Thursday, 27 October 2011

Two steps forward, one step back

Our second week together started well with many women willing to attend the classes. Some of them even asked the teacher to give them homework.

On the second day, we had to take a few steps back because the teacher realized that the progress on reading made by the women was due to their memorization of words instead of a real understanding of sounds and syllables. Even if we understand that the method we are applying for this literacy program has to focus first on discussions rather than acquisition of alphabet and reading, we think it is important to take this step back to reach more of our initial goals later.

It was not neccessary to begin from the start with the basic presentation of the alphabet. Every woman began writing her name, taking as much time as they needed. Then they wrote their husband's names and their children's names and started recognizing the letters, not simply copying them from examples on the board. At the end, each woman created her own family tree and they were proud to hang it in the class room and show each other something that was a representation of their family. They seemed very satisfied as they created something so important on their own.

This was a good way to start discussions with the family topic because women were very interested and were open to talk about their personal experiences. Each day of this second week ended with all the women sitting close together and sharing experiences.What came out of these discussions is that some women regret they got married so young and discussed the reasons for such feelings. All of them began taking confidence and telling their experiences with their husbands and about their relationship : how they communicate, what are the roles in the family, etc.

The family topic is very important to Roma women and they need to talk about their family problems because it is the most important thing in their lives.

This is why we decided to continue with the family issues the third week.
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