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A Grateful Thank You to Donors

Donors in Action

UNICEF is grateful to all its donors, no matter the size, because it really is true that every little bit helps.  Here we profile three donors who have been particularly active in the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and projects for children with disabilities


ArcelorMittal Galati and UNICEF Romania entered a partnership recently to create a mother and ‘baby friendly’ environment at the maternity unit of the Sfântul Apostol Andrei Emergency Clinical Hospital in Galaţi.  The steel company – a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the largest global steel company – granted $160,000 to a programme implemented to improve the quality of the maternity unit services by training medical staff as well as to improve the mother and baby’s hospital conditions by replacing existing furniture with modern equipment.

The programme – financed by ArcelorMittal Galaţi and implemented by UNICEF Romania – will be carried out for a period of two years, and is part of Romania’s National Strategy on Breast Feeding Promotion 2003-2012.  Central to the programme are the ten steps of quality standards that maternity hospitals around the world have implemented in order to receive UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Hospital designation.

“We think that both our employees and the local community are our priorities and we are well aware of our responsibilities,” said Augustine Kochuparampil, CEO of ArcelorMittal Galaţi.  “One of the priorities set out in ArcelorMittal Galati is the strategy to guarantee the highest health and work safety standards, and getting involved in the refurbishment of the local maternity hospital unit is one of the ways we have chosen to support the people of Galaţi, starting from the youngest.”

The programme will see ArcelorMittal Galaţi staff – including managers – becoming involved in project implementation.  “We play an important role in the local community, and this makes it our obligation to help meet the people’s most urgent needs.  Supporting the efforts of the maternity unit to provide better hospital conditions and training to new parents is our way of making sure that the new generation has a healthy start in life,” said Mr Kochuparampil.

UNICEF Romania’s Edmond McLoughney stressed that it is important that mothers become aware of the major benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, for the first six months and continuing it until the age of two and later, after introducing solid foods into the child’s diet.  “Breastfeeding is crucial for the child’s physical and mental development, and it improves his/her intellectual capacities.  Breastfeeding is one of the child’s rights,” he said.

Augustine Kochuparampil, CEO of ArcelorMittal Galaţi, whose donation will ensure babies at the Sfăntul Apostol Andrei maternity facility in Galaţi get the most nutritious possible start in life, with Edmond McLoughney.


More than 150 of Romania’s most socially responsible people attended and gave generously at a fundraising event with a swaying Brazilian theme.  ‘CLASS for UNICEF, UNICEF for Children’, whose main sponsor was luxury furniture retailer Class Mob, raised more than EUR 60,000 which supported two UNICEF projects that focus on helping children with disabilities.

Funds raised from table sponsors were supplemented by a live auction of fun, imaginative items well worth having, which included a painting of the Copacabana beach (bought by Andreea Mihai, Carrefour), an autographed shirt from Rafael Nadal (bought by Dan Şucu, Mobexpert), a citrine (bought by Miorita Videanu, Titan Mar), a signed copy of Paulo Coelho’s The Fifth Mountain, (bought by the Columbeanu family), a painting by children at the Eliza Ionescu centre for Diagnosis and Art Therapy in Timişoara (bought by Sebastian Vlădescu), a trip to Modena, Italy (bought by Michael Schmidt, Automobile Bavaria) and two trips to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (bought by Cristina Mirică and Countess Anca Vidaeff) and a t-shirt belonging to Dan Şucu (bought by Călin Sas, Bucuresti Trading).

Two UNICEF projects involving art as therapy benefited from the event.  At the Eliza Ionescu Art-Therapy Centre in Timişoara, 80 children in kindergartens and special schools, residential institutions or from the community received psychological assistance and recovery through art therapy.  They include children who have been victims of abuse, autistic children and children with integration difficulties.  Eliza Ionescu’s establishment was the first of its kind in Romania and the first to provide recovery services through art therapy.

UNICEF’s project there began in April 2007.  Recovery programmes at the centre are personally tailored and include psychological evaluation, and development and intervention plans for each patient, through activities that involve painting, pottery, psychometrics, sensory stimulation, acting, music and dancing.

Proceeds from ‘CLASS for UNICEF, UNICEF for Children’ also went towards a joint effort with the International Foundation for Child and Family that will lead to wider acceptance of art as therapy in Romania.   Specifically, the project aimed to see art therapy officially recognised as a profession in Romania, a goal which was realised at the end of 2007.

Companies that supported the event and attended were AG Production, Alpha Bank, Amset Prodexim, AutoItalia, Automobile Bavaria, Carrefour Romania, Class Mob, Energy Holding, Media On/Forum Invest, Metro Cash&Carry, Mobexpert, Monden, ProTV, Relad, Romcolor, SofMedica, and Unirea Shopping Center.  The evening, organised by Bouquet, was hosted by Andi Moisescu, with entertainment from Allegretto, Sheila Bonnick and Brad Vee Johnson (Boney M), Kaoma Band and Grup As.

The organisers of the event were Cristina Şucu, Camelia Şucu (middle) and Ioana Şucu


A fundraiser organised by the SofMedica group of companies which raised more than EUR 145,000, was a very successful fundraising event for UNICEF Romania

The event, called ‘Let’s Contribute to a Better Start in Life’ gathered together more than 350 personalities from the diplomatic, political and business world and from the arts at Palatul Parlamanetului for a unique evening of fashion and social commitments.  The evening included the first fashion catwalk of collections by Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Roberto Cavalli, and featured an auction of magnificent jewellery by the renowned designer Ilias Lalaounis.

UNICEF has  invested the funds in bringing an existing maternity hospital from Reşiţa up to ‘baby friendly’ standard.  It also established a home dialysis ward at Fundeni Hospital and Grigore Alexandrescu Hospital, Bucharest.  Both projects will help children receive a better start in life.  Newborn babies will have a greater chance of better nutrition and care in a ‘baby friendly’ hospital, and children suffering from renal diseases will benefit from the most current dialysis machines that can provide pain-free treatment at home.

Attendees at the event included the Ambassador of the US, Switzerland, Peru and Greece, respectively HE Nicholas Taubman, HE Tony Hagen, HE Elard Escala, and HE Athanassios Dendoulis, Cristiana and George Copos, Mihaela and Mircea Geoană, Ioana Tăriceanu, Leslie Hawke and Doina Levintza.  

UNICEF Romania’s Despina Andrei, Catherine Sofianou and Irina Radu at ‘Let’s Contribute to a Better Start in Life’.



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