Monday, April 12, 2010


[Roma Virtual Network]: Interview with Adriatik Hasantari by Ariadna.

"I came to work on Roma issues at the end of 2002, so it's been more or
less seven years. I was working in a settlement in Tirana, when
habitants from the north were coming south for housing. We were trying
to use games to work with children, to give them some social life. At
that moment, I began to work with Roma children. The point is, when I
was working with Albanian children, I couldn't get their attention. I
had to give them a banana to get their attention. But Roma children
didn't need fruit. They needed attention and they needed to learn. In
one month in a very poor area, the Roma children were able to write
their names and calculate numbers, and these children were never in
school before."

Bravo! For years now I have been reading nothing but European reports of
how Roma children have to be sent to school for the mentally retarded,
or classrooms set aside specifically for them. I myself, who have been
involved with Roma since childhood, came to the conclusion that whoever
came to these findings needed special education, or maybe some classes
in understanding Roma. Personally, what always struck me when getting to
know Roma, was their eagerness to learn, men and women alike. How
devoted they were to their children, whom they consider their most
valuable assets. How they wanted, like most parents, a better life for them.

I personally found Roma children to be quick and intelligent. They
otherwise could not survive in a world surrounded by hostility and
persecution as is theirs. Of course, Roma parents in many European
countries are hesitant to sending their children to the sorts of school
that treats them as retards or persons to be scorn. Most non-Roma would
refuse to send their children to school under those circumstances.

No comments:

Post a Comment