Two and a half thousand children and adults run for foster families
Zagreb, 10 September 2018 – More than 2,500 children and adults ran in UNICEF’s humanitarian Milky Way run yesterday, cheered on loudly by their supporters. This year’s Milky Way run is part of the national campaign Every child needs a family. The aim of the campaign, launched by the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy and UNICEF, in cooperation with the Forum for Quality Foster Care, is to increase the number of warm, caring foster families for children without adequate parental care.
In the morning, children’s races, attended by more than 400 girls and boys, were held at King Tomislav Square. The programme was hosted by the actress and friend of UNICEF Mirna Medaković Stepinac, while the children were welcomed and cheered on by the Children’s Ombudsperson, Helenca Pirnat Dragičević, and the Minister for Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Nada Murganić.
Matea Matošević, a Croatian marathon champion, and Valentina Otmačić, Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, marked the beginning of the race. Vjekoslav Jeleč, DSc, Head of the City Office for Health, who represented the City of Zagreb, and the actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Bojana Gregorić Vejzović welcomed the runners and their supporters, while Marina Hoblaj and Mladen Ignac, representatives of the Forum for Quality Foster Care, and Mirna Medaković Stepinac and Nevena Rendeli Vejzović as the ambassadors of the run took part in the programme.
The musical warm-up, as an unplugged edition, was performed by the rock band Vatra, while the sports warm-up was in the hands of a well-known trainer and ambassador of the Milky Way 2018 run, Marija Andrijašević.
The first three places in the 5 kilometre race went to:
Women’s race: Ana Murat (1st), Anđelka Kasum (2nd) and Helena Gleđa (3rd)
Men’s race: Blaž Car-Pavlic (1st), Ante Živković (2nd) and Danijel Peček (3rd)
The first three places in the 10 kilometre race went to:
Women’s race: Kimberly Pašalić (1st), Valentina Belović (2nd) and Ines Jozić (3rd)
Men’s race: Ivan Maletić (1st), Mladen Ignac (2nd) and Ivan Lacić (3rd)
The full list of runners with rankings is available at www.utrka.hr.
The Milky Way run marked the beginning of the campaign Every child needs a family. The goal of the campaign is to ensure that children without adequate parental care are provided with an opportunity to grow up in a warm family environment.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the stars in the Milky Way that have shone in an ever greater number this year and showed us that people support children without adequate parental care. I would like to take this opportunity and invite caring families to open their hearts and doors to girls and boys who are growing up in institutions,” said Valentina Otmačić, the Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, at the end of the run.
A free telephone line 0800 8282 was launched as part of the campaign, which citizens interested in foster care can use to obtain all information they need. Revenues from the entry fees collected in the Milky Way run will be used to procure equipment for foster families taking care of the youngest children and for their education. UNICEF, in cooperation with the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, will procure strollers, car seats, cots, changing tables, feeding chairs, and other equipment needed by the youngest children and by the foster families taking care of them.
The run was held under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb, with the support of Kaufland, Tele2, Zagrebački Holding, and the Croatian Composers Society.