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18/12/2018
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Bulgaria: Catholic Church Working for Better Future for Roma Youth

Salesian Father Martin Jilek Works in the Romany (Gypsy) Neighborhood of Stara Zagora city  

Father Martin Jilek (Far Right) with Children and their Families from the Roma CommunityFather Martin Jilek (Far Right) with Children and their Families from the Roma Community

Sofía, Mar.12 (Zenit).– The Roma people in Bulgaria are breaking through the cycle of poverty thanks to Church-run education and social projects, supported by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Salesian Father Martin Jilek, who works in the Romany (Gypsy) neighborhood of Stara Zagora city, Central Bulgaria, told the projects’ backer ACN how the Church is helping the marginalized community.

The priest spoke about the difficulties faced by the Roma people who find it hard to get work and often rely on Bulgaria’s child benefit system.

Father Jilek said: “They are married off by their clan when they are 14. Then they have children early on and live off the child benefit, which is about 40 leva [£18] per month [for each] child.”

Although precise figures for the Romany population are unknown, it is estimated that there are a million in Bulgaria ...

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