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Czech Republic: Romani community organizes Christmas party for children's home in Jihlava

23.12.2016 17:18
The 2016 Christmas party for the Jihlava Children's Home and School, organized by the Romani community of the Czech Republic.
The 2016 Christmas party for the Jihlava Children's Home and School, organized by the Romani community of the Czech Republic.

Romani community members from all over the Czech Republic have organized a Christmas party for the children in a Jihlava Children's Home, most of whom are also Romani. The idea of holding the party came from Robert Tonelli, who grew up in a Children's Home himself and wanted to make the children's Christmas holiday more pleasant, as well as to give them something from the heart.

"That was our aim and I think we succeeded," Tonelli told news server "Many Romani people contributed to pulling off this event, some gave gifts, others financial contributions. Christmas is a magical time, people should love one another and not think only of themselves. Naturally there are Romani people who buy a couple of thousand crowns' worth of Christmas presents and deliver them to the children's homes, but we wanted to do it differently. We wanted to spend time with the children, get to know them a little, to share the joy with them, and that's why we decided on a Christmas party and gave out the gifts on that occasion."

"I'm very glad so many people - so many Romani people - contributed to this event. It's a sign that we perceive realities of a social nature and that we are able to come together at the right time to demonstrate great cohesion and solidarity for the children who need it the most. The reward for our work is the joy and smiles of these children," he said.

"Successful Romani people are role models for children. These children were able to see that the event was organized by Romani people themselves. Many Romani children in children's homes do not have a relationship with their Romani identity, and we wanted to help them develop one, to demonstrate that being Romani is nothing bad," Tonelli explained.

The event included a festive dinner where the children got to enjoy dumpling soup, potato salad, chicken schnitzel and dessert. After dinner gifts were unwrapped and there was a dance party with a discotheque.

Children's home director thanks the Romani community

"The Romani activist Mr Bc. Robert Tonelli prepared absolutely free of charge a pre-Christmas party for all of the children in the Jihlava home. The entire afternoon program was at the Na Hradbach restaurant in the center of Jihlava. After eating dinner together, the children got Christmas presents and then there was a party, which included a dance competition with cash prizes. The beautiful evening together ended with dessert before going to sleep. The children and their tutors were very satisfied to return to their groups and the management of the home thanks Mr Tonelli and his team very much for this beautiful deed. For a while everybody forgot about the pre- Christmas rush and enjoyed some peace and tranquility," said Radek Vovsík, director of the Jihlava Children's Home and School.

List of sponsors: Support Royal s.r.o., K.M catering Praha, MTS BOLVAN s.r.o. Mělník, Rodina Balážová z Roudnice, Rodina Demeterová z Jiříkova, zaměstnanci ze Slova 21, Bc. David Tišer, Jan Dužda, Bc.Zdeněk Guži, Renata Patkaňová, Vincent Holub, Denisa Urbánszská, Věra Duždová, Kristián Horváth, Pavlína Matiová, Dis. Miro Bartoš, Denisa Miková, Mgr. Lucie Horváthová-Fuková, sdružení Ašta šmé, Robert Bystrý, Jan Buchla, Ladislav Slepička, Mário Columbie, Martin Čureja, Ondřej Demetr, Robert Demetr, Tomáš Cína, Petr Vaštág, Ivan Demetr

th, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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