- Title: YUGOSLAVIA: FRENCH GENDARMES ADOPT FIVE-YEAR OLD ALBANIAN GIRL AS MASCOT.
- Date: 22nd August 1999
- Summary: MITROVICA, KOSOVO, YUGOSLAVIA (AUGUST 22, 1999)(REUTERS) 1. GV: EXTERIOR, FRENCH KFOR HEADQUARTERS 0.06 2. MV: KIMETE HAJRIZI WITH FRENCH KFOR SOLDIER AND CIVILIAN 0.10 3. MV/CU: KIMETE HAJRIZI, CLOSE UP OF HANDS (2 SHOTS) 0.22 4. GV: WIDE OF FRENCH KFOR VEHICLES OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS 0.25 5. MCU: FRENCH KFOR FLAG 0.29 6. GV/MV/CU: KIMETE HAJRIZI OUTSIDE ENTRANCE/ KIMETE HAJRIZI WITH FRENCH GENDARME (7 SHOTS) 1.15 7. MV: SOUNDBITE (French) FREDERIC DORDAIN, A FRENCH GENDARME MOBILE FROM SATORY IN FRANCE SAYING: "It happened last July when I was outside the barracks. She was being bullied by the other children, so we protected her. They went away and since then she has felt secure with us and comes and visits us every morning at 0700. So now, she has become our mascot, as she comes here every day. So we bring her sweets and stuff. 1.49 8. SOUNDBITE (French) DORDAIN Now she is going to be treated for her little problem. A military doctor has offered to operate on her, so if everything goes alright, she should be operated on this Monday (August 23) and she won't have two thumbs any more." 2.08 9. GV/MV: VARIOUS OF KIMETE WITH HER FAMILY (5 SHOTS) 2.39 10. MCU: SOUNDBITE (Albanian) KIMETE'S MOTHER, HAVE, WHO IS EXPECTING HER NINTH CHILD, SAYING: I was very happy for Kimete. I am glad that they are looking after my poor daughter with two thumbs, especially after the help that they offered her yesterday. I feel as if they have given me all the riches of the world. 3.00 11. GV: GENDARMES LEAVING 3.42 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 6th September 1999 13:00
- Location: MITROVICA, YUGOSLAVIA
- Country: Yugoslavia
- Reuters ID: LVA2YWBL1DZDVXGFKY237TNGWKWB
- Story Text: A five-year-old Kosovo Albanian girl has been getting a
help towards a more normal life from French gendarmes who have
adopted her as their mascot.
The gendarmes have arranged for a French military
surgeon to remove one of the two thumbs on Kimete Hajrizi's
left hand -- a birth defect which has made her the butt of
teasing and bullying by other children.The operation is
scheduled for Monday.
Frederic Dordain, a 29-year-old gendarme, discovered
Kimete lying near his force's headquarters in the northern
Kosovo city of Mitrovica a few weeks ago.Other children had
pushed her to the ground and she had bad cuts on her face.
The gendarmes took her in and got her patched up.Since
then, she has become a daily visitor to their headquarters,
where they shower her with toys and sweets.
"It's her second home here.I think she does not get
enough love from her parents because they have so many
children," said Colonel Claude Vicaire, the chief of the
gendarmerie unit, part of the international force policing the
"She is so cute but so sad.I think she needs to see
people who are always smiling," said another gendarme,
Francois Fontanille, kissing Kimete's hands.
Kimete's mother, Have, has seven other children aged two
to 14.She knows her daughter's defect has made her life
"I was so shocked when I first saw her hand.I knew she
would suffer a lot.And she does," said the 32-year-old
housewife, who is expecting her ninth child next week.
The family, who have recently settled in an abandoned
house in Mitrovica, live in very poor conditions.The
gendarmes have tried to help the whole family -- and given
their daughter the chance to stop being an outcast.
"A NATO doctor is going to cut off one of my thumbs and
children will not tease me any more," Kimete said, with not a
trace of fear in her large blue eyes.
"NATO people will be with me all the time.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None