises the organization on financial and managerial issues.  She works as a financial manager of VIA IURIS.

Pavel Hrica

executive director

Pavel has worked as a program director at the Pontis Foundation for the past 10 years. He oversaw the activities of a significant number of corporate endowment funds, many of which supported sustainable solutions to poverty. In addition to his work for Cesta von, he does lobbying work for the Pontis Foundation to get the early childhood intervention program for the deaf children institutionalized into the state system. Before working for the Pontis Foundation, he served as a program director of the Slovak scouts for 9 years, he created its educational program and he wrote several books on education. He helped to launch the Roma boy and girl scouts program in Slovakia which allowed him to gain significant experience with the target group of the Omama program

E-mail: pavel.hrica@cestavon.sk
00421 917 429 983