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May 25, 2022



England: Families of girls who died after hit-and-run give thanks for support, ask Romani community not to raise any more money

10.1.2017 8:26
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

The families of the Romani girls who were killed in England on New Year's Eve by an irresponsible hit-and-run driver have sent a video message through the Facebook profile of one of their relatives asking the public not to organize any more fundraising drives to support them. In the roughly three-minute message, the family members each express their gratitude to everybody who has already provided them with financial, moral and psychological support.

The video continues with the family members thanking by name each state whose citizens have contributed aid for them. They also express the conviction that the degree of solidarity the Romani community worldwide has demonstrated is a testament to their exceptional cohesion.

The family then explains that they would like to stop the organization of any further fundraising, saying they do not want to profit from money raised for the burials of their deceased children. "If it keeps going like this, in this chain manner, we won't be contributing anything of our own," the mother of one of the girls says in the message.

"We want to give something to our children too," the mother clarified, "it's the last thing we can do for them." Her family is originally from South Bohemia and emigrated to England eight years ago.

The children attended local schools and the adults went to work. On New Year's Eve the two young girls, Žaneta and Helina, went to a local shop to buy candy.

The Daily Mail online has reported that as the girls were crossing the road they were struck at high speed. The car was being driven by 38-year-old Gábor Hegedüs, who had three other men in the car with him from Hungary.

Hegedüs, who did not have a driver's license, fled the scene of the accident without stopping but was subsequently apprehended and charged with homicide, while his three passengers were charged with obstruction of justice. Shortly after the tragedy happened, friends and relatives of the family organized a collection for the funeral which raised CZK 80 000 (EUR 2 960).

Others then responded with financial gifts, including the owner of the auto body workshop that employs one member of the family. On 6 January a benefit concert was given by Romani musicians in Děčín, Czech Republic and other public collections have been held as well.


Adéla Gálová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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