Members of the diplomatic corps, managers volunteer for the homeless at Bucharest North Railway Station

UK Ambassador to Bucharest Paul Brummell, a senior official of the US Embassy to Romania and Stefan Frank, General Manager of the Intercontinental Hotel in Bucharest will become volunteers on Wednesday and will offer a warm meal to homeless people at the Bucharest North Railway Station, a statement sent to Agerpres by Casa Ioana Association informs.

On Wednesday, between 13.00 and 15.00 at the Bucharest North Railway Station, Casa Ioana Association and volunteers from the UK and US Embassies, the Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance in Bucharest and the Intercontinental Hotel will provide homeless people in Bucharest with a warm meal and distribute packages containing clothes and food, the release states.

I am thrilled that the Embassy of the United Kingdom to Romania and numerous employees of the institution have contributed every winter to help those less fortunate than us, the UK Ambassador stated in the press release. It is important to stress the fact that poverty is a result of inequality. We all can make a change, again, in December, the diplomat added.

It is a great opportunity so that people can dedicate their time volunteering for the benefit of those in need, Stefan Frank, General Manager of the Intercontinental Hotel in Bucharest stated.

The event aims to bring to the fore the problems homeless people face. “Unfortunately, the economic benefits have not been felt by almost half of Romanians, leaving behind numerous people who are marginalized and extremely vulnerable”, Andreea Gheorghe, manager of the Casa Ioana shelter in Bucharest said.

The activity is supported by the General Directorate of Social Assistance of Bucharest Municipality. The 300 portions of food were prepared and offered by Intercontinental Hotel. Other companies and volunteers donated money and other items of necessity.

According to the statement sent by Casa Ioana, there are over 5,000 homeless people in Bucharest; the real number is not known.

According to the statement, more than 40pct of Romanians are exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion. As revealed by Eurostat, Romania recorded the highest degree of poverty and social exclusion among children. According to data, 51pct of children aged 18 or less do not have access to education, health, accommodation or food.

President of the Casa Ioana Association, Ian Tilling, warns that homeless people are particularly affected, finding themselves at the edge of society and confronting themselves with barriers apparently insurmountable in their attempt to change their situation for the better.

One of the five main objectives of the 2020 European indicators refers to reducing the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 20 million.

The official numbers show that in the EU there are 125 million people who are either confronted with poverty or are at risk of poverty. The number represents almost one quarter of the EU population.

The Casa Ioana Association was established in 1995 and helps victims of domestic violence and homeless families in the process of social reinsertion by offering temporary accommodation and psychosocial support services in its two centres in Bucharest. The organization supports 20 families and nine single women.

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