“Haiti - Children of Chaos" Telethon
The two places might be almost ten thousand kilometres apart, but Romanians opened their hearts and their wallets to stricken Haiti in a telethon organised by UNICEF and Realitatea TV station.
The event, which was supported by big names from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business and sport, managed to raise over USD 750,000, which UNICEF will put towards its efforts to feed, house and protect children in the Caribbean country in the wake of January’s devastating earthquake. Local donations are helping fund UNICEF’s attempts to trace missing children, place them in safe shelters and reunite them with family members, provide clean water to around a million people and immunise half a million children against potentially fatal diseases.
Haiti – Children of Chaos went out on January 24. The event marked the start of a month-long campaign by Realitatea TV, called Apocalypse after the Earthquake, covering
Edmond McLoughney, UNICEF Romania Representative, reiterated what the star-studded occasion was really about. “Romanians’ response to our appeal for Haiti has been impressive and donations will help give a new chance to children in this country. I would like to take this opportunity and thank all donors. In any emergency, children are the most vulnerable. It is in our power to help as many children, whose life was already hard, survive this devastating earthquake. Sustained efforts will be needed to rebuild this country which was considered a humanitarian aid priority even before the earthquake,” he said.
the latest news from the country with help from Cristian Zărescu and Radu Diaconescu, the only Romanian journalists dispatched to Haiti. Throughout that period members of the public were able to give to the cause via phone call, SMS and direct bank donation. Orange, Vodafone, Cosmote, Teleperformance and BRD - Groupe Société Générale were instrumental in facilitating public contributions. Almost three quarters of the sum raised was given by viewers.
Public figures and companies were at the start of the queue to donate, after host Mihai Tatulici got the ball rolling with his own contribution. President Traian Băsescu and government ministers Adriean Videanu and Gabriel Oprea all pledged a month’s pay. Corporate donors such as Valvis Foundation, BCR, the Vest6 Company, Blue Air, Petrom, International School of Bucharest and Spectrum School, Vodafone Foundation, ING Group, La Fantana, Enel and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Romania each pitched in with donations. Camelia Şucu, Paulina and Costel Căşuneanu, Mircea Toader, Gabriela Anghelache, Honorius Prigoană and Marcel Pavel also contributed. Numerous famous faces fielded calls from big-hearted members of the public, including UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Andreea Marin Bănică.
Aside from the main event, a charity concert was held at Sala Palatului, at the behest of Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu, while the George Enescu National Museum also hosted a classical music concert featuring violin player Gabriel Croitoru. And Amway Romania held a company event to contribute.