Risks of poverty for a young child

Up to 87% of the residents of segregated settlements live below the poverty line. As a society, we are still doing little to give children from the settlements a chance to start living better. At the same time, early childhood has a fundamental influence on our entire life.

Education is not as valuable to people in poverty as it is to people in the middle class. They know only a few examples in their surroundings who would be successful thanks to education.

The benefit of education is very abstract, uncertain, long-term. But they urgently need to survive today. It is worst in the most neglected communities. In the more developed and less segregated ones, we encounter interest in education more often. However, it is necessary to start much earlier than in school. The staff of Charles University conducted research for the ETP Slovakia organization, which showed an average two-year lag behind children from excluded communities already when entering primary school. If a child has a physiological age of six years, he is at the mental level of four years. Many children are even worse off. The slip increases over time.

This is confirmed by the research of neurobiologists. Toxic stress caused by poverty negatively affects the development of brain architecture. The latter is the most devastating, especially during the first 1,000 days of life, when most of the neuron connections are formed in our brain. Missing basics do not allow you to develop the necessary skills later. Neglect at an early age has fatal negative consequences for later success in school, at work and throughout life. Experts say it is too late to start developing these children at school age.

How the Omama program responds to this problem

Omamas are women from excluded communities

and they understand the environment.

Permanent employment for omamas

ensures proper income.

Mentor supports omama

in her growth and helps her.

Omamas are trained by experts

for early age (0-4 years).

They use toys, books,

OMAMA manual and app.

The parent is also in the lesson and learning

how to develop your child.

The Omama program logic

Early childhood

The Omama program focuses on a key phase of a person’s life, in which the foundations are built for later success. Midwives show parents how to best develop their children’s potential from birth to 4 years, even if they live in poor conditions. Through games and activities, they help develop their brains and abilities from an early age.

School age

An extensive study by the team of doc. Kovalčíková from the University of Prešov confirmed that even children from poor Roma communities have great potential to develop. The problem is that they already come to school with a significant developmental delay compared to their peers, which only increases later. If this starting line is evened out, they have a better chance of progressing like other children.


Thanks to an early start in the child’s development and subsequent better progress at school age, an adult can grow up with much more developed mental, socio-emotional and other resources that will enable him to better apply himself in life and integrate into society.

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