About Laleaua Ministry
We wish for the Roma community in Boziaş (Târnăveni) to consist of mentally, socially and physically healthy families. Families which have a loving relation with God, are self-supporting, and which take initiatives to play a positive role in the community.
The Roma community
Târnăveni is an old industrial town, which is home to several Roma communities. One of these communities can be found in Rȃndunelelor Street, in the Boziaş district. Rȃndunelelor Street is the street we work in.
Laleaua Ministry: history
In December 1999, a group of young adults visited Târnăveni to distribute Christmas gifts among the Roma. This was the initial introduction to the Roma community in Rȃndunelelor Street, Boziaş district, Târnăveni.
During the visits to this community and the confrontation with dire poverty and hopelessness the words from Hosea 4:6 sprang to mind: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. This text laid the foundation for the work of Laleaua Ministry.
On October 1 2001 the Romanian Association Laleaua was founded, resulting in the start of the Dutch Laleaua Foundation.
Up to this day the activities are focused on this Roma community of Rȃndunelelor Street. The gospel resonates in each and every program. Initially the focus was mainly on education, nowadays social and medical issues receive structural attention also.
In april 2002 opende Laleaua voor het eerst de deuren van de kleuterschool, die nu jaarlijks plaats biedt aan 33 Roma-kleuters. In 2015 werd de kleuterschool geaccrediteerd en verwierf daarmee tevens financiële steun van de Roemeense overheid.
April 2002 saw the opening of the Laleaua Ministry Preschool, which now is visited by 33 Roma toddlers annually. In 2015 the preschool was accredited by the Romanian educational authorities and was therefore able to receive financial support from the Romanian government.
When the first young children left preschool to go to elementary school, Laleaua Ministry started its After School program, which initially helped children do their homework. This proofed to be insufficient. By developing a method for teaching the Romanian language and arithmetic adapted to the level of the individual child, the program changed into a remedial teaching program. Yearly about 40 to 50 children participate in this program.
In September 2010, with the start of Care Foundation social and medical issues which the Roma community was and is struggling with received more attention. Care Foundation started a program called the Marines Club, which teaches Roma youngsters better social skills, and its help them put into practice the things they have learned. Thus Laleaua Ministry and Care Foundation serve and complement each other. Two Girls’ Clubs and one Boys’ Club resulted from this cooperation.
Going forward united
Over time the Laleaua Foundation and the Care Foundation developed the idea to continue as one organisation. We minister the same people and have the same goal: showing the Roma community, and especially the children, the teens and the young adults, the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s grace for all. We believe that this good news turns around people’s lives and gives them a new perspective.
In 2020 we started our cooperation, and in 2021 we will be united in all of our ministry, in Romania and the Netherlands! The Lord be praised!
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- A backlog in language skills; particularly when the language spoken at home is different than the one taught at school.
- A backlog in fine motor skills; when children have not learned to draw or using scissors. These skills are necessary for learning.
- A cognitive backlog. Normally children learn by playing in their natural surroundings: ‘Look, Mummy’s putting two plates on the table …one…two’ Children from a less favoured neighbourhood lack the knowledge other children have learned at home.
- A child learns by interacting with its surroundings. These surroundings have a strong impact on the child’s development. The surroundings determine which learning experiences a child has. The ‘surroundings’ has a broad variety of meanings: it contains the people who raise the child, the parents and other family members, and also its physical surroundings.
- If guardians and educators communicate little with a child and if there little availability of learning materials (books, puzzles, etc), there is a considerable risk a child will have to deal with backlogs in its linguistic development. Children from a lower social-economic background will therefore often have backlogs in language acquisition.
Education provides access to full participation in society.
No education means no chance to get a diploma, and often leads to illiteracy. Not being able to read is the reason many doors remain closed. No diploma often means depending on help from others and little financial security, so there will be a lack in possibilities to chance one’s living conditions.
Oscar Lewis’ study Culture of Poverty shows that children who have not been educated before they were seven years of age, are incapable of overcoming the choke hold of poverty. All educational efforts after they have reached the age of seven almost always prove to be futile. All the more reason to concentrate on educating preschool children.
Children are trusting, curious and faithful to adults. This means greater responsibilities from adults – also in the things they tell children.
Children have a right to develop themselves. Therefore it is in the children’s interest not to receive less assistance, but more. A school therefore has to offer more educational opportunities and linguistic remedial teaching.
It is also in the interest of society to overcome this vicious cycle. Children get a chance to study and obtain diplomas, and as a result have a future. These children in their turn will later have more possibilities stimulating their children to attend school.