|Home | First lady | Activities of Silvia Gašparovičová | Year 2010 | Slovak folk art fascinated the Queen|
On the second day of the official visit to Slovakia on 27th October 2010 Her Majesty Queen Sonja, along with the First Lady Mrs. Silvia Gašparovičová, visited Gaudeamus Hydrotherapy Centre in Bratislava.
This home for social services seeks to fully involve disabled children into society. As its director Štefan Tvarožek said, "we are honored to welcome such a rare visit for us." The children receive here not only education but also get a variety of skills – e.g. they learn to do a mallet lace, draw, create sculptures and paintings from a variety of materials etc. Their products and skillful hands they presented also to the rare visitors and handed the two ladies self-made gifts. As the director Tvarožek said, "bobbin lace work is motile training for the children."
Handicapped children who welcomed the rare visit from Norway and Slovakia, are happy that through funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism they received a beautiful swimming pool for rehabilitation and self-realization. "Premises of the Hydrotherapy Centre will thus become a permanent reminder of your visit at us," said the Gaudeamus director Štefan Tvarožek. The premises are open also to public, athletes train and prepare here for the Paralympics. "We are pleased that your heart beats not only for Norway, but also for other people around the world. Even for us," said children to Her Majesty Queen Sonja and to the First Lady Mrs. Gašparovičová. This facility in the past supported also the First Lady who gave children in Gaudeamus 300 kg of healthy apples. "It’s great when I can help in any way," said Mrs. Gašparovičová.
Afterwards, Mrs. Silvia Gašparovičová and Her Majesty Queen Sonja viewed the children creating crafts in the Centre of Folk Art (ÚĽUV) in Bratislava. Children praised not only by wire or ceramic products, but also by self-produced corn husk puppets. Mrs. Gašparovičová and Her Majesty Queen Sonja than admired traditional Slovak folk articles – majolica, embroidery and especially the special shepherd’s pipe called ´fujara´, which is registered as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO).