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15-year old girl at the head of For Our Children Foundation.. for a day

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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….

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For Our Children Foundation launches a campaign for the 8th of March in support of children, devoid of maternal love

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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…

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110 children at an early age were not abandoned, thanks to the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents”

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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…

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We saw off the work-week with a workshop for martenitsi

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Today in For Our Children Foundation, we were preparing for one of the most beloved Bulgarian holidays – Baba Marta. In order to show us their skills in making martenitsi, we had as our guests some of the foster families, which we support. Together, we used our imagination in the process of making these unique red and white creations of yarn. With these bracelets, we are going to bring happiness to the children and the families we work with.   The workshop is just a small part of the activities, which we plan to organize with the funds, provided by the “Choose to help” charity initiative of our partners from Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria. This is the fifth consecutive year in which we get support from the financial institution and this year the project with which we took part in the initiative, was dedicated to foster care. In 2019 we are planning to give an opportunity to the foster parents we work with to take part in courses to upgrade their skills. This way they will be even more successful in the care for children and more motivated to dedicate their professional path to this tough mission. As a part of the project “Foster Care – Security, Development and Happiness for Vulnerable Children” we foresee different socializing activities and events for the foster children. These activities are going to spark their curiosity and expand their horizons.   Our partnership with Raiffeisenbank dates back to 2009 and ever since then they have supported many different projects of ours, totaling to about 70 000 BGN, through the “Choose to help” charity initiative. Thanks to our sustainable partnership with the bank, the responsiveness and the good hearts of its employees, we manage to reach many more families and children, who face challenged every day.   Since the creation of For Our Children Foundation 27 years ago, its team has supported more than 12 800 children and their families, with over 1 600 just in the past…

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1 600 children and families trusted on For Our Children Foundation through the last year

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In 2018 For Our Children Foundation continued to work for every child in Bulgaria to live in a safe family environment. The organization’s team believes that only the family can give a stable basis to the child and only in the family can the child get an equal chance and enjoy a complete life.   Nearly 1 600 children and families trusted For Our Children Foundation only in the past year. Our experts worked with over 1 400 children and families in our Community support centers in Sofia, Plovdiv, our Foster Care Center and Family Type Placement Center “Family House“. 1 314 children in biological, adoptive and extended families used our services and expertise, 53 children found love and care in 36 foster families, which we support, and 11 babies welcomed their first months in the comfort and warmth of the “Family House”.   Prevention of separation and reintegration   In 2018 our team worked more 340 cases of prevention of child abandonment. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our social workers, we saved 298 children at an early age from separation with their family. We helped newborns and their families, large families, families living in poverty, parents with disabilities or dependencies, families with children who have disabilities or health problems, and also premature babies and their families.   Through our programs for family support, we also worked with 8 children living with relatives; 15 adopted children and their families; 11 children, victims of violence; 15 children at risk of dropping out of school and 12 children with difficult behavior.   We supported 60 children and families in process of reintegration.   Socialization activities and trainings   144 children were involved in various socialization activities – theatrical productions, puppet theater, baby opera, excursions and outings, picnics in the nature and others. While they were having fun and playing, the children learned how to communicate, how to share and they built a stronger emotional relationship with the people who took care of them.   Over the past year, our free parenting skills courses continued to enjoy great interest and attendance. Our experts trained 105 prospective adopters who are now ready to give a second chance for a loving home to many children. For the foundation’s team a very important part of working with parents is the early identification of problems and challenges, related to the care of children, and support for coping with them on time. This includes support for parents even before the birth of their child. In 2018, we held 40 parenting skills classes, attended by 227 future and current mothers and dads.   One of the distinctive reasons why we are a preferred service provider, is the high level of quality and expertise of our team. Our belief is that specialists must regularly update and build on their knowledge, in order to be better at supporting children and families. In 2018 we supported 91 specialists with a variety of trainings, with which they increased their competencies.   Results   The support to biological and adoptive families which the foundation provides according to an internationally established methodology, has a positive impact on children – that’s what the researches of our services point out. As a result of our work, 115 of the estimated 176 children showed positive change, their parents take the necessary care of them and meet their needs adequately. The parents of 61 of the children still need us. We worked hard to build an emotional relationship between the parents and their children. 139 children at risk of abandonment remained in their own families.   For 27 years we have supported over 12,800 children and families at risk. Because every child must have a…

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Kids created more than 400 unique martenitsi For Our Children

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Two weeks before March 1st, also known as “Baba Marta”, our office was filled with fresh mood by the bracelets, created with lots of love and energy, called martenitsi. More than 400 unique martenitsi were made by third-grade students from 105 “Atanas Dalchev” High School in Sofia, with the invaluable support of their parents and inspired by the unstoppable enthusiasm of their class teacher – Eli Georgieva.   Martenitsi, entirely in the spirit of the Bulgarian tradition, refracted through the individual vision of the kids and their mothers, will be offered to bazaars or they will be redeemed for charity from corporative donors of the foundation, in order to make their customers happy.   We are thankful to the students and their teacher, and to all of the parents, for their trust, friendship and their gesture of empathy to the destinies of the children and families, which we support. “When next to every good being, stands at least one more”, the chain of good, faith and hope…

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A foster mom: I became wiser after raising 5 children

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Galina Angelova is a teacher by education, happily married, mother of two teenage daughters and works at a big trading company. Her life is obviously successful. This is why everyone was amazed when she left her well-paid job to stay at home and take care of a baby. Furthermore, a child that is not hers but “foreign” – she become a foster…

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For Our Children Foundation with a research on the support services for children with developmental issues in Plovdiv

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“For our children Foundation” and the Institute for – Bulgarian Academy of Science, as part of the project “Let it shine”, with the financial support of the “Trust for social achievement” Foundation, organized a poll amongst parents regarding the support to children with difficulties in growth and disabilities, aged up to 3, in…

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“This Christmas you make the miracles” raised 50 000 lv. in support of happy childhood in families

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Yesterday on a thanksgiving meeting with the participants in the “This Christmas you make the miracles” 2018, “For Our Children” Foundation announced the results from the charity campaign.   The initiative’s sixth edition inspired employees of 53 small and large socially responsible companies, schools, preschools, educational centers, a media group, dance schools, a health lifestyle club, a circle of friends and even a retirement club to give a chance for happy childhood to hundreds of children. Together we imperceptibly managed to raise the record-breaking amount of 50 000 leva which the Foundation will utilize to support children and families at risk, will address the specific requirements of  children with developmental issues and will help them realize their full potential.   “We couldn’t manage what we do without your support. 60% of the financial provision come from donations. You give us the stability and certainty that help us follow our mission for 26 years already. Thanks to you we supported 1300 children and families last year”, pointed out in front of the guests Galq Gecova, director of the department “Corporate and individual partnerships and Communications” at “For Our Children” Foundation.   During the last few weeks the teams in the office organized with great excitement and a strong Christmas spirit a variety of initiatives supporting the foundation’s causes – some of them danced, others spent the day wearing pajamas, or competing in a race with chairs on wheels and in arm wrestling with ski gloves. The most favorite amongst the initiatives were the Christmas lunch and Christmas bazaar.   “Dear friends, I would like to tell you that the kids we supported might never meet us, might never tell us how we changed their lives, but thanks to us they will always believe in the good in people. Thank you for reaching out and helping us so that we can make sure more kids grow up in a secure family environment”, shared her thoughts Snezhanka Marinkova, one of the people, “guilty” of accomplishing the campaign this year – senior expert “Organizing campaigns and communications” at the Foundation. Touched by her words all the participants shared the initiative has brought them together as a team and as people united in a significant and excited cause. Some of the teams expressed their opinion regarding the event describing it as the brightest and the most fun one for the past year and they can’t wait to take part in other campaigns, organized by the Foundation. They really got to know the people whom they work with and discovered newfound creative abilities in themselves. An occasion for jokes and unforgettable common memories the campaign is still a topic of conversation in the teams.   For yet another year the “This Christmas you make the miracles” campaign united colleagues and friends, woke up their Christmas mode, bound them with a cause and proved that doing good is not only easy but can also be a lot of fun. And most importantly, it made it possible for dozens of children to feel the magic of spending their holidays in a family…

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