Funded by the European Union
Department of Biotechnology Government of India

Connaxis field visit to Slovakia

Roma Community in Slovakia

The PRESCRIP-TEC project will benefit greatly from a field visit to Slovakia by their Connaxis communications team. The team was not only able to learn about the local context but also collected hundreds of images and hours of video recordings to use in PRESCRIP-TEC communications.

“The stories of the beneficiaries were very moving. We are very grateful to them for sharing with us such personal experiences that teach resilience, hope and also help us to show the impact of the project” said Ekaterina Gomez, one of the Connaxis team members.

Working with the organisations involved in the PRESCRIP-TEC Project

Connaxis is the organisation responsible for communication and dissemination of results for the PRESCRIP-TEC project. A Connaxis team visited Slovakia from 19-23 September, 2022. This was a long awaited visit as, due to the pandemic, the project teams had to work remotely for the first year-and-a-half. The three consultants from Connaxis who travelled to Slovakia were Oscar Casanova, Ekaterina Gomez and Eleonora Mesiano.

On arrival in Trnava the team was warmly welcomed by the teams from Trnava University, Healthy Regions and the League Against Cancer in Slovakia. The first three days were spent in Trnava. Presentations and updates by the three Slovakian organisations, a scientific communication workshop, interviews with the coordinators and a photoshoot took place at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the Trnava University.

The Connaxis team also met with the mayor and deputy mayor of the city at the town hall. They held an informal discussion about PRESCRIP-TEC activities and the project’s significance for society.

Connaxis field visit

On the third afternoon the three Connaxis consultants were transported to the eastern part of Slovakia by Maroš Tibenský from Trnava University. They were accompanied by Juliana Melichová from Trnava University who was a great help with logistics.

The next day, accompanied by Juliana, Maroš and the team from Healthy Regions, they visited the Lipany, Prešov and Soľ Roma communities. During the visits they interviewed both health workers and potential beneficiaries.

Gomez had the following to say about the interviews: ‘Something that stood out during the interviews was the emphasis on knowing one’s health status. As mentioned by Mrs. Emília Duždová, one of the beneficiaries, “Nobody wants to die young, that is why it is important to take care of ourselves. You need to know your health status”

Mrs. Emília Duždová during her interview.

“Nobody wants to die young, that is why it is important to take care of ourselves. You need to know your health status”

Mrs. Emília Duždová

Mrs. Emília Duždová during her interview.

The Connaxis team members also used the opportunity provided by the field visits to take photographs and videos of the Roma communities and the city of Košice. These media will be used to illustrate communications about the PRESCRIP-TEC activities in Slovakia.

Positive outcomes of the visit

Significant outcomes of the visit were:

  • Connaxis now has more background information about the current status of the PRESCRIP-TEC project in Slovakia and a greater understanding of the local context.
  • A science communication strategy was designed during a workshop and this will result in an action plan for the dissemination and exploitation of the project’s results.
  • Connaxis produced several hours of audiovisual content and hundreds of photographs which can now be sorted, organised and edited. They will be used in communication products and human-interest stories for publication mainly on the PRESCRIP-TEC website and in social media posts.

Face-to-face teamwork strengthens bonds

Overall, the fact that the teams were able to meet in person strengthened ties and they were able to dive deeper into the communication strategy and activities. All the parties were very satisfied with the outcome of the field visit and appreciated how much it will contribute to communications during the remainder of the project.

“I would like to thank Martin for the welcome dinner on Sunday, Marek, Darina, Táňa and Barbora for their willingness to be interviewed, the Healthy Regions team on the ground for making the visits to the communities possible and especially Juliana for accompanying us throughout the week, showing us the cities and helping us so much with logistics”

Oscar Casanova – Connaxis consultant