"The mission among the Gypsies is a perfect example of "putting the last first.”
The SVD mission parish for the gypsy community in Hungary is situated in a village called Köröm in the Archdiocese of Eger. Köröm is about 185 kilometers from Budapest , the capital of Hungary and it belongs to Borsod Abaúj Zemplén county . We have four substations connected to our mission parish, where the majority of the people belong to Romani (gypsy community). To be precise there are 5,856 Romani people living in five villages of our parish and the Hungarian community is a minority in these villages. Due to the higher birth rates among Romani families, the statistics declare that in the near future, most of these areas in the county will be having higher rate of Romani population. The people here largley suffer unemloyment which leads towards a huge poverty and uncertainity. The only sourse for living is the government aid. Due to lack of education and skilled training, the Romani people are deprived of job opportunities which makes their life very miserable. As a result many people take on the evil ways of drugs, alcohol, theft, prostitution . The future of these villages largely depends upon how the human formation can be given to them by giving edcation, skilled training, moral values and a wholistic personality development.
Reading the sings of times, Jpic in Hungary has chosen Romani (Gypsy) mission as priority in Hungarian province . A starting point for Jpic mission for the last two years has been orinted towards human formation such as organizing community buliding, pastoral care and social awarness - rehabilitation ( alcohol and drug ) and also the personality development programs for the famlies , children and the youth by whcih we give human dignity to Romani community and therby integrate them into the life of the society and the church. We also promote education and skilled training by sending the youth to different schools for further education and also adults to different skilled training courses. Therefore our main focus is education, self-reliance, self-discipline, and spiritual growth to promote personal dignity, creativity, for a responsible and enlightened society. The people in these villages are very poor. But there is a growing interest in educating their children. So as JPIC team, we would like to empower the children by fecilitatiting the possibilities for education, spiritual growth and moral values.
Now in Hungary, the mission among the Gypsies is a perfect example of "putting the last first”. This is an invitation and also a challenge for the Divine Word Missionaries by which we give these poor and marginalized people a sense of human dignity and identity. We are striving hard to live up to this goal by opening our hearts to them and by entering into their reality . Now as Jpic team Svd in Hungary we would like to continue this valuable project for the Romai community in the years to come .
Fr. Lourdu R., SVD.
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