On Sunday, April 10, the Romanian Athenaeum hosted the fourth edition of the Hope Concert, a cultural and charitable event organised by the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation. Over 800 guests attended this edition, thus showing their support for the most vulnerable children in Romania. Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and his wife Valerie, Princess Marina Sturdza, Hope and Homes for Children Honorary President, European Funds Minister Aura Raducu, Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue Minister Violeta Alexandru, British Ambassador Paul Brummel, German Ambassador Hans Werner Lauk, Italian Ambassador Diego Brasioli, Labour Ministry Secretary of State Valeriu Nicolae and National Child Protection and Adoption Authority President Gabriela Coman were the honorary guests. They were joined by the representatives of central and local authorities, numerous stars, representatives of the most important companies in Romania, backers of the organisation as well as journalists. The show was presented by Amalia Enache, ProTV journalist and Hope and Homes for Children Romania ambassador, and civic activist Dragos Bucurenci, the organisation’s spokesperson.
This was Premier Ciolos’s first presence at a Hope and Homes for Children event, and in the message he gave he underscored the importance of the efforts that the organisation has been doing for over 18 years in order to secure the closing of old institutions and their replacement with a system based on the family concept, and to prevent the separation of children from their families.
“I am convinced that the problem of institutionalised children is a test from God in order for us to find, apart from the love we have for our loved ones, the love of taking our children home. I hope we would find the solution in order for NGOs that have proved in recent years that they know how to act efficiently to be able to benefit from resources, alongside the state, and that apart from money and laws they would find the love with which to care for these children. Congratulations Hope and Homes for Children, congratulations to all those who undertook this action. I conclude by expressing my hope that we will all find in us the love that would give us the ability to come up with solutions,” Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos stated.
Some of the most important Romanian artists took part in the event, touching the audience with their remarkable performances but also with the novelty of the songs included in the programme, each of them being presented in a novel orchestration. Violinist Alexandru Tomescu (photo), Hope and Homes for Children Romania ambassador, with his Stradivarius violin, soprano Irina Iordachescu, cellist Marin Cazacu, pianist Andrei Licaret, actor Marius Manole and soloists Dan Bittman, Paula Seling and Feli, as well as the young and talented members of the Violoncellissimo Ensemble took to the stage.
The Athenaeum hall resounded with the chords of Shostakovich, Kreisler, Saint-Saens, Puccini and Mozart, but also of famous pop songs such as ‘Dincolo de nori,’ ‘Creioane colorate’ and ‘Danseaza cu mine.’ Composers Dan Dediu and Catalin Cretu contributed to the success of the programme, re-orchestrating the songs in a novel manner adapted for cello concerts.
“In 2016 we celebrate our coming of age. In 1998 we started our first institution closing project. It was a nursery with some 90 newborns in Cavnic, Maramures. All those newborns ended up in families or family-based environments. Now they are young adults. After 18 years spent in direct projects, we are seeing the fruits of our work. We still have work to do: 168 institutions to close, with almost 8,000 children in them, in a state that has to invest in the most vulnerable families, to keep them united, a Romania in which the right to family, to health, to education, should be holy for all children. Now, the organisation in Romania is the Hope and Homes for Children Regional Centre for Central and Southern Europe, and we are doing in many other countries what we did here. With this vision, with the conviction that it is possible, we are offering technical assistance to our programmes in the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Greece and Turkey, and we are supporting the development of reform programmes in countries in Africa and South America, alongside other countries in South-East Europe,” stated Stefan Darabus, Hope and Homes for Children Regional Director for Central and Southern Europe.
The show was presented by Amalia Enache, ProTV journalist and Hope and Homes for Children Romania ambassador, alongside Dragos Bucurenci, the organisation’s spokesperson. Numerous ambassadors, businessmen and personalities attended the event, thus expressing their support for the most vulnerable children in Romania. The guests included Malvina Cservenschi and Dorian Boguta, Ada Condeescu, Andreea Raducan, Corina Ungureanu, Adina Buzatu, Corina Caragea and Simona Pope from ProTV, Vladimir Draghia and Grigore Lese.
At the event, Hope and Homes for Children conferred the “Social Investor of the Year” Award to Kaufland Romania, for strategic investments started in 2014, and the “Media Partner of the Year” Award to ProTV. Princess Marina Sturdza, honorary president of Hope and Homes for Children, received an award for the whole activity carried out in support of the foundation, the dedication and generosity with which she constantly supported the cause of Romania’s most vulnerable children over the past two decades being thus recognised.