Have you ever thought about learning to use scissors? Most of us learned in early childhood how to take those blunt-ended slivers of silver with bright plastic handles, and a piece of construction paper, to craft a work of art. We would proudly take this master piece home to our moms to be displayed in a prominent place, probably the refrigerator. It's a childhood activity we take for granted.
This week while doing Club (VBS style activities) I helped two young girls who had no idea how to use scissors. The sisters, about 7 and 10 years old, just sat and stared at the construction paper, crayons, and scissors they had been given. They quickly looked at what the other kids were doing and drew something similar on their papers. The next step was cutting and both girls were puzzled. "Can you help me?" With a little coaching and practice the girls soon got the hang of it. They happily began cutting multiple scraps of paper and speaking rapidly to each other about their new found skill - using scissors.
This scenario underscores why the need for education among the Roma is so important. These girls live in the poor section of town where the local school is known to be sub-par. More than likely their parents do not support them in their education because they see no need for it or because they are consumed with the daily struggle of providing for their family. The exact reasons for these girls' lack of education is unknown but what is known is that there are many more like them.