By Christina Cekov and Urs Schweizer Sept. 28, 2017 | UMNS
Twenty-two Roma children from Ohrid, Macedonia, are participating in a unique school project of The United Methodist Church in Macedonia.
It is unique because the classes, split into three age groups, take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. During summer vacation, the project becomes a “summer school,” with four hours of classes daily from Monday to Friday.
The project is also unique because while the children who participate are usually ages 6 to 14, ways are explored to integrate an older child, as well, if this is considered to be a necessity. Not all Macedonian children attend a public school — which means that the importance of this school project for the future of the Roma children is even bigger.
In Europe, Aug. 2 was dedicated to the commemoration of the Roma Holocaust. During World War II, thousands of Roma lost their lives in concentration camps. Against the background of this terrible past, the Conference of European Churches called for a commitment for reconciliation and justice.