Children’s life in the Roma village

af Knud W. Skov

Children lives as their parents allows them to live. This also applies in Roma villages where an isolated lifestyle – often combined with some level of ignorance about health – maintains many in poverty under simple and harsh conditions. This is evident in the upbringing of children and the opportunities, they have.

wimg_3611A scent of everything

When you come to a Roma village, it’s like getting two to three hundred years back in time. Perhaps with the exception of the high “muzak” sounding over the city.
Here almost everything is “in natura” – unprocessed and crooked, both fences, roof trusses and the dirty road.
The nose is filled with the smell of smoke from the small fire, the smell of spicy food, the smell of the feces of humans and animals and the smell of the semi-humid everything.
It is colorful to be here, since dressing is done in what is possible from the second-hand clothes, it has been possible to get and are often worn in many layers depending on the temperature.

Close to nature

wimg_0464Children in Roma villages will live much closer to nature than most people. It goes without saying, when in some villages there are still some that live in burrows.
It is also natural when Roma children are usually not allowed to play with the Romanian children. Roma villages are often located on the outskirts of towns or isolated in the mountains, so nature is on your doorstep.
When DBM contributed to the establishment of electricity for most households in the Roma village of Dragoslavele, there was in the back of the village a family who thanked very much. Now they should no longer be concerned about being able to discover wolves and bears along the river when they came outside the house in the dark season.

At work with mom and dad

When parents work in nature, the children follows. Apart from 4-6 years of schooling, children lives in the life of the entire family across generations. The girls help their mothers and grandmothers with housekeeping, child care and to collect roots, berries and mushrooms in the woods in the right seasons. wp1120703

The boys are quickly drawn into the fathers work in the forests, on the simple horse wagons and as day laborers in agriculture and warehouse work. There is no time to think of teenage rebellion, as there need to be food on the table.

A fowler

One day in Gamacesti we passed a family. The children were very busy, they had found a way to help family members provide meat for the family. It was a simple device with a nearly full wooden box, a stick, some string and some corn kernels. Sat in the right way, it became a fine trap for pigeons and other birds.
It is not possible for a child in the Roma village to be too fine to nature or just be eager to play, so you do not help to provide food. Rather, it is quite natural and necessary for life. wimg_3396

The whole family’s task

When things go wrong in a Roma family in accidents or imprisonment, then it is the whole family that takes care of each other and especially of the children. Gigi visits many Roma at the hospital’s orthopedic department – and then hear about how children in the family has moved to a sister or grandparents in the critical time.
The same was true, since in this summer was a major police operation in the village Gamacesti because some Roma had taken other Roma with large debts as chained slaves.
As was approximately 30 children placed with their grandparents or uncles / aunts to temporarily stay with them. In this situation, the Speranta DBM team made a special effort and sent extra canned as help from Denmark.

 

wdsc01860Gender roles and -ideals

In the village of Schitu-Golesti were gathered a bunch of kids singing and Bible verses. There were many boys and girls. The collection changed when a few young men about 20 rode across the square with bare torso. The larger teenage boys ran after the admiring exclamations. Here was their ideal of being male.
In the spring of 2016 came a few bilfulde young men back from a period of work in Germany. Gigi could then tell how these young men had gathered a bunch of young boys and girls – and there was partying with both ample use of alcohol and resolve issues. An ideal of being the strong men who make money and can choose among girls, liver obviously among the young men – and boys.

From childhood to adulthood in an instant

All the girls carrying younger siblings. It is quite natural – and it lasts until they have a child on her hip. For the girls, those who take care of children – and have children.
Nicu told recently that he had had a children’s collection in one of the Roma villages. When he came to the same village again, he noticed that one of the older girls (13) was missing. He asked after her and got the answer that she nursed her baby! wsg109017
Unfortunately, it is quite normal for the very young girls. They do not get a teenagetid between childhood and adulthood, the married off through arranged marriages and have children as very young teenagers.
Only those girls who gets to move on in school, get a second transition to adulthood. According Nicu it happens far too often among those who get the opportunity to have a youth that they are the cheap girl in the class, which is passed between young Romanian guys.

Their future

There are very few Roma children who get the opportunity to break out of the closed environment. The Romanian government has chosen to support Roma children with additional grants if they reach to get a higher education. It enjoys Solomon in Pucioasa example. from when he is of Roma origin.
It is also a measure of the pastor Nicu to establish women’s groups with both Bible study, health and child rearing as themes. This would he like to open the young mothers’ eyes, there could be reason to wait marriages and pregnancies for girls, it is good to school while giving them the opportunity to talk about faith in Jesus in a society where the otherwise only men who are expected to speak publicly.

If necessary. more about the young women compared to English here: http://kortlink.dk/n67h