On the 11th and 12th of May, 700 runners from Team Hope, Hope and Homes for Children’s team of running fundraisers, took part in the eighth edition of the Bucharest Half Marathon and raised 327.000 lei which will be directed towards the programme preventing child-family separation ran by the Foundation. They ran in order to support three families in the programme preventing child-family separation: a family with five children from Suceava county, a family with six children from Maramureș county and a family with seven children from Prahova county. Among the runners taking part in the race we can mention the actors Adrian Nartea, Olimpia Melinte and Anghel Damian from the “Vlad” TV series, broadcasted on PRO TV, the team from the PRO TV show “Visuri la cheie”(the Romanian equivalent of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) including the show’s host, Dragoș Bucur, the architects Alina Vîlcu, Omid Ghannadi, Laura Boghiu and Valentin Ionașcu, the designer Cristina Joia, Dragoș Bucurenci, Head of Development at Hope and Homes for Children and Ștefan Dărăbuș, Regional Manager for Central and South-Eastern Europe at Hope and Homes for Children.

Aproximately 200 runners ran in the popular race (3km) on Saturday, the 11th of May, and other 500 runners gathered around the Hope and Homes for Children tent in the early hours on Sunday morning, the 12th of May, in order to take part into the 10 km, 21 km and relay races. Team Hope is Hope and Homes for Children’s team of running fundraisers and was formed as a way of extending the Foundation’s fundraising and awareness efforts towards the community, by proposing new ways in which people – either established athletes or beginners, sponsors, partners, volunteers or supporters – could support child protection programmes.

The 700 amateur athletes have shown their support towards Hope and Homes for Children and the children and families helped by the Foundation through the programme preventing child-family separation by running the race. At the eighth edition of the Bucharest Half Marathon, the runners competed for three families, raising 327.000 lei and helping them improve the living conditions and keep their children near.

Băban family from Suceava county lives in a house made of clay on the verge of collapse, without electricity, water or heating. The bed where they sleep all together is the only piece of furniture in the room, but even so, you can barely move around in those few square meters available. The father has found work as a shepherd and comes home once a month. The mother must take care of the children every day. There are days when she won’t eat in order to provide her children with the meals they need, let alone have money for school supplies, clothes, shoes or medicine. Despite being in extreme poverty, the children are well cared for, but they are sad and have learned to live in these conditions. Unless they are provided with better living conditions and all the neccesary means for survival, the parents would be forced to place their children into the child protection system.

With the 100.00 lei raised by the Team Hope runners at the Bucharest Half Marathon, a house with two rooms and a small kitchen is going to be built. The house will have electricity and it will be furnished and equipped accordingly. Due to the support provided by  Hope and Homes for Children, the five children in Băban family will not leave their parents, will have better living conditions and will be able go to school and kindergarden. Among the runners supporting the cause of this family ware also Dragoș Bucurenci, Head of Development at Hope and Homes for Children, who took part in the 21 km race, and Ștefan Dărăbuș, the Foundation’s Regional Manager for Central and South-Eastern Europe.

Genpact Romania, the company that brought 300 runners into team Hope, has supported a family from Maramureș county in need for adequate housing for the six children. One of the children is enrolled at a vocational school in Baia Mare. Due to the financial support offered by Genpact Romania, Hope and Homes for Children helps Pandele family to continue the construction of their new home, starting with the foundation which has already been laid. Because of the Hope and Homes for Children intervention carried out with the support of Genpact, the six children will live in a fully furnished home, so that they can continue their studies and stay with their family.

Adriana’s family was supported by Omid Ghannadi, architect in the PRO TV show “Visuri la cheie”  and Ambassador of Team Hope. Omid met Adriana and her family in 2017, as he was working in the “Visuri la cheie” show (PRO TV). From the moment he met the woman and her seven children, he knew he had to do something to help her. Therefore, he turned to Hope and Homes for Children in order to help Adriana keep her children and have a better life. Omar and the stars from PRO TV (the actors Adrian Nartea, Olimpia Melinte and Anghel Damian from the “Vlad” TV series broadcasted on PRO TV, the team from the PRO TV show “Visuri la cheie”, including the show’s host, Dragoș Bucur, the architects Alina Vîlcu, Laura Boghiu and Valentin Ionașcu and the designer Cristina Joia), who supported his initiative, have managed to raise the neccesary funds for the materials which are going to be used to build the house.

Volunteers from the Medical Students’ Society of Bucharest (SSMB) and the Volunteers Brigade (BDV) encouraged the Team Hope runners at the refreshment post and around the Team Hope tent in Piața Constituției. They were joined by Amalia Enache, anchor of PRO TV Nightly News and Hope and Homes for Children Ambassador. Over 50 volunteers supported the members of Team Hope during the two days of competition at this edition of the Bucharest Half Marathon.

Over 3.500 runners and 600 volunteers have joined Team Hope so far, supporting the vulnerable children of Romania.

Tha participation of the Hope and Homes for Children runners at this edition of the Bucharest Half Marathon was made possible through the contribution of the following companies: City Insurance, Genpact Romania, Pepco, Arval BNP Paribas, Henkel, Samsung SSCE, Samsung, Schneider, Holcim, Softelligence, Farmexpert, Deutsche Bank, COS, JYSK Romania.

The Team Hope partners were: Elevate, Radisson Blu, Solaris, Godmother, NAN Events, Maison des Crepes, Bucharest Running Club Association.

 “I have been “running” for more that 20 years together with my colleagues, for the most disadvantaged children of this country. Our run is similar to the one “of a marathon runner”, and our declared goal is, on one side, to prevent the situation in which deprived people would have to leave their children in the care of the state, and on the other side, to help children who are already living in such institutions to get out of there. This year, I ran at the Bucharest Half Marathon to support one of the families in our programmes. I did this thing because for years, Team Hope has been the living proof that good deeds are done together.” - Ștefan Dărăbuș, Regional Manager for Central and South-Eastern Europe, Hope and Homes for Children

“Today was the first time in my life I officially run for someone. I ran for Adriana. I wanted to know, symbolically, what it’s like to start a race, go through all the hardship, either personal or not, and still cross that finish line – which I believe will happen with Adriana and her seven children. Let’s hope she’ll cross the finish line and enjoy our full support and help. I feel proud, it’s a personal record. I will symbolically share this record, through donations and shares, with anyone who needs it. Here, we are all part of Team Hope and I hope we keep running together, not only at marathons, but for every good cause.” - Adrian Nartea (“Vlad” TV series, PRO TV)

“In my teenage years I was a professional athlete. I still like to run in the park from time to time, but this is the first time I run at an organised event and feel like I carry the burden (or a least a tiny bit of it) of a cause I have chosen together with Hope and Homes for Children. I run for Adriana, mother of seven, mother whose existence is tragically different from ours, one full of opportunities. Together with Hope and Homes for Children and the cast of “Vlad” from PRO TV, we decided to run for Adriana and have a fundraiser at the same time. We have already managed to raise a good part of the money, but we will continue outside this event and keep fighting for this cause because, after all, what we did today was minimal effort. The major effort, and in fact our obligation, our existential duty, is to help others. We have set as a first goal to help Adriana, but there are many other causes to fight for in this world. If we can give a helping hand, we will do it.” - Anghel Damian (“Vlad” TV series, PRO TV)

 “I am very glad I’ve finally had the chance to support Hope and Homes for Children. I have been following them for a long time and I really appreciate their work. I am here today to prove that WE CAN DO IT. I am not a professional athlete, I just exercise as often as I can. I realised than running and exercising means being healthy - Mens sana in corpore sano. I think it’s absolutely great to be able to do such things through sport, help people and give a bit of your energy to the ones in need. Therefore, running the half marathon and doing the fundraiser for Adriana and her seven children were both an honour to me and I am glad I’ve had the chance to invest a bit of my energy and time and give my best. I really hope I have made a difference, together with all the people who also ran here today.” - Olimpia Melinte (“Vlad” TV series, PRO TV)

“This year I joined Hope and Homes for Children because of my friendship with Omid on one side, and because I am deeply impressed by the projects run by the Foundation, on the other side. There is also a third reason, and it’s actually most the important one, even though I mentioned it last: the reason is...Adriana. I have known Adriana since 2017, I know her children, I believe Omid has set an extraordinary goal in this matter and it feels natural for me to be here as well. I believe that sport and charity are a perfect match. Sport is beneficial to everyone and I think it’s fantastic if you manage to help someone while you exercise. Why wouldn’t you do it? Why wouldn’t you help someone if you can?” -Dragoș Bucur (host of “Visuri la cheie”, PRO TV)