At friendly football game tonight, the Romanian and Georgian national football teams promoted the Child Helpline Association and its free assistance and counselling line for children, 116 111. The initiative, held at the beginning of the friendly match between the two contries on Friday, aimed at both encouraging those in need to seek help, and informing the public about the serious issues children are facing in Romania.
“Many of our projects are dedicated to children. We believe football and sports, in general, give every child a better chance to develop in a healthy environment. They also give them the opportunity to be guided by their teachers and coaches in their spare time and, for the socially or financially disadvantaged children, to enter a more generous world. That’s why we decided to focus more on vulnerable children. If we manage to make them part of the big football family, it’s possible for them to leave their sad stories behind and move on. In looking for a partner in our endeavour, we were immediately convinced by Child Helpline’s Association’s incredible track-record of dealing with serious social and family issues faced by children for over a decade now,” Răzvan Burleanu, President of The Romanian Football Federation, said.
The Federation also offered free tickets for children to attend Friday evening’s match live.
“In a moment of great joy, such as a football match between two national teams, we aimed to remind everyone of the less fortunate children – those abused, humiliated or abandoned. They are not alone. For many of these children, national team players are real heroes. And they were real heroes during this match, by supporting every child who needs them. Performance in sports is a source of pride and hope, and the Child Helpline Association fights for the right of every child to be happy. We would like to thank the Romanian Football Federation for this initiative, that had great social impact,” Catalina Surcel, Executive Director of Child Helpline Association added.
Since it was established, the Child Helpline Association registered over 2,2 million calls, out of which 61.596 required the intervention from relevant institutions. The Child Helpline Association is a not-for-profit, charity organization, offering the services of the Romanian child helpline, the national first aid phone line dedicated providing professional counselling to children. The Romanian child helpline (116 111) is a tool of social value, which helps children in need of care and protection and links them to services and resources. It provides children with an opportunity to express their concerns, discuss issues directly affecting them and contact someone in an emergency situation, being the only service of its kind in Romania. 116 111 is the European harmonized number for child helplines, active in 23 EC member states.
Creation and implementation of the campaign belong to the communication agency Geometry Global Bucharest. The agency supports the initiatives of the Child Helpline Association since December 2014. It is also in charge of communication and implementation of projects that promote grassroots football in Romania for RFF.