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Slovakia: Bratislava's White-Gloved H...
Bratislava
By danubestory
08 Dec 2014

Donning dapper navy blue uniforms and traditional caps, complete with pristine white gloves, a few of Bratislava’s homeless have revived the role of the traditional baggage porter.

Bratislava Railway Station is a dowdy, yet charming old building with scarce facilities and no modern equipment, making it less accessible to elderly people, families traveling with children, and people carrying heavy luggage. Getting to the train with heavy bags and baby strollers is a real challenge. Meanwhile, outside the train station approximately four to five thousand homeless people face harsh conditions with little chance of find work. A local NGO called Proti Prudu (Against the Stream) works with the homeless, providing them with a street paper called Nota Bene, that they offer to passers by in exchange for spare change. Now, they have launched an ingenious project offering part-time jobs to seven of the homeless they work with to attack both issues. They pay the porters for part-time work helping people with their bags, free of charge. These men who once depended completely on the help of others are finding a bit of much needed economic stability and a new sense of social pride by offering a much appreciated hand to others.