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About play as means of learning and entertainment discussed specialists from “For Our Children” foundation in Plovdiv

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Workshop on “The play – learning and entertainment” was held yesterday by experts from “For Our Children” foundation with specialists from the Complex for Social Health Services “St. Petka” in the city of Plovdiv. The social workers Vyara Panayotova and Desislava Ilieva from the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” and the senior expert on early childhood development Tsvetelina Ganeva from the Community Support Center “For Children and Parents “ at the foundation talked about the influence of play and its capabilities to develop the child. They drew attention to the differences between the learning play and the play for fun, and with a small workshop, they applied what they learned in practice.     Our experts challenged the specialists from the Complex – to return to their childhood and see toys through the eyes of children, thinking about play simply as a means of entertainment. From the scattered, colorful wooden shapes, animals and numbers, with creativity, they all figured out many more ways to have fun together with children through games and toys. Ways that henceforth the specialists will apply regularly when working with children and parents.     We, from “For Our Children” foundation, believe that after love and security, the play is the best stimulus for a child’s development. The play is the key way that children at early age /0-7 years/ get to know the world and learn. It is not a privilege. It should be part of every child’s childhood to show them the world, develop their abilities, and give them a strong connection with their closest…

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The magic of being a foster parent – an event of “For Our Children” foundation

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Every day children are being abandoned by biological parents, often placed under protection because of violence or lack of parental capacity. Many of these children are accommodated in institutions. Their life there is doomed. The carefree, real childhood for them is just a mirage. They dream about it, but it is so unknown … so far away.   Foster care is the “wizard” who makes their dreams to be happy, to have a family, to be loved and to love, come true.   On December 2 and 6, in the cozy, family environment of our “Children’s House”, the team of “For Our Children” foundation will meet people with different professions and life paths but with one common interest – to get acquainted with foster care as well as with its exemplification – the foster parent who, with a lot of courage and a dream to support the most vulnerable children in Bulgaria, has embarked on this tough adventure.   The idea of these informal meetings emerged in the mind of one of our most dedicated foster parents, Rene Emil, who, for the last two years, has been taking care of Ronnie, a child with difficulties in development.   She and the head of our Foster care center Mariana Taseva will be there to answer all questions, share their experiences, and talk about the children and their needs, their dreams.   If you have ever sought answers to the questions “What happens to children at risk?”, “How do they live?”, “What do they need?”, “What are their dreams?”, and “What can I do”? “Can I be a foster parent?”,  Reni sums up:   “These questions kept me curious for years before I became a foster parent. Now I know the answer to each of them. The family is a window to the future for each child. Without it, it is lost … in the nothingness, and it sinks down day after day until it dips its last dream. I wish I didn’t come to know about the existence of nothing, but it happened. I could not resign. So I made a decision to become a foster parent, to enchant some childhood, to make someone else’s dreams come true, to share my happiness.”   We hope that after this meeting, all people attending will return home with the clear conviction that foster care is the best and most family-friendly alternative for children left without parents. And of course, inspired by the stories we will tell them, they will decide to dedicate themselves to this responsible profession. Profession “Foster parent”.   “I would like to know if there are other people like me? I would like to find them! I would like to believe that there is a family for each child “, says Reneta.   We invite you to share one hour of your time this Sunday /2.12/, between 10:00 and 11:00, OR next Thursday /06.12/, between 17:00 and 18:00, with us and learn more about foster care!   Please confirm your presence at 088 480 4796 or by email at m.taseva@detebg.org: by noon on 30.11 / Friday / for the event on 2.12 by noon on 4.12 / Tuesday / for the event on…

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Exchange of good practices with the British center “Pen Green” organized “For Our Children” foundation

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On November 28th-29th 2018, “For our Children” foundation organized a visit to research good practices in the early childhood development services in Great Britain, which our representatives will take part in, together with the chair of the State Agency for Child Protection Dr. Eleonora Lilova and experts from the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Ministry of Healthcare, the State Agency for Child Protection, Sofia municipality.   The visit will be held in the Pen Green Centre for Children and Their Families in Corby, Northamptonshire, which provides a high-quality early education and cares for children and their families in the local community and implements a model for integrating those services together with the other systems which support early childhood development. The center also secures services for information and support through home visits, group work, health interventions, education and training for elders as well as professional development, training, and disseminating of good practices through a base of researches, operations, and training. This practice is assessed as “Extraordinary” or “Excellent” in every inspectorate in the British Office of Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).   The contemporary understanding of quality services in the field of early childhood development is related to providing integrated services which perceive an inter-sector, holistic approach to the support of children and families. Earlier this year “For Our Children” foundation published the research “Early childhood development in Bulgaria”, which showed that, as the development of integrated services, so the improvement of the quality of the existing sector services is a prerequisite for overcoming the challenges in the field of fighting with poverty and social exclusion in Bulgaria. The access to services and their quality are among the main challenges in the areas which are important for the development in early childhood. Because of this reason, the visit at “Pen Green” aims at building up the knowledge and the capacity on behalf of the Bulgarian interested sides regarding the integrated systems for early childhood, with the purpose of adapting this know-how to the Bulgarian context and piloting in Bulgaria.   The visit is part of the efforts of the foundation to support children at early age and their families and our advocacy for introducing a purposeful, integrated approach towards the state politics in this area. It will support the work of developing the National strategy for early childhood development which runs in the formed workgroup to the Ministry of Education and Science, whose deputy chair is the executive director of “For Our Children” foundation Ivanka Shalapatova.   The foundation has the opportunity to coordinate and organize the visit thanks to the financial support of the British Embassy in Bulgaria as well as the OAK foundation which finances the project “Care at early age”…

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“For Our Children” foundation joined the global movement #GivingTuesday

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There is no season, day or an hour for doing good deeds. They have to happen without us expecting anything in return. Despite this, the date November 27th carries a special charge – then the power of good is even more taking and our generosity – limitless. On this day we mark #GivingTuesday, most famous in the USA, where the term was first coined.   #GivingTuesday is a global initiative, and since 2018 foundation BCause is an official partner of the movement for Bulgaria. This year “For Our Children” foundation joins the world movement and calls to celebrate generosity and humanity by giving.     Join us! Become part of the big charity community of “For Our Children” foundation. Let’s together make it possible for more children to live in a safe and developing family environment!   This is how to do it: 1. Send an SMS to the short donation number 17 777 with text DMS DETSTVO. This single act turns everyone into a partner and a donor of the most important right of every child – to have a family. 2. Become an AMBASSADOR of generosity and solidarity! Share on your Facebook the post of “For Our Children” foundation with a text “I DONATED For Our Children! WHAT ABOUT YOU?”, and don’t forget the hashtags – #GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayBulgaria 3. Invite at least three of your friends to become part of the good deed and to convey it forward.   Let more people know about this global initiative and together fulfill hundreds of children’s dreams! Because we believe that the small donations have the power to make big dreams come true.     #GivingTuesday evolves as a reaction to “Black Friday” which becomes more and more popular here, in Bulgaria. The initiative is the alternative to the pointless acquisition of useless things, which, with mutual efforts, we replace with the gesture of donation, which has the power to change human…

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“For Our Children” foundation is rewarded with the symbol of the SACP – “I guarantee a happy childhood”

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At the official ceremony on the Day of Christian Family /21.11/, “For Our Children” foundation was rewarded with the distinctive symbol of the State Agency for Child Protection “I guarantee a happy childhood”, which is awarded for a first year as a recognition for assuring children’s rights.   The foundation received a second award in the category “Stable development” of our social services, provided in the Community Support Centers in the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv.   From its creation on, our Centers have helped 4824 children and families at risk. The foundation has concluded an agreement with 6 hospitals in both cities, thanks to which we saved 675 newborns from separation with their parents. Our teams have trained nearly 1200 future and present biological parents, foster and adoptive families, and more than 380 candidate-adopters have gone through our training sessions, which we organize on a regular basis. Our stable partnership with the departments of “Child protection” and the trust in the expertise and the professionalism of our social workers, helped us to support more than 280 children in a process of reintegration, a big part of whom have difficulties in developments.   “I devote this very special prize to all 73 colleagues from the team of the foundation, to all investors, for whom it is important that we exist! Thanks to all the people in the hall! Only all of us can fight for every family to be supported! There is nothing more precious than that every child to live in a secure family environment!”, said our executive director Ivanka Shalapatova.   Apart from being a leader in providing quality and integrated social services for children and parents, “For Our Children” foundation is a key participant in the process of deinstitutionalization of the children and the closing of homes for children. The organization is planning to widen its work in preventing the separation in maternity wards and broadening our activity in new municipalities. We are about to build Complexes for early childhood development which will help us augment the volume and the quality in supporting families at risk of separation with their child. In the targets of the organization for the coming years is the opening of a High-Tech Educational Center in the city of Plovdiv, where, through contemporary technologies and interactive methods we will organize training sessions for specialists, children, and parents.   For “For Our Children” foundation is important to guarantee the stability of the services which it provides. We work in this direction because this gives us an opportunity to realize our main mission – more children in Bulgaria to live in a safe and developing family…

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Children’s spreads “Compass” in support of the children at risk which “For Our Children” foundation is working with

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“Compass” Ltd. Is one of the companies which the team of “For Our Children” foundation can bravely call not just a partner but a real friend and an associate in our mutual mission – that there is not a single child, growing in the isolation of social homes.   For the 8th consecutive year, they deduct 5 percent of the profits from the products – Compass Children’s Breakfast: spreads made out of pork, chicken, turkey meat and goose liver. In this way, everyone who bought the delicious spreads “Compass”, gets a high range product, which improves the quality of life and meanwhile supports the efforts of the team of the foundation, targeted towards prevention of children’s abandonment from the maternity ward and finding caring foster families.   And, as the company itself shares its values – “The mutual advantage is a shared advantage, and the shared advantage has future.” So, together and mutually we continue to believe that the partnership between the socio-responsible business and the non-governmental sector is the main engine towards social change and can lead to more children’s smiles in a safe family environment.   From January 2018 until the end of September 2018 the team of “For Our Children” foundation prevented the institutionalization of more than 270 children who today grow in a safe family environment. Choosing the Compass Children’s Breakfast products, each one of us invests not only in food with excellent tasting qualities but also in the happy and cloudless childhood of the children and families, supported by “For Our…

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“For Our Children” foundation and “Choose to help” throughout the years

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For a fifth consecutive year, “For Our Children” foundation was chosen to be among the causes, part of which is the charity initiative “Choose to help” by Raiffeisenbank. With the support of the last 4 editions of the campaign, the foundation was more successful at its assistance of biological, foster, and adoption families.   In 2014, with the gathered fund from the campaign, our team helped 3 children from the former Home for medical and social care “St. Sofia” to leave the institution forever and to find love and care in foster families. These children were saved from the tough life in the home which had provoked the big delay in their development, a delay which could be overcome only with the support of a dedicated family. Today, they live with their own families and the memories for the solitude and the hard first years are fading away with every day passed.   A year later we looked at the biological parents and their children who sometimes also need support to deal with the challenges of their daily lives. We gave a new direction of life and a chance for a happy childhood to 130 children at an early age who were threatened of being abandoned by their own families. 27 of them were newborns who, without our intervention, would have spent the first months of their lives alone and without love, “being taken care of” by unknown people in the unknown and cold environment. The parents of the other 103 children didn’t see any other choice except separating from their children before the moment when they got courage, understanding, and support by our team, specialists who believe that the best environment for every child’s development is the biological family.   However, when this is not possible, we are looking for other alternatives to a family environment in which children can grow without missing their biological family. Because of this, in 2016, with the funds of the charity initiative, we supported 6 children and for whom were taking care of the nurses at the Family Type Placement Center “Children’s House”. The house had just opened and was working with its full capacity, giving a temporary shelter to tens of children annually. To fully develop and to live happily and taken care of, we made it possible for every child to work separately with an additional specialist who follows his development. During the same year, 4 of the children were adopted and very easily adapted to the new family environment.   And because the team of the foundation shares the belief that every child, even the different one, deserves to have a chance for a complete life, in 2017 we targeted our forces towards the support of children with serious issues in development. Three children in foster care and the same number in biological families received the opportunity, according to their needs, to attend innovative therapies (hypo- and hydrotherapy). A year later, the effect is more than visible – the children improved their physical and psychical state and with this – their quality of life.   To be even more successful in our support of families and children at risk, we need your support this year.   Support our cause and DONATE via: Virtual POS   Via Raiffeisen ONLINE directly to the foundation’s account: Recipient / Holder: FOR OUR CHILDREN foundation IBAN: BG32RZBB91551060533767 BIC: RZBBBGSF Bank: Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria Reason for payment: Choose to help   * Via bank payment   * Via SMS with text DMS DETSTVO at 17 777 for all mobile operators   But don’t think you are alone – for every 1 to 4,99 BGN, Raiffeisenbank will donate the sum of 20 BGN; for every donation of 5 to 9,99 BGN, the bank will donate another 50 BGN; for every 10 BGN and more, Raiffeisenbank will donate 100 BGN.   DONATE and become part of the change of hundreds of children’s lives!   This year, with the funds, gathered in support of the project “Foster care – security, development, and happiness for the vulnerable children”, the foundation will organize upgrading trainings for our foster families so that they can be even more successful in the care for the most vulnerable children and will be even more motivated to dedicate their professional path to this uneasy mission which is of extreme importance for the development of our society. The organization plans to organize different events for the children at foster care as well as workshops for martenitzi, Child’s day celebration, entertainments in nature which will provoke their curiosity and widen their…

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Free training session on early childhood development

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“For Our Children” foundation organized a free training session on “Early childhood development” on November 23rd (Friday). Guest – lecturer will be Petya Yordanova, a leading specialist in “Psychology of development” at the University of Wurzburg, Germany. Mrs. Yordanova has been working with children and young people from the autistic specter since 2007 in the only specialized municipal center in Sofia. Her professional interests are in the field of early childhood development, disturbances, and their prevention.   The training will focus on the development of the youngest children (from 0 to 7) and look at the children’s key skills in the different age periods, it will be taken into consideration the worrying signs in children’s development and how parents can recognize them and react to a certain worrying behavior as well as how to deal with the age crisis in children. It will be dynamic, consisting of many examples and practical tasks which parents can apply in the daily care of their children.   We, from “For Our Children” foundation, support the family in dealing with the issues and obstacles their child has so that they can grant support and safety in his life and receive all opportunities for successful development.   You are welcome to join us on November 23rd from 9 am to 1 pm at the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” of “For Our Children” foundation. To confirm your presence call us at 088 251 6103 or via email: dobroslava@detebg.org.     The initiative is organized under the project “Care at early age”, executed by “For Our Children” foundation and financed by the OAK foundation. The project aims at improving children’s wellbeing at early age (0-7) by introducing an integrated health-social and family-oriented approach to children’s…

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When the fairy tale becomes a reality…

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Vyara is one of the 13 children who, in the first nine months of this year, thanks to our team of Foster Care Center and our good cooperation with “Child Protection” department, have left their foster families and now live with their biological parents or are adopted.   A foreign proverb says that sometimes, just in the middle of ordinary everyday life, little love makes us live in a fairy tale…   It is the love the little princess Vyara receives from her foster mother and her new parents that shows her that the fairy tales she has listened to and the wonders in them can actually become reality.   Vyara is a beautiful 5-year-old girl, a smiling, sociable, sunny child. When she was 3, she was separated from her parents who could not take care of her and provide her with even the most basic things.   Then, with the support of the Foster Care Center of “For Our Children” foundation, she found comfort and support in the face of our foster mother, Maya Vazova, who has a lot of experience behind her – both as a foster parent and as a biological mother – she has raised two older children, a son and a daughter.   As soon as she stepped into her new home, the little princess experienced the first moments of her fairytale – she was bathed, fed, had her own toys, and did not lack care and love. And so two wonderful years passed by, in which happiness was their constant companion.   Because Vyara loves fairy tales, every day her foster mother told her stories about distant lands, magical beings and other beautiful princesses like Vyara, whose stories, despite numerous challenges, always end happily. And the beginning of the happy ending for Vyara began with the appearance of Maya in her life – a moment that predicted that good things are yet to come.   And, really, the happy ending is not late for Vyara – on a sunny autumn day, the Kolevi family arrived from a beautiful eastern Bulgarian city, with the desire to give Vyara what she has always dreamt of – her own family to protect her.   After many meetings in which they got to know each other and many fairy tales, the Kolevi family went home with the little beauty Maya, enchanted to be always together and love endlessly. And although the tale of the little Vyara has become a reality, we believe that she and her family will continue to have their magic moments of peace, love, and understanding.   Because only the power of true love can give the happy ending of every story.   In order to be able to continue supporting our foster families and developing foster care, which is the best alternative for children, left without their families, we need your support! Support us by DONATING for our project “Foster Care – security, development and happiness for the vulnerable children”, part of Raiffeisenbank’s “Choose to help” charity initiative. You can do this…

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“For Our Children” foundation with a more different Christmas campaign

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For 6th consecutive year  “For Our Children” foundation initiated the charity campaign “This Christmas you make miracles!”. This edition aims at engaging and inspiring employees from big and small companies to give hundreds of children the chance for a happy childhood in a family, children for whom Christmas does not have a special meaning, it is just another day.   “This Christmas you make miracles!” is a different charity campaign. On the website of the campaign, we offer 12 interesting ideas for Christmas fun, through which employees can get to know their colleagues, to feel the Christmas spirit, to have fun and, at the same time, to help more children experience the real Christmas spirit.   This year, among the suggestions there are some new additions which prove that to do good is easy and very, very fun. Have you ever thought, for example, how fun it would be to remember some of the traditional Bulgarian dances… at the office? Or to organize an improvised Winter Olympics… between the desks, shelves, and the computers at the office. You can compete with your colleagues in table wrestling with winter gloves, to show how fast you are in a Christmas socks race or to think of a race of your taste.   Speaking of taste… what’s better than a wonderful table for Christmas? Seduce your senses and turn the ordinary lunch break into a real experience… with the scent of apples, cinnamon, hot chocolate, banitsa with fortunes, prepared by you and your colleagues.   For those who like to show off their talents (or just to show off) – show your artistic talent at a festive karaoke or a comedy afternoon as you tell your colleagues your favorite and unordinary stories in order to turn the office into a stage of laughter and entertainment! The Christmas spirit, bound with a cause, will surely stimulate a lot of people to bring their guitar to the office, to show a DIY box, a painting, cadres of incredible sports skills or another interesting hobby.   On the website you will find each initiative together with a package of the materials necessary for its realization.   The shared emotion and the desire to help are at the heart of the success of “This Christmas you make miracles!”. More than 80 corporate social responsibility companies took part in the previous editions of the campaign. Last year the raised funds – more than 40 000 BGN – were invested in the services for preventing the separation of newborns and their families, provided by the foundation.   We believe that this year we will achieve more!   Help more children experience the magic called family! Join at 02/ 980 70 58 or at charity@detebg.org because This Christmas you make…

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