The Happy Month of February Brought a Family to Two Little Princesses

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Our little Nikol left Children`s House in the arms of her new foster family. From now on, she will grow up surrounded by love and attention from the family of Ganka Ivanova. Ganka has been a professional foster parent for many years, she has given love and care to more than 9 children.                                                                                    Nikol spends only a few months in Children`s House during which the foster care and Children`s House teams of For Our Children Foundation worked hard for finding the right family for her. The experts of the two services provided Niki enough time and conditions to get to know her foster mother and the two of them to get used to each other. After they got to know each other and became closer, the team of Children`s House saw Nikol off and she began her journey relaxed.   February began with another success for the foster care team, the small princess Dara from the Home for socio-medical services “St. Ivan Rilski” continued her life loved by her foster father Ludmil Gushtanov. Dara was welcomed in her new home with homemade bread prepared by her foster mother.   Children`s House will continue to be the place, where the children separated from their biological parents will receive temporary home, until the teams of For Our Children Foundation manage to provide a secure and stable family environment. In the past year, Children`s House was a home for 10 babies, 6 of them found their families with the support of the teams of For Our Children, and for the last 4 it is due to happen.   Children`s House was created in 2012, aiming to provide a temporary home for 6 children from the age from 0 to 3. In 2015, with the help of corporative and individual donors and Sofia Municipality, For Our Children Foundation built a vast and cozy house, where children can receive individual care and love until they are put back to their biological parents, adopted or placed in a foster…

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Another smiling little boy from our “Children’s House” was adopted and will grow loved and happy with mommy and daddy

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Today, we are going to tell you the story of our sweet boy Valentin, who finally found his new mommy and daddy and will grow up loved and happy.   Valentin is a child, which does not know a mother’s caress. Right after his birth his mother refused to take care of him and left him at the maternity ward. From there Valentin was transferred to a foster home, where the little boy spent 8 months when fate finally brought him to the door of our “Children’s House” Family type placement center.   When the little guy came to us, we noticed that he was not a happy child. We hardly ever saw a smile on his face, most of the time he seemed sad, he rarely cried. He stared blankly and did not turn when someone called him by name, he did not want to play with the other children. Eight months old, he still could not sit by himself.   We, from “Children’s House, took care of Valentin and tried to give him all the love he needed. We cuddled with him, read him bedtime stories and played with him. We helped him learn how to play with the other children in order to socialize. Every single day we watched the development of the little boy and we are happy that he is no longer sad, but instead smiles widely and happily plays with other children. Even though it was difficult for us to send him off, we are sure that he will have the blessed and wonderful childhood that every child should…

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“For Our Children” Foundation shared its “Tale of Goodness” at the meeting with Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group

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The Chief executive officer of “For Our Children” Foundation, Ivanka Shalapatova, presented the work of the organization in support of children and families at risk. She was a spokeswoman at the meeting of partners from the non-governmental sector, held at the Museum of the history of Sofia and organized by Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group JSC., which supports representatives of the insurance business in Bulgaria at the History Museum of Sofia.   Mrs. Shalapatova told our “Tale of Goodness” and thanked Bulstrad’s leadership for the partnership under the project for support of the family environment of children at risk.   The company has invested in our “Foster Care” cause and has supported the Foundation in its efforts to provide full and sustained support to dozens of foster children and families, whom our “Foster Care Center” works with. The foster families we partner with receive expert, financial and material help in order to provide high quality care in a supportive, developing, and secure environment for children who, for various reasons, are separated from their family.   The “Tale of Goodness” event provided an opportunity for non-governmental organizations, that the life insurance company has supported over the years, to tell the stories of children and young people from socially vulnerable groups they met in their work. Good examples from their practice were also shared by representatives from “BCause” Foundation, “Maria’s World” Foundation and “Health and Social Development” Foundation.   At the “Tale of Goodness” event the second award for social consciousness went to Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group. The Honor of Dr. Gunther Gayer is awarded annually to three of the most socially-responsible companies of the leading insurance group in Central and Eastern Europe – the Vienna Insurance Group. The G?mter Geyer Award for Social Conscience also includes a financial grant of € 30,000, which will allow the winner to continue supporting causes for people with disabilities in the future. This is the second time the insurance company has won the prestigious award of Dr. Gunther Gayer in the last four…

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“For Our Children” Foundation, 20 NGOs and Sofia Municipality signed an Agreement for the Improvement of the Quality of Social Services

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At an official ceremony held today at the Sofia City Hall, “For Our Children” Foundation, together with 20 other non-governmental organizations, signed an Agreement for the Improvement of the Quality of Social Services with the mayor Yordanka Fandakova.   Sofia Municipality is entering  a new stage of development and is looking to broaden the scope of its partnership with non-governmental organizations.   The Agreement’s aim is to unite the civic sector and the Sofia Municipality for ensuring the further realization of a local social policy that is fully consistent with the people’s needs and in line with European standards.   The document was prepared by a work group with the participation of NGO representatives and experts from the municipality, since at the beginning of the year at a meeting with Mrs. Fandakova, the civic organizations presented their suggestions for improving the dialogue between the civic sector, the users of the social services and the local administration, as well as for promoting social innovation, improving the quality and  visible impact on the users of the social services for children and adults.   The agreement will guarantee greater transparency and publicity in spending resources, clear rules and procedures for planning, revealing and applying for management of new social services, and annual analysis of service development.   It is expected to create a fund for financing innovative ideas from the social services field. New spheres of cooperation with NGOs are regulated for planning, implementing and monitoring the social policy of the municipality.   By signing the Agreement, the 20 NGOs agree that on the basis of their experience and expertise, together with Sofia Municipality, they will accumulate suggestions for improving the social policy at a national level and will share their experience with the elaboration of this agreement with other municipalities and colleagues from the civic sector. Through quality dialogue between the main stakeholders it always leads to sustainable results, and in the social sphere they always lead to the rescue of at least one child, giving direction to at least one young person and hope for the elderly in need. An important step in improving the quality of social work and endorsing career development among the young people is creating annual bonuses for social work. This would be enough acknowledgement by itself for the social workers, as well as a further stimulation for increasing work quality. This Agreement is a good opportunity for active participation of the civic society organizations in  planning and implementing  social policies at local level that can visibly improve the support and social inclusion of thousands of people in a vulnerable…

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A surprising donation arrived at “St. Sofia” Community Support Center

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A great gift from Avendi Ltd. arrived at “St. Sofia” Community Support Center (CSC) – 2400 delicious baby fruit purees Hipp.   The babies from our FTAC “Children’s house”, the foster children and all the families, whom our CSC works with, will taste the healthy purees, which are a wonderful dessert for every little child.   We would like to extend our thanks to our friends from Avendi Ltd. for the support they give us!…

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The story of the little shy girl Christina

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Today we are going to tell you about our three-year-old beauty Christina, whom our “St. Sofia” Community Support Center (CSC) has been working with for the last two years. Little Chrissie develops more slowly than her peers. When she came to us, Chrissie was bothersome, shy, she was covering her face when someone looked her in the eyes, and was hardly ever joining the children to play with them.   We worked with Chrissie under the project “Early Child Intervention”. Her parents regularly took her to a group music therapy, where we from CSC encouraged her to be more relaxed and to have fun when she is with her friends. We provided remedial gymnastics for the little princess and during that time she happily rode on toy- horses and was having fun. We did not forget to help her parents too. They went through training how to stimulate the development of their daughter as much as possible, we supported them emotionally throughout the entire work process.   Now Chrissie is more sociable and confident than before. She often smiles and laughs aloud. She does not cover her face any more and more freely communicates with other children. Christina’s parents are grateful for the help we provided them with and are happy to see her daughter’s development.   We from “St. Sofia” CSC continue to work with Chrissie. She is an example of a child which every single day develops her abilities and with every step comes closer to being more independent. Every progress in treatment is a small victory for both Chrissie and her parents and for us from “St. Soifa” CSC.  …

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“For Our Children” Foundation supported over 300 children, parents and specialists in the first six months of this year in Plovdiv

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309 children, families and health specialists put their trust in “For Our Children” Foundation in the first six months of 2017 in Plovdiv. In the region where the Foundation started its activity 25 years ago, our Community Support Center  “For children and parents” supported 196 children and families (biological, adoptive and extended families). 96 future and current parents went through the organized free courses “First care for the newborn”.   In conducting the plans of the Foundation to expand its services, a multidisciplinary mobile team of specialists, formed as part of the “Care at an Early Age” project, works in UMHAT Plovdiv. A psychologist, specialists “Early Childhood Intervention” and “Early Childhood Development” and a rehabilitator supported 113 children, parents and health specialists.   The specialists from the Community Support Centre (CSC) “For children and parents” helped prevent the separation between babies and their parents, supported 33 newborn babies and 11 under aged mothers and pregnant girls, worked on 24 cases of children at risk of separation from their parents, and supported 114 children and families. 16 children and families of relatives received support for improving the children care, as well as mediation and intercession  for providing access to the services and forms of support to families of relatives. 14 children at risk of dropping out of the educational system were supported. CSC “For children and parents” has an agreement for collaboration with three neonatal units – at UMHAT Plovdiv, MHAT “Saint Mina” and Hospital for Ob-Gyn „Selena”, where apart from consultation, the representatives of CSC discuss issues related to improving the communication and interaction.   As part of our collaboration with MHAT “Plovdiv” on the “Care at an Early Age” project, our mobile multidisciplinary team worked with children placed in a hospital for decreasing the damage of the long hospital stay, preventing the harm, socializing via various educational and skill-developing activities for children. 15 prematurely born children go through the service for late following – from the moment they are signed out of the hospital until they reach the age of three. A kinesitoherapist worked with each child on an individual program.   We supported 93 parents and 5 health specialists with consultations about the health condition and mental health of the children. The trainings and discussion groups for parents and health specialists covered topics such as “Prematurely born children”, “Healthy diet and eating regime for children below 7 years old”, “Communication at the working place – specialists and parents” and others.   Our mobile team helps the health specialists via developing a health-social model for taking care of the child and the family.   In order to create maximum comfort for the children who use the rehabilitation services, “For Our Children” Foundation will support the renovation and equipment of the rehabilitation room at the neonatalogy department in the hospital.   During the first six months of this year, the team of “For Our Children” Foundation helped over 1000 children and families in Sofia and…

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Bring summer to your office and let’s help hundreds of children in need together

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Him and her…? He – quiet and reserved, slightly tired She – energetic, hot and full of surprises He – this is you. Yes, you, who sits in the office at your workplace today She – she is the summer holiday you are looking forward to… Why does this story have to stop here and sound so sad? It does NOT have to!   “For Our Children” Foundation invites you to a summer fiesta with its pilot campaign “Bring summer to your office“. That’s right – beach, sun, waves – you can enjoy all of this without even moving from your desk. Bring summer to your office, teleport your colleagues and yourself on a holiday, and contribute to the happy outcome of our cause – bright future for the most vulnerable children in Bulgaria.   Why join? In the season of holidays, long hot days in which thousands of children look forward to the family holiday, over 1200 children who live in institutions still dream of having a family. They do not know the coziness of a real home and the embrace of a mother. With the raised funds we will help a lot of children fall asleep in their parents’ embrace. We will help the babies from Children’s House find their families and the disabled children get an equal chance for development.   We have prepared 10 interesting ideas on the page of the campaign, which you can use to challenge your colleagues and together you can take part in an initiative that will not only bring your team together, but will also help more children live in a family.   Become part of the summer campaign “Bring summer in the office” and let us together change hundreds of destinies and give hope for a bright future to thousands of children and…

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“For Our Children” Foundation organizes a discussion about “Learning and accepting the diagnosis”

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“For Our Children” invites parents to participate in a discussion about “Learning and accepting the diagnosis” on 14th August 2017 – Monday, from 4 to 5 pm in the library of “Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Children Diseases – prof. Ivan Mitev” – Sofia. Petya Petrova – a psychologist from the mobile team of “For Our Children” Foundation will lead the discussion. Parents will be able to talk about the difficulties of accepting a diagnosis and will receive advice on how to deal with negative emotions, feeling of guilt and helplessness. This forum aims to support parents in overcoming the difficulties, which come with their child’s treatment, by communicating with the doctors and gaining trust in the medical team.   This is the second from the series of discussions for parents, organized by “For Our Children” as part of the “Care at an Early Age” project. Educational discussions and discussion modules on social topics are planned for the near future. The goal is to help health specialists receive more information about the health-social approach towards children and families.   The partnership between “For Our Children” Foundation and the hospital is part of the “Care at an Early Age” project, which will also include activities on the territory of the hospital untill the end of 2018. The “Care at an Early Age” project is funded by the “OAK” Foundation and its main purpose is to improve the early development and well-being of children (age 0-7) by introducing an integrated social-health and family-oriented approach towards the care. The project uses research and intercession methods and social-health services for working with children and families and aims to improve the practices and policies for early child development and the health, social and educational systems in the…

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