GAZA—A marginalized people group in the Gaza Strip that receives little government aid benefits from food provided through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering.
The Dom people in Gaza typically live in tents or the ruins of homes damaged by war or natural disasters. They are part of the larger ethnic group commonly known as Gypsies, or Romani, and live at the bottom of the social ladder in Gaza.
Like other so-called Gypsy people, the Dom originated in Northern India. Contrary to folklore and stereotypes surrounding Gypsies, the Dom people don’t live a nomadic lifestyle. They migrated to and settled in Gaza about a thousand years ago.
“We want to work with Gypsy community leaders and Dom Christian leaders to address different situations and needs,” said a Christian worker in that area. “In this way, if we are behind the scenes, responding to the situation alongside the Dom.”
Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission works in partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to meet needs in the region.
A major impact of the offering has been on Dom families housing orphans who lost everything in the recent wars.
“The Gypsy families who are taking them in are impoverished themselves,” the Christian worker in Gaza said. “Funds from the hunger offering have been used to purchase food, medicine and clothing for those families. That has been a major life-sustaining contribution from Texas Baptists.”
The offering’s impact has been powerful—helping the Dom survive. Most government aid, particularly in this area, is siphoned to other groups or not distributed at all, he added.
Through its CBF missions partners, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering makes a significant impact on the lives of the Dom people and provides hope in a devastated area, he said.