Rroma Workers Network
Encouraging, equipping and empowering Rroma Workers to reach Rroma people and communities with the gospel.
Why is the Rroma Workers Network needed?
The Rroma Workers Network was begun to assist Christian workers in Romania who are passionate to bring the hope of Jesus to the country’s Rroma communities. Learning how best to relate to and help the Rroma is complex. The difficulties of mission lead frequently to burn out and exhaustion when workers serve in isolation from one another. International Teams Australia worker, Manda Pidgeon, went on mission to serve the Rroma. Through her service, she understood the need to create an effective and cooperative outreach network. The Rroma Workers Network is the outworking of that calling.
Who are the Rroma people?
Rroma people are often known as ‘Gypsies’. However, this is a term many of them consider derogatory. Rroma people groups have migrated widely throughout Europe and other regions. Because of their itinerant history, modern-day Rroma live with a legacy of marginalisation and distrust, detached from interactions outside their own communities.
Generations have been forcibly excluded from wherever they’ve settled. The majority of today’s Rroma still have no nationality or homeland. Of the estimated two to three million Rroma in Romania, only around 500 000 have identity papers. This means most births are not recorded, which restricts access to education, employment and healthcare.
Distrust between Rroma and the societies in which they live is mutual. Anything from a flat tyre to bad weather can be blamed on their very existence. Such distrust is frequently the biggest hurdle when trying to reach Rroma people with the Gospel.
The benefits of the Rroma Workers Network
Since 2014, the Rroma Workers Network has grown to include the cooperative efforts of over 150 workers/organisations. It supports Rroma workers to encourage, equip and empower each other, facilitating access to conferences, leadership and skill development, and the sharing of resources and ideas through the Rroma Workers Network website.
The Rroma Workers Network has become an essential tool for workers to reach Rroma communities with the Gospel. Workers have seen their relationships with each other and local Rroma people grow. Theological and children’s educational programmes are being embraced. Education in business, sanitation and community development is well-attended.
Manda, her husband, Josh, and their daughter, Isla, live in Romania to administer and continue to develop the Rroma Workers Network. In Romania, they are excited to come alongside and support workers more effectively on the field.