Our story

How a ruined patrimony building become a welcoming home for the community’s vulnerable children

 
The story of the Hercules Day Center begins in 2000 when we acquired the Center’s building with help from a friend organization from the Netherlands. A lot of hard voluntary work followed, consisting in interior and exterior renovations and restoration. Funds were offered by Heidi Fonds.

We were very happy to discover, many years after we restored the building while fully respecting its architecture, that our beautiful house is part of the national patrimony under the name “Bădescu House”.

In 2006 we started working with The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation, whose support was crucial to our future. Thanks to their grant, we managed to turn an empty, unpainted house, lacking a floor or a heating system, into a Day Center for children. Thus, on November 15, 2006 we started the first activities at the Center Hercules in a warm and welcoming room at the ground floor.

In early 2007, we completed the first floor and the attic, we furnished the whole building, arranged the room where our children spend their free time (equipped with TV and DVD) and the computer room. We set up and equipped a modern kitchen where we cook every day for 50 children. Franke Romania donated furniture, the hob and the hood we use to this day. The International Women’s Association of Bucharest helped us with other essential facilities: dishwasher, potato peeler machine, food processor, microwave oven.

In 2007 we arranged our backyard, garden and the playground behind the building, and a year later we built next to Hercules building a spacious Events Room http://asociatiahercules.ro/acasa/centrul-de-zi-hercules/sala-de-evenimente/ – an income generating activity for the Association.

From 2007 until today we continuously brought improvements to the house and the playground, to keep them beautiful and attractive. In 2014 the C & A Foundation helped us transform the playground into a real paradise for children.

 

We would be nothing without friends

We already mentioned the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation, who was basically a co-founder of the Hercules Center and who funded our entire budget for three years. The Foundation still supports us occasionally.

From 2011 to 2016 Hercules’s main partner was the Vodafone Romania Foundation, which provided operational costs for the Hercules Center: after-school and canteen costs, school supplies and educational activities, salaries of our small team. The Vodafone Romania Foundations continues in 2016 to be one of our main sponsors.

We gained a new, dear partner and friend in 2015: H. Stepic CEE Charity, supported by Raiffeisen Bank International, an association to support charitable projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

 

Not just a center: a family

Our children find at the Center most of the things they lack at home: warm, healthy food, school support/ help in doing their homework, role models, affection, opportunities to meet new interesting people and go to new places; a place to study, play, read, surf the web, make friends. Our focus is as much on their education as it is on building character.

Today, all the people who come every day at the Hercules Center – children, volunteers or the members of our small team – feel part of a big family. We feel loved and we feel stronger together in the Hercules family.