This fall Tanya has been busy packing up boxes filled with handmade bags and handcrafts to send to the U.S. These bags will be given as Christmas gifts in locations around the Southeast, and recipients will know that their gift is supporting Roma women and their families.
Two of our ministry partners in the village of Rankovce work with Roma women, sewing bags and other handmade items. The two groups have similar goals – to help Roma women learn valuable work skills, and to give them an outlet to create and distribute their work.
One ministry, led by our friend and colleague Kristen Wollam, is called Nadej pre Romov (“Hope for Roma”). Nadej is the word for “hope” in Slovak. This group has been active for several years, sewing bags, quilts and quality handcrafts of all types (see an example above). Hope for Roma also hosts Bible studies and discipleship groups, cooking classes and summer camps. Kristen is doing amazing work – find out more about Hope for Roma at their website.
Romani Suv (“Roma Needle” – suv is the Roma word for “needle“) has a similar focus, teaching and employing different women at each stage of the production process. They create traditionally-embroidered handbags, pictured above, but they have also participated in creating clothing and other items for special events like the Roma Fashion Show we participated in last year. Most of their online materials are in Slovak, but you can see some more pictures at this Facebook post.