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An island of hope

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Before we closed down the home we had a lot of extra clothes and toys and had been hoping to visit the Roma (gypsy) village I wrote about before so we finally made time for it and took two truckloads of useful items we had for them including clothing, bedding, winter blankets, household items and toys for the children. Again I was impressed with the orderliness of the children we brought school supplies and cuddlies for them and the patiently waited their turn, the younger ones even holding hands waiting their turn while the school-aged kids got notebooks, pencils and erasers for the start of school next month. Another thing that struck me was how appreciative they were for the simplest of things as they really live a simple life on the margins of society, while public school is provided for they do not have much else and used toys, dolls, tricycles, and new toothbrushes were like having an early Christmas for them. We also distributed donated glassware to each of the 15 households that make up this “village” as well as fresh milk and childcare material in the local language. It is always fun to visit this place as despite there ethnic background and lifestyle they have found their own way and created for themselves and there families an island of hope and understanding free from crime, drugs and substance abuse so rampant in other gypsy villages and even some sub-circles of society at large.

We were inspired too by the improvements they’ve made even since our last visit as the village elder who started this village who is a builder added a bathroom and living room addition to his small house to improve the living conditions as they have 11 extended family members that until now had to trek to the outhouse in the forest. This is the first such bathroom I have ever heard of in a gypsy village and he hopes to repeat the idea to the other houses in their community and has appealed to us for donated bricks to be able to make this a reality sooner for the other households too before the winter months set in.

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