In the year 2021-2022, within the framework of the afterschool program, we helped 45 students to make up for the gap and to continue their studies. During our education, we strived to ensure that all students of all ages received the help the needed to develop properly. Therefore, children were divided into three groups based on age and knowledge. In kindergarten children, we develop their skills such as dexterity, concentration and attention. In the middle group, we help them learn and practice writing, reading, and basic math operations.
We try to keep up with the current curriculum with older students, also taking into account the abilities of the children. The program also aims to motivate as many students as possible to stay in the public education system. Year after year, we see more and more that afterschool plays a very important role in their lives as it is the only opportunity for them to get help with learning. Most parents are illiterate, so they cannot help or provide opportunities for children to learn under normal circumstances. The world around them is stimulus-poor, they pay little attention to their mental and physical development, so the ability to concentrate, dexterity and adaptability develops late. Because of this, they also start school at a disadvantage, struggling with learning and integration difficulties. But despite all this, there are many special and talented children among them.
In addition to learning, we pay attention to the hygienic and moral education of children and the development of their social skills. From time to time, we try to organize as many programs as possible where children can learn them playfully and effectively, such as washing hands, cutting nails, taking care of their diseases, learning about diseases and keeping them healthy, community days, trips, birthday parties, competitions, skill games, Bible classes.
We educate them on independence, discipline, perseverance, encourage them to formulate their own goals and work hard day by day to achieve them. To do this, we use a scoring system. We reward the behavior, attitude, perseverance, diligence of the children, the points collected can be bought with them at different intervals during a so-called market day. Our goal is to integrate and become full members of society.
It is very important for the Roma to have customs, habits, a system and continuity. If something doesn’t happen in the usual way, it confuses them. They cannot react correctly to change, they adapt very slowly, change is an incomprehensible situation for them. We find day by day that even a small change is an obstacle for them. The rapid and unusual changes (covid, war in the neighboring country) that we are facing today are very much worn out by the children as well, out of the rhythm they were in before. Their image of school has changed and they have lost interest in learning. This also made the work of teachers more difficult, as education was not continuous and school attendance was sometimes interrupted for longer periods. We understand that newer methods are needed to further motivate children properly.
We surveyed how children have changed from their daily lives, in what direction their interests have changed, what occupies them, what they like to talk about. It is important to understand them and get close to their thinking in order to help them with their faith and physical life. We noticed that they were very interested in the TV shows where teams compete. We have observed that in their free time they not only watch but also play in their own way and imagine themselves in certain roles.
Unfortunately, this year, due to scarce financial resources, we were not able to give the children warm meals, but they were given enough cold food for lunch every day.
In addition to learning, of course, we also try to pay attention to the spiritual life of the children. Every week we read and talk about a biblical story and study it. We pay attention to which biblical story answers the questions that interest them. We try to give advice in the light of the Bible, answer their questions, be there for them when needed. Our teachers also educate and shepherd students. Students in the school often testify to personal experiences of God. We are happy with every little victory, change, we see progress and we know that God has a plan with every child, but we also know that change takes time. Thank you so much for Trinity Church standing by us from the beginning and supporting us in this work. You have a part in the development and change of every child! Without your help, we would never have achieved our daily victories! Thank you for donating $ 10,000 last year! We pray that God will generously give it back to you. It is a great honor for us to have a partnership with Trinity Church. God bless you all! With brotherly greetings, Erika Márton