The 15-year old girl from Plovdiv – Elena Staneva, who is among the 13 winners of the contest “Ambassador for one day”, yesterday and today took the place of the Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation – Ivanka Shalapatova. Even though it was just for a day, Elena saw the world through the eyes of Ms. Shalapatova – she had the chance to feel her spirit and see her motivation that has inspired her to lead a non-governmental organization, working in the social sphere, for 20 years. Elena also saw the meaning of her professional life – the smiles of children, the happy families and the changed human faiths. The experiences we prepared for Elena started yesterday. Her host was our team from the Community Support Center “For children and parents” in her hometown. Our colleagues surprised Elena with a workshop for martenitsi and spring cards, which they created together for the families and children we work with in Plovdiv. Today we welcomed Elena in Sofia, where we introduced her to our team and told her about the work of the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” and the “Foster Care Center”. Our social workers, psychologist and family therapist told her about their profession and their super powers – how they help children at risk and their families to overcome the difficulties. In order to get closer to our social work, we took Elena to meet with one of the families, that the team of the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” supported so that the family can stay together – that of Dobromir, who didn’t leave his home for nearly two years because of trauma during his childhood. The girl talked with the mother and the son, they told her about the help they received from our team in their toughest moments and about the joy, which they felt when Dobi finally decided to go leave the house, after so much time. After the meeting the Ganevi family, Elena also visited our Family Type Placement Center “Family house”. There, together with H.E. Sri Astari Rasjid – The Indonesian Ambassador to Bulgaria, our Executive Director – Ivanka Shalapatova, our team and the babies that we are taking care of now, she met Baba Marta. With a lot of smiles and good mood we gave martenitsi to the children for health and wished them to, very soon, have their own families to spend these sunny holidays with. Charged with lots of emotions from the meeting with the babies, the three ladies spent the afternoon with other women from “For Our Children” Foundation, who shared a piece of their work and experience, told them about their personal and professional dreams, and encouraged Elena to pursue hers without stopping, despite all the challenges that may come her way. The day for the young girl doesn’t end here. Tonight, Elena and her family, will be guests at the Indonesian embassy, where they will enjoy the exotic culture and cuisine of this country in the company of H.E. Sri Astari Rasjid, her team and Ms….
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.
In the month of the woman, the mother and the spring, “For Our Children” Foundation launches a charity campaign for the 8th of March in support of children, devoid of maternal love. Every day in Bulgaria at least two children are separated from their biological parents. 90% of these are babies under 1 year of age. The purpose of the campaign is to provide baby formula, diapers and purees for those children, who have no one to turn to with “mom”, who have no one to thank to for the warm care. We turn to you – people who believe that every child has the right to grow up in a happy and beloved family. Everyone can help for this dream to come true. The good is in your hands. Even with a donation from a pack of diapers, the fate of a child changes! The flowers are lovely, they are almost as beautiful as the amazing women you love and greet for their holiday. Flowers give beauty and freshness, but not for a long time. The good that mothers and women teach us in life, leaves a trace and ignites good-doing. Instead of a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a luxurious box of chocolates for your beloved wife and mother, donate a pack of diapers, baby formula, baby purees, or the amount you would have given for a gift, in support of those children who don’t have families. The donated funds will be used to purchase the same supplies needed in the care of a newborn during the first months of his or her life. You can support the most vulnerable children by bringing diapers (all sizes), baby formula 1 and 2, and/or baby purees (fruit, vegetable, with meat) in one of the centers of For Our Children Foundation, or donate your amount online through our site detebg.org or by bank transfer – IBAN: BG 32 RZBB 9155 1060 5337 67. You can find us at: – Community Support Center “St. Sofia” – Sofia, 21, Gyueshevo Str. – Family Type Placement Center “Family House” – Sofia, 2, Ohridsko ezero Str. – Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” – Plovdiv, 21, Maritsa Blvd. The campaign will continue until March 15. The collected donations and funds will be announced on the Foundation’s website and Facebook page on March 19. P.S. If you support our initiative, you can download and customize a card from down below to bring it to your beloved wife or…
Secure family environment for every child 125 children and families at risk of separation received support from the team of For Our Children Foundation in Plovdiv in 2018. 15 were the cases the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” worked on in the past year under the program “Preventing separation of newborn children from their families”. We saved 7 babies from a life in an institution, who are now enjoying family comfort and warmth in a foster family. Our team also works hard under the program “Prevention of separation – family support for safe care”, which targets families are at risk of abandoning their child. We visit many families, go to the so-called “risky” neighborhoods in order to identify potential problems on time, we speak with current and future parents, we give advice and help where it is necessary. This way we manage to reach more children and families, who need help, and support them, so they can stay together. We worked with 110 children and their families under this program. These are families, who face different challenges in their daily lives – families living in poverty, parents of children with disabilities, large families and others. None of them abandoned their child. Through our family support program, our team in Plovdiv also worked with 2 children, who live with their relatives; 8 children, victims of violence; 14 children dropping out or at risk of dropping out of school; 4 children with tough behavior. We also supported 7 children and their families in the process of reintegration. Better life for a child in need Last June we launched the joint project “Better life for a child in need” with the “International Women’s Club-Sofia” Foundation. In just half a year, 6 children who have developmental difficulties progressed significantly in their physical, mental and emotional development. Apart from the opportunity to visit innovative therapies, the children also received the support of specialists – speech therapist, hydro- and hypo-therapist and “Early Childhood Intervention” specialist. We also worked with another 12 children with special needs and their parents under the program “Early Childhood Intervention”. Or specialists prepared individual exercise programs for the children, that would help them acquire important new skills and develop their potential, and would enable their parents to stimulate the activity of their children even at home. Support for every parent The organized courses for parenting skills by The Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” continued to enjoy high level of interest and attendance. Over the past year we conducted 26 parenting skills courses, which attracted 144 future and current mothers and fathers. We also trained 11 prospective adoptive families. Thanks to our “Care at early age” project 123 parents and 29 children received support at the “University Multi-profile Hospital for Active Treatment – Plovdiv”, where a specially formed multidisciplinary team, consisting of a psychologist, “Early Childhood Intervention” specialist, “Early Child Development” specialist and rehabilitator provided consultations and trainings under an internationally validated methodology. For the team of the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” the childhood in a secure family environment is a cause, and their work is dedicated to the children, to the good, to the future and to hope. Our purpose is to guarantee safe and secure environment for the children – purpose to which we dedicated the last 27…
“It is never a bad day that hath a good night,” says an old Bulgarian proverb. In the “For Our Children” Foundation, we interpret these words in a slightly different way. We believe that when the year starts with a real success, it is more than certain that the remaining 364 days will be booming with positive results. This is the hope shared by Fickrie Baydakova, a social worker at our Community Support Center “St. Sofia”….
Today one family received an early Christmas gift. Two parents who have tried for many years have been waiting to have their own child, today found the happiness and took their daughter home. And one child left without mom and dad in the first moments of its life finally got a chance for a happy childhood in a safe and loving family…