It is a fact that in some cultures it is socially acceptable for people to marry at a very young age. Pastor Cornel Fedor is very aware of this and has been trying to work with the Gherla gypsy community to educate them into the benefits of waiting till they are older. The real issue isn’t the age they marry but the rate of early pregnancy’s – some as young as 12 years old.
Cornel has decided to stop marrying younger couples and in 2015 he said he would marry no-one under 15, in 2016 it was 16, in 2017 it is 17 and next year it will move to 18 years old. If couples wait until they are 18 then Cornel will conduct the marriage for free.
The project that Link to Hope supports funds volunteers and nurses to go out and talk to the community, in particular the girls about the dangers of early pregnancy and the benefits of waiting until they are older. The girls have someone to talk to, who is not family or part of their social circle but someone who can give clear medical advice and help them make good decisions. This has had a major impact on the age that girls give birth and in the last year no-one younger than 17 who has become pregnant.
We feel the project has been of great benefit and will continue to support Pastor Cornel in the work that he does.