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Who are the Roma people?

The Roma are a people group with no home country. They are scattered primarily throughout Europe, but also the world. Typically living in tight-knit exclusive communities, the Roma maintain a unique culture and close family ties.

To learn more about the Roma visit the Britannica Page or the Wikipedia Page.

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Wednesday
Apr032013

Learning Together

By: Alicia Jones

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to stand by the door and welcome children as they came to the  Afterschool Program. This is a new program we recently started in one of the primary Roma communities where we minister. I paid particular attention to each child as he or she arrived; one girl was downcast, I learned she was sick; some boys were cutting up; others came in huffing and puffing from the long walk from the school to the church; and still others came in calmly and quietly, taking their seats.  By now all the children are familiar to me as this is the third week of the program.

Every Monday and Thursday Roma children from the local school come to the local Roma church to study Hungarian or mathematics for a few hours. Two local Hungarian girls help do the teaching and local Roma parents or volunteers offer support. The principal of the local school provided us the names of the thirty children with the greatest need. Most are in the 5th grade, but there are a few from 6th and 7th grade as well. When the children arrive they receive a light meal (many cannot afford a meal at school), they receive their workbook and together we study. At the conclusion of the two hours there are a few minutes for singing and sometimes even dancing together before we say goodbye until next time.

This Thursday I began to sense the children were feeling at home in this little afterschool community. On Monday we had provided the children with flashcards with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems and taught them how to use them properly. On Thursday, it was a bit miraculous for me. We just placed the cards on the desks before the students came, and the early arrivers immediately found a friend and practiced with the cards, it was a beautiful sight as I glanced around the room and marveled at the excitement for learning in these children. God has a good plan for each life.

 

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