For Our Children Foundation is a Bulgarian non-government organization which has been supporting the vulnerable children and their families since 1992. For Our Children is an inheritor of the British human rights organizations European Children’s Trust, Christian Children’s Fund and Every Child. With its international experience and qualified expertise, the organization applies for the first time at national level the support for parents for prevention of children abandonment, foster care and creates the first municipal teams of social workers for child protection. For 25 years now, For Our Children Foundation has been a standard for qualified social work, works for its integration in the state policy for child protection and for the increase of the system’s capacity.
How we help
Every year, more than 1000 children are abandoned by their parents, most of them at the maternity ward. Their childhood starts in a social institution or separated from their parents and are brought up by strangers.
The active social work, psychological support and mobilization of different specialists around a child are the main factors, which help for coping with the situation of vulnerability and the hardship in the life of a family.
Our team in action
Two months ago, Valentina and Simeon came to the Community Support Center “St.Sofia”. Young couple, just recently married. They truly loved each other. It did not seem to have problems. But it turned out they did. Soon after the birth of their first child, Rosen, the problems began. Valentina had a difficult birth – she had to give birth with a cesarean, during which she suffered a panic attack. This left a lasting impression on the young mother’s psyche and months after the birth of her child she still feels unhappy. After meeting a psychologist and undergoing a therapy, Valentina managed to feel happy again and finally started enjoying her little treasure. But the joy of the young mother did not last for long. The family has financial difficulties because of expensive medicine Valentina has to take and the things needed for little Rosen – a crib, trolley, clothes and diapers. This made the woman stop paying her health insurance at the worst possible moment – when she realized she was pregnant for the second time. Valentina asked for our help in this difficult for her family moment. We had been with her throughout her pregnancy. We took her regularly on examinations that helped track her pregnancy. Experts from a specialized hospital took care of her constantly to make sure her pregnancy was normal, without complications. Still, the fear of a recurrent attack did not leave Valentina, and it was her constant companion. She felt restless and uncertain in her parenting abilities. She did not believe she would be able to provide the best that her child needs. That’s what brought the young mother to us – her desire for her child to get the best care. We helped with the care of the little Rosen, who is a big mischief and did not listen to mom and dad. We gave her tips on how to take care of him and educate him properly. We kindly supported the family by buying diapers, clothes, and purees for the baby. With the money saved, the family managed to pay Valentina’s health insurance. Just a few days ago, the expected day for Valentina came – their second child, Denitsa, was born. The two are already at home with daddy and her baby brother, who are eager to get acquainted with the newest member of their family. And we, from CSC, keep working with the young family so that the two parents can enjoy their two children peacefully and give them all the love they need so that Rosen and Denitsa have a happy and carefree childhood….
We met Antonia after we were informed by the maternity ward that she left her baby right after birth and had run away from the hospital. Our specialists at the Community Support Center “St. Sofia”visited the mother in her home to talk about what made her to take this hard decision. While we were talking, her other children stood around her smiling. They looked happy and healthy. However, Antonia was not confident in herself; she thought she would not be able to give her newborn all the love and care it needed. She told us sadly that she could not deal with another child. We advised her to think more thoroughly and not make hasty decisions. A few weeks later, Antonia reached us herself. She told us that she and her partner did not stop thinking about their little girl and they were wondering what to do. They finally realized that the love for the newborn was stronger than fear and hesitation. So they decided to do their best to bring the baby back, which is currently in a family-type accommodation center. Parents did not know what was going on, and they were very worried that they would not be able to take their child back. We helped the mother and accompanied her to all the institutions to get the necessary papers. We also took her to the CSTN to see her child. When she saw the little sweetheart, Antonia started crying and kept hugging and speaking softly to her. We’ve done our best to help the family get back the baby. We talked to our colleagues from different institutions and together we made the decision to return the child to her parents. A case was set up to arrange the final moving of the baby back home. And we, from CSC “St. Sofia”, will continue to help Antonia’s big but happy family so that they can always be together….
Mira is beautiful. With big, warm eyes. Long hair. Gentle. Charming. Good student, athlete, sister, daughter. Mira is really hurt. Her own nightmares have been chasing her. Day and night. She feels fear. Sadness. Even shame and guilt. For something for which she is not to blame for. For the evil of others. In a warm evening in May, Mira goes to the shop when the 70-year-old “neighborhood voyager” does the unthinkable. He comes in her way when there is no one around them. He drives her somewhere. Pulls her hair. Insults her. Undresses her. The other … is clear. Since then, Mira is not the same 13-year-old girl. Her beauty – as if it is drowsy. Her eyes – still big but sad. Her long hair – heavy and dirty. She is skinny – so skinny as if she will crash. It is difficult for her to talk even to her closest people, and sometimes the days go without her saying a word. Not even mentioning friends and school. For Mira’s mother, what happened to her daughter is the most terrible thing. Something changed her happy daughter, the excellent student, the athlete – a shadow in the face of a man. Knowing that she could not cure this wound alone, Ivana reached the Department of Unit Protection, where she was told about our psychologists at the Community Support Center “St. Sofia”. For a few months now, a psychologist from the CSC has been working with Mira, talking to her about the bad memories, the constant sense of fear that chases her, the nightmares, the shame and the guilt. Mira started sharing with her beloved ones, her friends; instead of hiding behind the terrible trauma, she is more open. She eats, laughs, and one can see in her eyes the same girl she was – the girl before the terrible evening in…
Sofia Airport Center (Logistic Center), building В2, 2, bul. “Hristofor Columb” 64, Sofia 1592
02/ 980 70 58, 988 82 45
With the support of Sofia Airport Center