Czech branch of Caritas opposes Roma political party’s criticism of aid to Roma refugees from Ukraine, party stands by claims

Roma refugees from Ukraine in a ‘tent city’ on the outskirts of Pardubice, Czech Republic. (2022) (PHOTO: Caritas Pardubice)

The branch of the Caritas organization from the region of Pardubice in the Czech Republic opposed the allegations of the chairman of the political party Roma Luma, Marc Cavali, who commented on the situation of Roma refugees from Ukraine living in a “tent city” on the outskirts of Pardubice for news server. The charity claims the claims in the article headlined “In Pardubice, the rest of the Transcarpathian Roma survive in tentsare biased and misleading, but Cavali insists they are accurate.

Caritas: The president of Roma Luma is not telling the truth

“An article titled ‘In Pardubice, the rest of the Transcarpathian Roma survive in tents‘ was posted on May 10 at 4:11 p.m. Although Caritas Pardubice has no serious journalistic work in its remit, we cannot remain silent in the face of such biased and misleading reporting. Already at the time of publication of this report, the tents where Roma awaiting visas had been temporarily housed were empty and they were on their way to the refugee center in Bělá-Jezová,” Caritas Pardubice said in a press release. .

“We ensure that the Roma in the Pardubice camp have at least enough food and do not send their children to the city to beg,” Cavali was quoted by news server as describing the activities. of Pardubice from his party, Roma Luma. Caritas considers this to be a false allegation and states that since Monday, May 2, food and other aid, with the financial support of the Pardubice region, has been organized for Roma refugees from Ukraine by Caritas Pardubice.

“Around midnight on Monday, the Roma refugees were housed in the fire brigade tents in Hůrky, and together with the fire brigade we used our vans to deliver the first batch of basic food, plastic plates etc. On Tuesday morning our first investigation into the situation there has taken place,” writes Caritas, adding that representatives of Caritas Pardubice and an interpreter provided by the Czech police were at the scene.

“Since then, three times a day, based on our assessment of needs, Caritas Pardubice has organized supplies and, according to our volunteer services and food aid coordinator at the Regional Assistance Center for Aid to ‘Ukraine (KACPU), Miloš Láško, we delivered aid, more than 1,000 kg of groceries, medicines, personal hygiene supplies as well as clothes, shoes, prams and items household items from our own public collections, from the social wardrobe or with the financial support of Pardubice We don’t know that Roma children should have been begging!The situation we discovered during our own regular social work surveys on place certainly never indicated anything like this – we saw cheerful children playing with balls, donated scooters and other toys,” writes Caritas Pardubice.

“We understand that it is not interesting to publish a report on how well everything is working, including the provision of health care to each refugee on an individual basis. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved – the KACPU units, the police, the fire brigade, the doctors, the staff of the regional authority of Pardubice, the town hall, our colleague from Caritas Pardubice Ivan Červeňák, who is the Romani coordinator and helped there with the interpretation, Ms Magdalena Karvayová from Awen Amencaa Roma organization, and Ms. Lucie Fuková, who helped coordinate assistance from the local Roma community,” Caritas Pardubice added in its press release, which details everything that has been provided there.

“We had to organize clothes and shoes, and not just for the children, Caritas brought eight strollers to this place, countless amounts of baby food, changing mats, cosmetics, diapers, formula and hygiene supplies for adults and children.At that time, everyone involved, including KACPU paramedics, Caritas nurses, firefighters, coordinator Miloš Láško and other members of the Caritas Pardubice staff, addressed the health issues of individual refugees, including arranging medicine for epilepsy, care for a disabled little girl, medicine for wounds, throat and stomach problems. Caritas, firefighters and others called ambulances to this place more than once or took adults and children to Pardubice hospital where they received specific help,” writes Carit as Pardubice.

Caritas also says that according to Láško, who coordinated their volunteers, the collaboration with Roma refugees from Ukraine was quite good and that they are very friendly, grateful and kind people. “We are all the more sorry that others take advantage of the refugee situation just to promote themselves, or as the subject of an alarming article,” concludes Caritas Pardubice in its press release.

Cavali for CNN Prima News: We provided help there, no one else was there

Cavali stands by his story, and in a discussion with Pardubice Region Governor Martin Netolický on CNN Prima News alleged that it was Roma Luma in particular who provided help to Pardubice. “We were in Pardubice, we brought these toys, groceries and water. People were fighting over food there. We filmed it,” he said, blaming the regional governor of n having allegedly never visited the “tent city”.

“It’s not true, don’t co-opt the work of others,” the regional governor replied, quoting the Caritas statement. Cavali posted a brief video on one of his Facebook social media profiles and called on the regional governor to apologize to him.

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