|Gatali and Altini|
In Roma culture children are used to get married in a young age. The appropriate age to get married in the Roma culture for girls is 9 to 12 and for the boys is 13 to 15 years old. Another Roma interesting fact is that the Roma girls are promised as brides since they are 4 or 5 years old, for a different amount of money. The legal minimum age for marriage in Albania is 16, but ADRA have noticed that the practice of school-age marriages remains common in the Roma community, and the authorities normally turn a blind eye.
|Roma children in traditional Albanian costumes|
Through ADRA trainings about early marriages and pregnancies the Roma girls and parents are reacting about this issue. This is a great success that the “REFLECT” project has achieved. A story of success is the Roma weeding that was organized on 21th of September in the Roma community of Fushe Kruja. The bride and the groom are two beneficiaries of REFLECT project. Adelina Gatali is 17 years old and she has been attending “REFLECT’ project since its beginning. Even the groom Altini (18 years old) has been a regular attendee of this project.
They invited ADRA’s staff on this special day. All the Roma present in the wedding expressed their happiness that ADRA staff took part in this event because for them it was the first time that non Roma people were present to celebrate with them. The bride and the groom were the only ones that were not laughing and enjoying because according to Roma culture they have to give the perception of someone who have left the childhood behind and is matured.
|ADRA staff with the bridal couple|
Music was the most important part of the celebration. The Roma are talented to dance beautify under the music and for them music signify “Life”.