Nota Bene Luggage porters - homeless people help passengers at Bratislava Railway station

2nd Prize 2015

Country: Slovakia

Region: thoughout Slovakia

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Poverty

Project owner: Proti Prúdu

Responsible person: PhDr. Peter Kadlečík

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What is it about?

The luggage porters are selected vendors of Nota bene street paper, who help travelers at Bratislava main railway station with their suitcases. The porter job helps both passengers and clients too who gain personally enriching employment and chance to repay debts. Porters are employed by NGO Proti prúdu, which publish Nota bene from 2001 and operates other pilot projects to help homeless people.

Appreciation of the Jury

Homeless men in regular employment; their job: to approach travellers and help them. This changes the image others – and maybe they themselves – have of the homeless. The uniforms they wear help. They earn money; they benefit from health and social insurance coverage “like everyone”; they begin to negotiate their way out of over-indebtedness – social workers and lawyers help them in this. Homeless men work at the railway station, mingle – conspicuously – with people. Tourists ask them for information. A big signpost tells what they do at the railway station. Media are interested. What an innovative way of bringing people from the margins into the hustle and bustle of society!