The organizers of the Asian Festival “The Colours of Traditions” with an exotic dinner in the Indonesian Embassy

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A month after the Asian Festival “The Colours of Traditions” that united 14 diplomatic representations of countries with different past about the happy future of Bulgarian children in foster care the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia HE Sri Astari Rasdid set up an exotic dinner in the embassy. The event was a reason for the organizers to celebrate the success of the second edition of the festival, attracting more than 10,000 guests, many of whom took part in the charity lottery to support the ‘For Our Children’ foundation and the foster children with whom the team works.   We are happy to share that after the event we continued to receive donations and the final amount is 16 453, 90 BGN. With the funds raised, the foundation will allow at least 20 children to visit sports and summer camps and schools, art-workshops, theater productions, and others that will encourage their development. On our site we will periodically publish information about the experiences we prepare for the children and how we change their fates together.   We would like to thank the 14 diplomatic representations, the guests of the event and the corporate partners who chose to support us. We are extremely grateful to the talented leadings Peyo Filipov and Iva Doychinova, who brought us to the magic of Asia. The festival became even more colorful thanks to our friends from “The Fire and Shadows Theater” and the Fusion Academy.   “I would like to thank once again all the ambassadors and your crew for what we are doing and for choosing us as your partner. This means a lot not only personally for me, but also for my team. Performing charity work in Bulgaria is a great challenge, and it is often very discouraging when you have to fight with many negative factors. Getting your support means a lot to us. So, if you ask me “what did you get at the festival,” I would first of all say – many new friends. Thank you for the friendship!” concluded Mrs. Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of ‘For Our Children’ foundation….

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CALL for INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

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Is your organisation working in the area of risk prevention and early intervention for children? Are you based in Central and Eastern Europe? Have you developed good practices that you would like to share? Do you want to be part of an initiative that will improve the lives of children at risk across the Central and Eastern European region?   If the answer is YES, get in touch with us. For Our Children Foundation has more than 26 years of experience in the area of child protection and early childhood development and we are now looking for partners for the implementation of a regional cooperation project.   We would like to share practices and experience in the area of early childhood intervention and risk-based interventions in the early age, and carry out research and mapping of good practices. We are also hoping to hold a major regional congress in Sofia in this area, and we think that after the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, our country is really ready to take a lead on such an initiative.   If you meet the requirements set out in the call for proposals and you would like to get involved, please get in touch with us…

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Today we said “Farewell” to another sunny child

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There is no bigger happiness than nestling in the arms of Mom and Dad and the three of you together to return home … as a family.   This dream finally came true for little Moni – the beautiful, sunny, blond-haired boy, to whom we said farewell today as we lead him out of the Children’s House to his biological Mom and Dad. Vassilena and Kiril have been working for a long time to take their child back home, where the three of them together will be a real family. And today this finally happened.   Moni was accommodated with us at the end of last year when he was 1 year old. For his fragile age, the little one had already gone through many trials – separated from his biological mom and dad at the age of only 4 months, Moni was placed in a Home for Medical and Social Care, where he spent quite a few months alone. From there, the Child Protection Department moved him to our “Children’s House”, where he would be cared for by loving babysitters – so Moni would not forget what it’s like to have a real family love you.   So, for a few months, we turned the sad, weak, sick boy, who rarely smiled, into a sunny kid with blush cheeks, curious eyes and a lovely smile. Just recently he learned to walk, and we organized for him and a first steps ritual.   During this time, Moni’s mom and dad dreamed of the day they could bring their child back home. They started working with the Community Support Center in their hometown, where specialists supported and advised on how to best look after Moni. When the blonde came to us, they began to visit him every week, play with him, even turn to our Community Support Center “St. Sofia” for assistance – they wanted to know more about caring for their most precious.   And before we would notice, came the day when the three of them left the Children’s House together, as a happy, cohesive family.   Since the establishment of the Family-type Accommodation Center “Children’s House” five years ago, it has been a temporary home to 40 children, 36 of whom already have their own family. Thanks to the range of complementary, quality social services for children and families offered by the “For Our Children” Foundation, the average stay of children in the Children’s House is between 4 and 6 months, and then they either return to their biological family, or are adopted or accommodated in a foster…

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The Asian Festival “Colors of Traditions” raised BGN 11,496 in support of children in foster families of “For Our Children” Foundation

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The amount of BGN 11,496 to support children in foster families of “For Our Children” Foundation was raised by the Asian Festival “Colors of Traditions” held on Saturday. The amount includes proceeds from the charity lottery for the festival visitors and donations by embassies participating in the all-day event.   “To me and to the whole team of the “For Our Children “Foundation, it is an extraordinary honor that you all dedicated your day to the children who, for one reason or another, cannot be with their biological families. Thanks to your support we have raised 11,496 BGN, which will brighten the days of not just 17, but 20 children in foster families. We will provide them with a joyful summer – something that every child deserves,” said Mrs. Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation. “Let’s continue to create dreamers who dare to transform the world into a more welcoming place!” she concluded.   “I am glad that we have a strong partner for the charity cause – the “For Our Children” Foundation – and that together we have raised this considerable amount for the Bulgarian children. Culture has always been the ambassador of hope and virtues.”  Stated Sri Astari Rasjid, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Bulgaria and the main initiator of the “Colors of Traditions” Festival.   The rain did not scare the thousands of visitors to the festival, who enthusiastically applauded the 46 performances on stage, which lasted from 10 am to 7:30 pm on the festival day. 30 white pigeons flew to the sky as a symbol of peace, released by the official guests of the festival, including Gen. Rumen Radev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria. The President opened this year’s edition of the festival and visited every tent of participating countries. The 14 participating countries and sponsors at the festival had to restock their exhibition stands repeatedly to satisfy the interest of the guests at the event. Culinary temptations from the demo kitchen and individual country tents have impressed visitors with aroma, taste and exotics. A non-standard painting canvas – a bus, attracted the youngsters with an interest in street art to collaborate with contemporary Pakistani artists.   Among the most attractive festival activities for younger people were the artistic studios offering traditional art and games from various Asian countries, martial arts demonstrations on stage, outdoor lessons in the highly-popular dance style – K-pop (Korean pop ) and of course the three mascots of the Asian Games in Jakarta, which were the absolute favorite of the youngest festival visitors. Our partners from the Shadow Theater also worked pro bono to entertain the festival guests – walking around on stilts, hanging out with the children and taking pictures.   Iva Doychinova – long-time TV and radio journalist and Peyo Filipov, actor, singer and long-time member of the Consultative Council of “For Our Children” Foundation, were on stage to invite participation in the charity campaign supported by numerous awards provided by the festival’s partners and to highlight the interesting moments of the festival program.   The festival ended with the announcement of the lottery winners and with the call and expression of hope that the festival will continue to gather participating countries each year and will bring closer and strengthen the ties between Asia and Bulgaria, stated by HE Sri Astari Rasjid, Ambassador of Indonesia in Bulgaria and initiator of the Colors of Traditions…

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The March 8th campaign of “For Our Children” Foundation raised over 7000 BGN in support of children at risk of separation from their families

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Today is the last day of the March 8th campaign of “For Our Children” Foundation, which is finishing with great success. This year we dedicated the day, on which we honor and thank our mothers, to the children who have no one to thank. “Instead of a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a luxurious box of chocolates for your beloved wife and mother, donate a diaper package,” we called everyone who believes that children have the right to grow up loved and cared for in a family. For them and for all families at risk of separating with their child, the friends of “For Our Children” Foundation managed to raise the amount of BGN 7,106.60, as well as 2,080 baby diapers and 19 boxes of baby formula. We extend our gratitude to Dundee Precious Metals – Chelopech, Anakatech, Kreston BulMar, Porsche Leasing, Studio X, Yan Bibian Kindergarten – Stara Zagora and to many other individual donors, people with big hearts who believe that every child is entitled of happy childhood in a family! With your support, the team of “For Our Children” Foundation will continue to create miracles in the name of the children of Bulgaria! So we can see more children smile….

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The “Care at Early Age” Team of the “For Our Children” Foundation to Support Kangaroo-care for Premature Babies

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The “Care at Early Age” Team of the “For Our Children” Foundation has developed a procedure for implementing kangaroo-care for premature babies. It is applied by the healthcare professionals of the neonatal wards at the University Hospital in Plovdiv and the Specialized Pediatric Hospital “Prof. Dr. Ivan Mitev “-Sofia. Since 2017 they partner in the implementation of the “Care at Early Age” project, which puts a strong emphasis on the introduction and development of internationally acknowledged practices in the field of developmental care and the integrative approach in neonatal wards. The teams of Dr. Argirova and Assoc. Prof. Georgieva and the families of preterm babies are supported on a daily basis by specialists of the foundation – a psychologist, an “Early Childhood Intervention” expert and a kinesiotherapist. Kangaroo-care (also called skin-to-skin contact) is a leading element in family-oriented care as well as one of the most effective ways the family can be involved in caring for their baby in the neonatal ward. In March, kangaroo-care is the “theme of the month” in the neonatology departments of the two hospitals. The primary objective of the “Care at Early Age” project, funded by the OAK Foundation, is to improve the development and welfare of children at early age (0-7) by introducing an integrated health and social, family-oriented approach to care. Through research and advocacy activities, as well as by piloting socio-health services for direct work with children and families, the project aims to improve the policy and practice regarding the early child development in the health, social and educational systems in our…

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The “For Our Children” Foundation’s mobile team now supports the children, parents and specialists of the Temporary Accommodation Center “St. Dimitar “

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The “For Our Children” Foundation’s mobile team now supports the children, parents and specialists of the Temporary Accommodation Center “St. Dimitar “. This is the sixth site of the multidisciplinary team of specialists in the “Care at the Early Age” project. A psychologist and early childhood specialists will support the children and families at the Center, enabling children to attend various cultural events, participate in celebrations, picnics and other socializing activities to help them develop and realize their potential. The parents will be included in discussion groups and trainings that will support them in caring for their children. The team will also work with the Center’s specialists, for whom they will organize trainings to advance their professional competencies in working with children and parents.   We plan to create a cozy family room where we can work in a group with the children as well as with their parents. We thank Mrs Nadka Andonova, Director of the Temporary Accommodation Center “St. Dimitar, who warmly responded to our invitation for partnership and allowed our specialists to assist in the support of the most vulnerable children and families in the Center.   The “Care at the Early Age” project, carried out by “For Our Children” Foundation, and funded by the OAK Foundation, aims to improve the development and welfare of children at early age (0-7 yrs.) by introducing an integrated health and social, family-oriented approach to care. A mobile multidisciplinary team of specialists works at six sites in Sofia and Plovdiv, supporting children, parents and health professionals. The team provides psychological counseling, rehabilitation and early childhood intervention services, as well as socializing and development activities for children, discussion groups and trainings for parents and health professionals. Through research and advocacy activities, as well as by piloting socio-health services for direct work with children and families, the project aims to improve the policy and practice regarding the early child development in the health, social and educational systems in our country.  …

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“For Our Children” Foundation is the first non-governmental organization in Bulgaria to work with TIMEOFF.GURU

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“For Our Children” Foundation is the first non-governmental organization in Bulgaria to work with TIMEOFF.GURU. The platform helps everyone involved in initiating, approving and processing of holiday requests, thus turning the process from burden into pleasure. Using this platform enables the Foundation team to save time and resources. The process is quick and easy to use by all employees, allowing us to invest even more time and resources in working with children. The “For Our Children” Foundation once again proves that, in addition to being a leader in providing professional social services for children and families from vulnerable groups, it is an employer who follows and applies the latest trends in people and resource management. We cordially thank the IBS team for the overall support and professional attitude towards the mission of the “For Our Children”…

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The strategic goals of the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development to be determined by the end of 2018

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The strategic goals of the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development to be determined by the end of 2018. This is what the participants of today’s conference “Vision for Early Childhood in Bulgaria” were united about. The conference was organized by the “For Our Children” Foundation and was attended by over 150 representatives of national and local authorities, the academic community, international experts, professional and non-governmental organizations.   The conference was held under the auspices of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria Maya Manolova, represented by Mrs. Eva Zhecheva, Director of the Children’s Rights Directorate at the Ombudsman’s Office. She said she was convinced that the combined efforts would motivate the political will for change that would be reflected in the national strategy for early childhood development.   Undoubtedly, early childhood development is the most important investment that allows us to actively shape our future, she said. The results of a large-scale study ” Early Childhood Development in Bulgaria” on the impact of health, social and educational systems on childcare at the earliest age (0-7 years) and their safety were presented at the forum.   Participants in the conference discussed the key recommendations for improvement of the performance of childcare systems, which were articulated during the study. They will be prioritized by the end of March and will serve to define the goals of the early childhood development strategy. The role of early childhood education and care policies in the European Union was presented by Mrs. Nora Milotai, a political analyst at the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), working on European social policy issues.   The integrated systems and early childhood development services in Serbia were presented by Prof. Veronika Espanovic – member of the National Council on the Rights of the Child and of the working groups that have developed the National Program for Promoting Early Childhood Development and the National Strategy on Violence against Children in Serbia.   The conference was attended by the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Rositsa Dimitrova, the Deputy Minister of Education Denitsa Sacheva, the Deputy Minister of Healthcare Boyko Penkov, the UNICEF Representative for Bulgaria Maria Hosse Conde and the Ambassadors of Cyprus, Indonesia and Denmark.   For all of us, it is clear that investing in early childhood development is the present and future of Bulgaria, Europe and the entire international community. With our presence here and the support from our partners – the municipalities, the national and international NGOs, we reaffirm our readiness to draw together the concept of early childhood development, as set out in the national strategy, Deputy Minister Dimitrova said.   Investments in early childhood development have a significant impact on the future of children, the present of their parents and the social and economic wellbeing of the whole society, said the Deputy Minister of Education and Science Denitsa Sacheva.   I call on all who are here today to work together to promote and advance early childhood education to create a fairer, free world with equal rights. We need to invest more in child development. And we must start early, said the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Bulgaria H.E. Stavros Avgoustides.   I and my team are encouraged because today we took another step towards creating the first National Strategy for Early Childhood Development, closed the conference Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of “For Our Children”…

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