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
Ivaylo is a little beautiful boy who was born in Plovdiv, and lives with his mother Gloria and his father Ivan. The parents were very happy when the baby came into their world, but right after his birth they found out that he has cerebral paralysis. The next 2 years he and his mother went to different doctors and specialists, who could potentially help Ivaylo. At the same time the relation between Gloria and Ivan was not good at all –they repeatedly separate and then get back together repeatedly. Ivan was working during the whole day and he rarely had the opportunity to support his wife and take care of his son. The life of Gloria was full of challenges and most of the time she was very busy with her son, while the problems with her husband continued to grow bigger and bigger. Ivaylo’s condition was not improving, although he was going to a rehabilitation every week, and Gloria was at the end of her physical and emotional strength. She left the home of her husband, and rented a small apartment to live with her baby. Their financial condition was very bad, and going out was a struggle because of Ivaylo’s heavy specialized wheelchair. Desperate and helpless, without any support from family and friends, Gloria went to the Child Protection Department for help. After specialists met with her and the boy, they told them about the Community Support Center of “For Our Children” foundation. Out team immediately started working with them. Ivaylo started visiting hydrotherapy, which is absolutely free thanks to our joint project with the International Women’s Club foundation – “Better Life for a Child in Need”. 6 months later, Ivaylo’s improvement was obvious – his muscles started relaxing, and he can now stand on his feet by himself. For Gloria this was the happiest moment in her life – to see how her child is getting better, he is smiling and he is feeling calm. Little by little, hope was coming back to the mother’s heart. She hopes that soon she will see his first steps! We, from “For Our Children” foundation continue to support Ivaylo and visit him and his mother in their home. We wish them lots of joy, and sunny days full of…
Only five and a half years old, Viktor has already gone through many problems. Born prematurely, with very low weight, he has to fight for his life from his first breath. During the first two months, he was seized in a cuticle in the intensive care unit for premature babies, and his closest people – his mother and father – could not be there with him. When he came home, Victor had breathing problems and didn’t see well, he also suffered from a shortage of various vital substances. His parents lived through this very hard, both feeling frightened and guilty for the condition of their little boy. In spite of all the difficulties, they did not stop fighting and went with Viki to various specialists – doctors, rehabilitators, ophthalmologists, until finally one of them directed the family to the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation. Specialists believe that with us the child will find the necessary support to make up for the lost, to acquire new skills and to overcome the fear of acquiring new children and communicating with his peers. When for the first time the family met with senior expert “Early Childhood Intervention” Petya Uzunova, Viktor was already 4 years old, but he was often sick, and had to spend most of his time in different doctor’s offices and hospitals. The boy must learn to communicate freely, and his parents have a real need to share their problems with someone who will not only understand them, but will also find the right way to help them. Already after the first meeting, Victor was assessed for overall development. He was involved in group activities, in music and art therapy, as well as healing rides, which had a great impact on him and he was no longer afraid of loud noises and other children. The most favorite activity for Victor is riding, and he shows a strong interest in horses. He loved to share his apples with them, and was not afraid to be near the animals. The family was genuinely happy when they see their little boy interact with another child and show a desire to share his lunch with him. So far, Viktor continues to attend various activities of the Early Childhood Intervention Program in the CSC, and they have a positive influence on his development. The now grown boy is ready to meet the big world around him and, with the assistance of his closest people, to deal with fears and problems…
On a warm summer night, the underage girl Tsvetelina and her friends decided to visit a nightclub in their neighborhood. The evening passed well for Tsvetelina, and this was mainly because she met the attractive Ivan. The youngsters fell in love quickly, and two months after their first encounter, they live together and with his parents. However, this only lasted for a month and a half, as the girl understood that her boyfriend was cheating on her. She went back to her parents’ home and found out that she is pregnant. She asked Ivan for help and support, but he didn’t have the desire and the opportunity to become a father. At a moment of weakness, Tsvetelina began to hesitate whether to keep the child. She has always wanted to have at least three children who would grow up happy and loved. She shared her insecurity with her parents who fully supported her. Soon after she became aware of the pregnancy, Tsvetelina’s mother, Katya, contacted the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation, looking for co-operation and hope. Support came quickly – our social worker Fickree Baydakova immediately started working with the insecure young mother, and together they overcome her fears. In December 2017, Tsvetelina gave birth to a beautiful girl, which she names Milena. By her side at this emotional moment were all her relatives and friends, but also Fickree, who was making a lot of effort to teach Tsvetelina how to look at her daughter in the best possible way. Since the mother was not of legal age at that time and does not receive any income, we have provided her with everything necessary to take care of the newborn – diapers and bottles, bed, clothes and cosmetics. Tsvetelina says she is grateful to our entire team for the support. She is happy to take care of the little Milena, and is sure that her daughter will grow as a happy child, loved by both her mum and grandparents. The specialists of the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” continue to follow Milena’s development as well as the way her mother takes care of…