Gifts for Poor Children End up in Private Kindergarten

Total Croatia News

Officials run away from journalists asking questions.

Another day, another scandal for the Ministry of Social Policy. Packages as gifts meant for poor children somehow ended up in a private Catholic kindergarten. Social Policy Minister Nada Murganić and her State Secretary Margareta Mađerić then ran away from the cameras so they wouldn’t have to answer questions about how was it possible that packages with markings of the European Social Fund, meaning that they were supposed to be given to needy children, ended up in a private kindergarten, reports on December 7, 2017.

Everything seemed fine at the very beginning. The Minister of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Nada Murganić, was welcomed with an applause at a private Catholic kindergarten “Blažena Hozana” in Zagreb, where she attended an event marking the of St. Nicholas’ Day yesterday.

The gifts for St. Nicholas, which in Croatia is traditionally celebrated by giving presents to children, were donated by the Ministry of Social Policy. However, the gifts, which included chocolates, diapers and colouring books, were marked with stickers “For Needy Children.”

Margareta Mađerić, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Social Policy, also attended the event but did not answer questions on how the gifts for needy children ended up in a private kindergarten, which is paid for by children’s parents and is therefore usually attended by children from more wealthy families. The State Secretary literally ran away from Nova TV journalists.

Everyone retreated into a small room and stayed there for a few minutes. When they got up, the answer was given by the kindergarten headmistress. “This is a private Catholic kindergarten, but we will forward these presents to children or parents who are not able to give their children a gift for St. Nicholas Day,” said Sr Antonija Matić, a nun who runs the kindergarten. When asked who those parents were, she said there were several such parents in the neighbourhood.

However, invitations sent earlier to the media to cover the event did not say anything about low-income families. They just stated that the Ministry would give children in the kindergarten packages which were co-financed by the European Union. Asked how many such gifts there were, the director said vaguely, “There are several of them…”

The Minister ultimately left the kindergarten through the back door and did not comment. Speaking this morning, the Minister said she was sorry that such a positive event was presented as part of a not so positive context.”


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