"One of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education."

"I live in Batos (Mures County in Transylvania), where I was chosen as a representative of the community in the Local Council and I am also the President of the Roma Democratic Party in the county. I also work as a Romani language teacher in the school of Apalina, a village with Roma inhabitants only; and I am a certified translator for Romanian, Hungarian and Romani languages. Romani is an indo-European language similar to sanscrite and the language was recognised by the Indian State. We have a language, an anthem, a flag and now we are also recognised by the Indian Government because Roma people are descendent from India. Even though my mother was an illiterate she always promoted the importance of education so that you can surpass your condition. I invested constantly in my education this is why I graduated at 51 years old from the University of Bucharest, the Language Faculty (Romani), studying with the biggest expert of Romani language in Romania, professor Gheorge Sariu. I am a Roma and I am proud to be. I never felt discriminated in Romania and I never wanted to migrate to a different country. I think what is missing in the Roma community is proper education and the lack of models. What you see is what you follow, so if children see their parents benefiting from the Romanian welfare and refusing to work then why should they go to school? I also think that the Romanian legislation is innapropiate for Roma people. As an example if you get pregnant at 14 years old which is extremly common in the Roma community, you receive prenatal help, money which actually go to the parents of the new mother because she is a minor. How is this measure helping? This is not preventing them from getting pregnant at early ages but in a way it is actually stimulating the natality among them because the state is giving them money. The projects for the Roma people are not managed by Roma people because different NGOs which have obtained EU funding do not understand the problems within the Roma community and are not using the funding properly. I have written two books presenting the Roma culture, its roots, historical evolution and many other interesting facts. I wanted to shed some light regarding the Roma community. The books are entitled ”The Untouchable from yesterday, the Roma people from Today” and ”Oarba de Mures, bloody land”. I think that the only way in which you can improve the situation of the Roma community is through education so one of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education." Interview by: Patricia Papuc Copyright: © 2016 | International Organization for Migration, "i am a migrant" campaign Webpage title: "One of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education." Retrieved on: 10/01/2017


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