Roma migration

Roma Migration



district support generation
pastor promise Promised Land
tough journey feel at home
pray lord (2) integration
mayor raise (3) newcomer
earn wedding administrator
parish accordion feed/fed/fed
crisis used (2) pay/paid/paid
worth descent put him out of business
preach register welfare (2)
bless strong (2) child support
abroad share (3) secondary (2)
located head (3) consideration
locals subsidy resettlement
furnish paradise buy/bought/bought
knit tight (2) keep their distance
protect employ tight-knit community
rent believe (2) find/found/found
flat (3) trade (3) trade license
tiling renovate administer
drywall shut off caretaking
barely exorbitant make it (2)
attend imagine congregation
proud donation live hand to mouth
strange dream (2) it doesn’t matter
exodus touch (2)






Fantanele, north of Bucharest. Roma have been living in the village for generations. There are hundreds of families. No one knows exactly how many.

But for some time now, people have been leaving Fantanele. More and more are leaving their homes and moving to Germany.

Preaching about the journey to the Promised Land is Pastor Dimitriu Gondolea.

“Paradise” for the Roma is one of the toughest parts of Berlin, the Neukoln District.

Dumitru Godelea, Pastor: “We are praying for Angela Merkel and the mayor of Berlin. Dear Lord, please protect these people.”

Pastor Godelea says he’ll stay until the last person has left. He lives on donations and what he can raise in his garden. Like everyone else here, he doesn’t have a job.

Dumitru Godelea, Pastor: “They keep shutting off the water. We only have water for two hours a day. That doesn’t happen in Germany. If I were rich, I’d pay for my entire parish to travel to Germany.”

Alexandru Miriurta doesn’t have anything nice to say about the government either. Earlier, he earned more money playing his accordion at weddings and parties, and was able to feed his family of eleven.

But during the economic crisis, no one has money to pay musicians anymore. So he’s trying to earn money selling used cars. But he says exorbitant taxes on cars are going to put him out of business.

Alexandru Miriurta, Resident: “They want two-thousand euros (€2,000) to register a car that’s not worth one-thousand euros (€1,000).”

People moving to Germany meet in front of his house every day. They want to go where the government supports people and pays welfare and child support that’s twenty times higher than it is in Romania.

Dumitru Godelea, Pastor: “The German economy is strong. And the Germans are good with their money. God has blessed them. He loves them so much that they share their money with the poor. And they can take in others who come in from abroad.”

It seems an education and a good knowledge of German are often secondary considerations.

Fantanele Resident: “Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn.”

Berlin, Neukoln is located thirteen-hundred (1,300) kilometers to the northwest. Thousands of Roma have already moved here. This building in the Hoffsta Strada is where they’re headed.

More than five-hundred (500) people live here, and more keep coming. A Catholic resettlement organization bought the houses and furnished them.

Now, the Roma feel at home here, but most of them keep their distance from the locals.

Ana-Maria Berger, Housing Administrator: “They’re a very tight-knit community. They’re connected. And they’re finding each other here again. They know they’re in a strange land; so they’ve become even closer.”

Ana-Maria Berger and Thorsten Schnell have been administering the place since 2011. Berger is a psychologist of Romanian descent. She’s one of the first people the newcomers go to, even when it comes to getting work.

She employs Roma with trade licenses to renovate the buildings. Nearly all of them are licensed.

Resident: “I have a few businesses in caretaking, cleaning, drywall and tiling.”

And if that doesn’t bring in enough, there’s always welfare.

Thorsten Schnell, Housing Administrator: “There are a few here that have received rent subsidies in the Job Center because they don’t earn enough in total.”

Yet socially integrating the Roma in Berlin will be much more expensive.

Ana-Maria Berger, Housing Administrator: “They can barely speak German and don’t know the laws at all. I know that will cost money, more money and that’s why it’s so tough in Berlin.”

David Stavarache has made it: unlike many others here, he’s learned a trade. And he can just about live from what he earns. His children attend German schools. The nine-member family is proud of their small flat with its living room set and flowered wallpaper.

David Stavarache: “It’s unbelievably difficult. For a long time, we lived from hand to mouth. But it doesn’t matter; we’re trying to build something for our children’s future.

This is much, much better than in Romania.”

Back in Fantanele, Samina Mariota also wants to take her children to Neukoln. She says passport and the bus ride will cost three-thousand euros (€3,000), but she doesn’t have the money.

She says this is where she’ll have to bathe until then.

Samina Mariota: “I’d love to go to Germany. I can already imagine what it’s like to live there. But I don’t think my dream will ever come true.”

In the evening, Pastor Dumitru again calls his congregation to prayer.

Dumitru Godelea, Pastor: “God should touch the German people with His hand. God should bless the German people.”

It looks like the Roma exodus from Fantanele will continue.


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1. The Roma are recent immigrants to Romania and other parts of Europe. True or false?

2. “No one knows exactly how many (people live in the village).” What does this mean or imply?

3. In the video, the pastor and the congregation are praying for love, peace, harmony and salvation. Is this right or wrong? What is their immediate goal?

4. Do people in Fantanele perform various jobs like carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic, teacher?

5. How do they compare welfare and government benefits between Germany and Romania? Which is more generous?

6. The Roma befriend and intermarry with local Germans. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Is it easy or difficult for the Roma to integrate and assimilate into German society?


A. There are different ethnic groups in my city or country. Yes or no? If yes, who are they?

B. Are there social and economic differences among different ethnic groups?

C. Are government benefits and welfare too generous, generous, adequate, not enough or virtually non-existent?

D. Is there significant emigration or immigration into your country?

E. What should people and the government do for disadvantaged people?

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