Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 3 - "Empowered to Learn the Word" (Holmes/van Rheenen)

Romany parents teach their children many things:  how to talk (frequently in their own version of Romani); how to socialize in their interwoven networks of family and friends.; how to survive in a frequently hostile social (and physical) environment; how to remember and pass on information--orally. Romany have a listening-and-talking culture rather than a writing-and-reading one.

Romany girl shows little brother how to write
Marleen Sch√∂nthaler, a talented preschool educator here in the Netherlands, realized that many Romany struggled with literacy because no one had taught them the skills needed in order to learn to read. She began to think up fun activities which anyone could do with children--or adults. Davar:  Bridging to Literacy, was begun. The name comes from the Hebrew for "word." The activities use readily-found items. They only take 10-20 minutes. They can be linked to Bible lessons or done independently. Leaders do not need special training to do the activities.

At the request of a Christian worker in Romania, Marleen has also begun to develop Bible lessons with similar activities for Romany mothers and children to do together. Romany mothers will learn how to teach their own children, in their own language. It is our dream that more and more Romany children will not only be ready to able to learn to read and write, but that learning this key skill can be done in their mother tongue, with the help and encouragement of their own parents. 

Prayer requests:
  • For more Romany to hear and embrace the Word of God;
  • For the translation and use of Davar  in Romany communities(click here to link to Davar website).
Keith Holmes & Mary van Rheenen, Resource Coordinators



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