A missionary friend was in town and invited me to go along with him (in missionary-speak that means that he wanted me to drive him somewhere) to visit a program which works with Romany women to teach them to read books with their children. It is an international program which the Slovak government, with the support of local communities, supports to educate these women and strengthen their families.
Bozena is the coordinator for these programs in our area and it was a great opportunity for me to meet her. But the most incredible part of the afternoon was watching the women read a children’s book together – encouraging each other, helping each other with difficult words, thinking about how the lessons of the children’s story applied to their own lives. How fun! But the fun did not stop there . . .
. . . a time of refreshments followed by dancing and a game of musical chairs. For these women, the opportunity to come together is not only about education but about forming a team of mutual support. For most of them, this is the only time in their week which is devoted to them and their concerns. The laughter which filled the room gave testimony to the success of this innovative program.