Svetlana dancing with her mother while her father playing guitar
Svetlana Krostenova

Svetlana Krostenova represented children who are bullied and discriminated against because they belong to a minority.

Svetlana Krostenova, Czech Republic, was a member of the jury from 2002 to 2006, representing children who are bullied and discriminated against because they belong to a minority.

Svetlana belongs to the Roma people. When she started school, like all Roma children in her home town, she was put into a special class for mentally challenged pupils. This happened in spite of the fact that Svetlana was clever at her studies! So, early on, Svetlana faced discrimination and prejudices that are so common against Roma people in Europe. But she also fought back!

For instance, one day the authorities in the town of Ustinad Labem decided to raise a wall around the houses where the Roma live. They blamed it on the pretext that the Roma “disturb other people”, Svetlana and other Roma children went to the town and planted flowers where the wall was going to stand.They wanted to present something beautiful instead of an ugly wall.

The townspeople put up the wall anyway, but were forced to tear it down later.

After Svetlana visited Sweden to work with the Child Jury for the first time, she was interviewed by a Czech newspaper. She said:
   ‘In Sweden people didn’t think I was naughty or stupid, they treated me with respect. ‘When I grow up I want to be a doctor and help children.’

 
 
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