Ioana: ‘I stand up for the rights of Roma women’ 

Ioana is a project participant of Dorcas Romania.  

Ioana: ‘I stand up for the rights of Roma women to an education and a decent job. When I was 18 months old, my left hand was severely burned in an accident. As a result of this disability, my parents never sent me to school. So, I did not learn to read or write or acquire some of the skills you need to get a job. I married and became a mother. We struggled to survive on a low income, and although we managed to send my son to school, we did not have the money to send my two daughters. 

Via my boy’s school, we became involved in a Dorcas project, which made it possible for both my daughters to attend school. Now, several years later, I’m really proud that my son has completed school and enrolled at a vocational college in Oradea. 

However, the programme has not only helped my children. I enrolled in a literacy class and learned to read and write, and thanks to the sewing lessons at the local community centre, I am now a skilled seamstress. At the centre, I helped to make the shoes and clothes for a small doll named Aelia, which is used in an educational project for Romanian girls.  

I am really grateful for everything the Dorcas project has done for my family. My children are receiving an education I never had and have a better chance of finding a job. I no longer feel ashamed due to my disability, and thanks to the sewing club, my self-confidence has grown and I’ve become a valued member of the local community. I hope that other Roma adults, especially women, will have the chance to acquire the vocational and social skills they need to find employment and live a decent life. And I long for the day when all Roma are no longer viewed as outsiders but are instead valued members of the local communities in which they live.’ 

𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘋𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘢𝘴’ 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯. 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘨𝘦. Human Rights: Contributing to a just society – Dorcas

04 April 2024

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