Hope and Homes for Children marked, on November 9, the World Day of Orphaned Children, through an event organized in Unirii Square in Bucharest, together with the Foundation Ambassadors, Amalia Enache, Alexandru Tomescu, Marius Manole and Mihai Morar. The central fountain in Unirii Square was lit in blue, the symbol of Hope and Homes for Children, and the violinist Alexandru Tomescu gave an outdoor recital dedicated to all children who have gone or are going through the trauma of separation from parents and institutionalization.
“The moment I found out about this project, obviously, I came with the greatest pleasure. Today we are struggling with panic. But a pandemic comes and goes, but for a child the loss of parents is something permanent that can hardly be erased. The mission of Hope and Homes for Children during this period, to help no less than 1,600 children in extreme poverty, is a very important one. Even if we like it or not, winter is coming, they have nothing to warm themselves with, they have nothing to eat, maybe it’s raining on the roof, and Hope and Homes for Children is committed to make possible actions aimed at covering their strict needs. I think it is the duty of each of us to get involved, to help. Sure, it may seem complicated to change such a thing, but things are simple. A simple SMS with the text HOPE sent to 8844 can save a child’s life. Tonight I sang the Prelude in E major by Johann Sebastian Bach, and I think that such a good gesture, which we can do, can be the beginning of a better life for children “, said the violinist Alexandru Tomescu.
The event became possible due to the efforts of Apa Nova which put into operation the central fountain especially for this event.
In Romania, this year over 4,800 children live in 166 foster homes. Tragically, millions of children around the world have been orphaned or not raised with their parents and families, for several reasons: war, famine, migration, disease or poverty. To ensure that all these children are not forgotten, once a year there is a special day dedicated to them: World Orphans Day, the second Monday in November.
“We are surrounded by anxiety, pandemic, unrest and insecurity. Uncertainty is the new certainty and, in such a context, as much attention as we can project outside, we project it towards those close to us, towards our families and friends. But we have options. We have what we need: a table, a house, heat, evening light and hot tap water. We still have full pantries and refrigerators, we may not buy as many new clothes, but we surely have what to choose.
But there are also less fortunate, poor people, for whom separation from their children is an increasingly crushing reality, and their uncertainties are about staying with their children, about how to have food on the table today, or where to sleep at night. : under the open sky, or sheltered by a roof. And so, in a silent despair, the children end up being broken by their parents. From the despair of hunger, poverty, homelessness. But we can stop this scenario. We can rewrite this nightmare movie. Because, otherwise, extreme poverty separates children from their parents, gradually, until it separates them from everything, ” says Ștefan Dărăbuș, Global Director of Programs, Hope and Homes for Children.
The World Bank has recently announced that extreme poverty is rising for the first time in 22 years this year – and estimates that the effects of the pandemic will push into extreme poverty between 88 and 115 million people this year alone, especially in countries facing with high poverty rates, as is Romania. Given that, in 2019, Romania was already in first place in the EU, according to EUROSTAT, with 1 in 3 children living at risk of poverty and social exclusion, the situation is becoming increasingly alarming: in the absence of a minimum necessary in order to survive – a roof over their heads, the winter heat, or at least one meal a day – children are separated from their parents and inevitably end up in foster care or in special forms of protection.