Gypsy Village Support
Gypsies, or ‘Roma’ people, are the largest ethnic minority but have the lowest status (political, social, and economic) of any ethnic group in Eastern Europe. Historically, they have been subjected to segregation, racism, and persecution which has led to a destructive cycle of poverty, unemployment, and lack of education.
They typically live in poverty-stricken ghetto-like villages adjacent to Ukrainian towns or cities. Their culture encourages young people to get married at age 14, have children, and repeat the cycle of poverty they were born into. Living in segregated villages, thousands of Gypsies lack access to safe, clean water. Women and children are often walking up to two kilometers to reach a water source, which often carries diseases.
The illiteracy rate in most Gypsy communities is around 95%. Neither their culture nor the government-run schools encourage the children to get an education. Adults find odd jobs from time to time, but unemployment rates are extremely high in Gypsy villages.
HOW CAN WE HELP GYPSY VILLAGES?
YOUR support will help transform Gypsy villages in practical and effective ways through:
- Medical-dental care
- Water wells construction
- Starting schools for Gypsy children in each village
- Church buildings
- Micro-loans/grants for agricultural projects
- Summer camp programs for children
- Pastor training
All of HART’s programs are run in partnership with local Gypsy Baptist churches, working together to bring positive change to these communities. Your support has been helping us to spiritually and materially transform many of these villages teaching them self-sufficiency and helping to restore their cultural pride and dignity.