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When the poor gypsies on the island Gotland in Sweden heard about the ongoing refugee crisis, they decided immediately to help.
With a money and Red Cross vests, they collected over 4 000sek in two hours.
- The people of Visby has helped us and now we want to help the refugees, said Marin Ancuta a Roman gypsy.
It lives about 50 poor European migrants on the island of Gotland, the majority in Visby. Some of them have had less work, others beg on the street. Before Anna Maria Bauer, Red Cross coordinator in Gotland, told them about the refugee crisis, most people knew nothing about it.
- Many were quite shocked they have not access to news broadcasts and newspapers. It was assumed, especially by the violence that other countries commit to refugees when they arrive, with tear gas, fencing and how they empty the petrol out of the boats. That the authorities actually behave that way against people on the run. And kids of course. All yearn for their own children, so they became very concerned by the situation of children, says Anna Maria Bauer.
When Marin Ancuta, who came from Romania to Visby in January, heard about the refugees' situation, she thought immediately that she wanted to do something for them.
- I came up with the idea to collect the money, she says.
And so it became. Less than two weeks ago attended 24 poor Roma in a rally in Almedalen under the banner "Refugees welcome". They dressed Red Cross vests and rattled with rifles. In two hours they got together over 4000 crowns.
- It felt good. I hope it can bring clothes, food and things for the kids, said Marin Ancuta.
Donate money out of your own cup
She and several others are planning to attend again next time when the Red Cross collects the money. Some do even more than that.
- They are those who sometimes give away what they get in their cups to the charity, said Marin Ancuta.
Anna Maria Bauer is overwhelmed by the group's involvement.
- They knew we would have a gathering and that the Red Cross would raise money for the Children of the World. As they said themselves, we would please want to help. That people who already have themselves difficult want to help in this way, it's awesome, she says.
"Helps as never before"
Around 500 refugees are expected to arrive to Gotland shortly. That was the reason why Anna Maria Bauer wanted to tell you about the refugee crisis.
- From the beginning I was worried that they would react to that they would receive less money because many people are also active in helping refugees now. I wanted them to understand what it was about and that it is not about that people think less of them now, she says.
But with hindsight, it has proved the contrary.
- People are on the legs and help like never before and this is reflected in the this group also. We've got even more volunteers.
"Soon it will be too cold"
The poor European migrants in Visby currently lives in an old military camp that were used during repmånader.
- But soon it will be too cold to stay there. We are looking for full after something new, but it is difficult, says Anna Maria Bauer.
Marin Ancuta hope she can stay on the island.
- That's my biggest dream to be here forever. I and my husband want a job, she says.