Friday, 4th of October 2013
The UEFA Champions League Trophy arrived in Bucharest last week. On the occasion of this event, Fabio Capello the famous Italian football manager and former professional footballer made a visit at one of the scools in sector 5, Bucharest.
Sponsors and organisers: UniCredit – Official Bank of the UEFA Champions League, Policy Center, World Vision Romania and the Department for Social Assistance and Child Protection in Sector 5, Bucharest.
There are 40 children in the gym at school 136 in Ferentari between 9 and 15 years old. Most have spent most of their lives in an institution while the others leave close by in one of the worst ghettoes in Bucharest. The majority of these children have been abandoned by their parents very early in life, due to poverty, abuse or neglect, and they grow up feeling “different” and excluded. For over 4 years some of them are involved in the activities developed by World Vision and Policy Center for Roma Minorities. A part of them are living in small group-home apartments (groups of up to 10 children per apartment) outside of the institution, with improved chances to be integrated in the community and to live more normal lives.
The UEFA Champions League Trophy looks like it doesn’t belong here. It does – sports remains one of the best ways to improve the life of these children. The presence of famous footballers such as Miodrag Belodedici and Fabio Capello can be a life changing experience for these children as they will have a reconfirmation of their value as individuals who can be noticed and greeted by great champions. The sports equipment distributed have an immediate impact in their lives. ChildPact encourages professional sports stakeholders to rise up and make these actions a part of who they really are.
In 2014 Romania will celebrate 25 years since the beginning of the child protection reform. While the situation of children separated from their parents has vastly improved compared to the early 90s, almost 40.000 children (*38.700) are still in state care. Over 22.000 of them are living in institutions and 19.000 are living with foster families.
The UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour was a strong public statement that both UEFA and UniCredit Bank value children indifferent of their background and consider helping the most disadvantaged children as an important social responsibility .
We at ChildPact consider that no child should be separated from his or her parents for poverty reasons or because the states are unable to provide the needed support to the family to avoid separation and enable them to keep their children.
Sign ChildPact’s petition addressed to BSEC member states and to the European Union aimed at gathering support for the creation of a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection in the wider Black Sea Area.