All Posts By

dete-bg

How a little hero can now stand on his feet

By | Blog | No Comments

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…

Read More

Around 100 children remained in their biological families in Plovdiv with the support of “For Our Children” foundation

By | News | No Comments

Around 100 children remained in their biological families during the first 6 months of 2018 in Plovdiv, with the support of “For Our Children” foundation.  The cases of prevention of abandonment of newborns, which our Center for community support “For children and parents” worked on, are 10.We saved from abandonment 6 babies, thanks to the active cooperation with the healthcare facilities, timely intervention and support we gave to parents. Today they enjoy the family comfort.   Our team works on the program “Preventing separation – family support for safe care” which is especially for children at risk of abandonment. We are going around the neighborhoods and we meet different families so we can find out the problems, we talk with families and future parents, conducted consultations of internationally validated methodology, and help when needed. This is how we reach more children in need and help them to stay in their families. This is the program on which we worked with 80 families, which faced different challenges in the care of their children – poverty, parents of children with disabilities, parents with many children, etc. None of the families abandoned their child.   During the last 6 month we started a new project called “Better life for a child in need” together with the foundation “International women club – Sofia”. Through it, we continue to support 4 children by giving them the opportunity to go to hydrotherapy sessions, which are often too expensive for most of the parents. The children receive specialized support – an “Early Childhood Intervention” specialist works with them, and this helps them acquire new important skills and to develop their potential. And to the parents – to help their children develop. All the children remain together with their families. With 3 other children we worked on “Early Childhood Intervention” program, and we created a special program for exercises with which their parents could stimulate their development at home.   The organized courses for parental skills are becoming more and more interesting for the future and present mothers and fathers. 144 parents took part in the free classes. We also worked with 6 candidates for adoptive families.   Around 100 children, parents and health specialists were supported thanks to our project “Care at an early age” in the University Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment in Plovdiv where a team of specialists: psychologist, specialist “Early childhood intervention” and rehabilitator made consultations about the internationally validated methodology.   For the team of the Community Support Center “For children and parents” the childhood in a safe family environment is a cause, and the work is dedicated to the children, to the future and the hope. Our purpose is to guarantee safe and protected environment for the children. A purpose we have had for the past 26 years.   During the first 6 months of 2018 “For Our Children” foundation supported more than 1000 children and…

Read More

The little boy in the big world

By | Blog | No Comments

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…

Read More

During the World Breastfeeding Week – “For Our Children” foundation published a book called “Breastfeeding the premature baby – a book for parents”

By | News | No Comments

Many mothers of premature babies ask the question “Can I breastfeed my premature baby?”   Dear mothers, Not only that you can, but it is also very important for the health and the right development of your baby.   This is what the health specialists advice mothers. With the assistance of the mobile team of the “For Our Children” foundation, this practice is daily encouraging the mothers in the maternity wards in First Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment and Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Children’s Diseases “Prof. Dr. Ivan Mitev” in Sofia, also in University Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment in Plovdiv. Our specialists support the mothers, who in a given moment, under a pressure might not be in a condition to make an informed decision, which is actually the crucial moment before they decide to take those “magical pills” that stop the breast milk. Our experts always connect them with a breast-feeding specialist or a consultant, who can explain them everything they should know about the breastfeeding of their premature baby, which is way much fragile than the others. They are with the mothers when they mostly need them. When doctors think that it is safe for the baby, our specialists believe that mothers should naturally feed their babies in the natural way, no matter how impossible this seems.   This is the reason why we created “Breastfeeding the premature baby – a book for parents” with the National association “Support for breastfeeding” which we give to families in the maternity wards for free.   Happy and satisfied, parents share that the book has many useful advice and mostly gives the answer to the question “Why is it healthy to breastfeed my premature baby?”   Why is it important?   Breastfeeding premature babies is better when it is with the mother’s milk, because it supports their health and help their normal development. The breast milk of the mother of a premature baby is different from that of the other mothers – it is very rich in protein, also contains lipase, enzyme that stimulates the absorption of fats. It is less likely for breastfeed babies to have infections that are common among premature babies, than it is when they are given artificial milk. The immune factors protect the babies, while their immune systems develops.   If the feeding cannot happen directly, because the baby was born before the 32nd week and hasn’t develop a sucking reflex, specialists advice the mothers not to give up, but to start using the kangaroo-type care, which was initiated by the foundation and the team of the hospital ward. It is mostly practiced in the Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Children’s Diseases “Prof. Dr. Ivan Mitev” in Sofia. It is also called “skin-to-skin” and it gives the baby the ability to spend lots of time on its mother’s body. It is both replacing the womb and also supporting the right body temperature. Children, that are being raised that way breastfeed better and develop faster.   The book “Breastfeeding the premature baby – a book for parents” contains that and many other useful advice which can support mothers and fathers through the time their children are far away from them in the neonatal ward.   You can download the book for free here: https://cdn.detebg.org/uploads/2018/08/Karmene_na_nedonosenoto_dete-Knizhka_za_roditeli.pdf…

Read More

Let the dreams come true – interview with Nadya Tabakova for Volontime

By | News | No Comments

“…Throughout the years “For Our Children” foundation helped in different ways – through forming groups that support children and parents, educating parents how to take good care for their children, giving psychological and legal support, investing in the education of children with special needs, and others. Two-thirds of all abandoned children are left to the care of the government because of financial instability or health problems of the child. There are cases when parents abandon children for a second time, but not in the foundation, because the specialists teach the children main skills and good manners, so the foster parents do not reject them. In addition, the parents are well prepared and do not take decisions without thinking carefully. To learn more about the organization, I reached out to Nadya Tabakova (specialist in “Partnership development”), who answered my questions thoroughly and told me about one of the most remarkable initiatives of the foundation – the Children’s house.   How many causes, campaigns and events have you organized so far? Can you list some of them?   The “For Our Children” foundation counts on socially responsible campaigns and people to finance around 70% of our activities. That’s why in the last few years we have created and realized different campaigns and events, through which we can motivate the companies and their staff, and not only them, of course, to support us in realizing our main mission – every child to grow up safe and protected in a family. More than 100 companies took part in our campaigns, such as: “This Christmas you make the miracles” and “Challenge the summer in the office” – https://volontime.com/donation_campaigns/61. Also, our annual charity event “Еvening of the Virtues”, which we have successfully organized for 8 years already , and through which we have collected 750 000lv in support of our causes. Last year we launched “RE:donor” – innovative and challenging campaign for changing the public attitudes and stimulating regular individual donations.   When you organize an event with volunteers, do you include many people in it?   The most important capital in our organization are the people, that is why we appreciate everyone, no matter whether they are from the team, a volunteer, partner, or a donor. We are happy that more and more people hear about us by themselves and want to support us by donating their time and talent. The events that the foundation organizes are very interesting, because the volunteers give positive energy to all the guests. What is the secret recipe? Some good mood, very good organization and strong motivation so we can together support the most vulnerable children in Bulgaria.   Can you tell me more about you cause – Children’s house?   Our Family Type Placement Center “Children’s house” is a place where 6 children at the age between 0 – 7 years can live. Those children usually come directly from the maternity ward and do not have parents. In the House, the babies receive full care, attention and lots of love from our volunteers. In the 6 years, during which we have been developing this kind of service, the House has been a home for more than 40 children.   Unfortunately, in Bulgaria, annually around 1000 children are abandoned by their families, and the need for such a service as the Children’s house still exists. The good news is that thanks to the professional skills of our team and our good relations with Department of Child Protection, the average time that the children live in the House is between 4 and 6 months. Then they either go back to their biological families, foster parents or they are adopted.  However, for the most part the House functions at its highest capacity.   Why did you become part of the team of “For Our Children” foundation? What attracted you to the social work?   I believe that the well-being of children is everyone’s responsibility, and the investment in it is repeatedly restored to the whole of society. For me it is important to know that while supporting the children in need, I know that I help my own daughter to grow up around other children, and they all have the chance to become complete personalities – such we want to meet, hire and to become future leaders.   Can you tell me some interesting story in which you took part, or that inspired you, encouraged you to do good deeds?   I can’t tell a specific story that was less or more inspiring – these are real human stories loaded with an individual charge to which one could not remain indifferent. For me, every encounter with our foster families and the children they care for is an extraordinary experience. It is amazing how, with the support and love of a “deputy” parent, children develop their whole potential and quickly find their new mom and dad.   What are the future plans for the foundation?   We have the ambition to enrich the palette of social services we provide in Sofia and Plovdiv to be able to better support more children and their families. Over the past 25 years, our team has been working on collecting broken parts into a single family. In the coming years we will work not only to save children’s destinies but also to stimulate children’s development from an early age in which it is critical that they learn and explore the world. We will continue to work to change the environment for local and state authorities to develop and implement policies that put child welfare at the center and minimize the risks faced today by the smallest – poverty, neglect, social exclusion. For several years, we have been working actively and purposefully to create the first National Early Childhood Development Strategy to regulate cooperation between the health, social and educational systems. Because without systematic policy, it will be very difficult to expect closed institutions, happy families, healthy children, realized dreams and strong leaders! Every child deserves to have an equal start in life as well as an opportunity for full development and happy childhood in a secure family environment. This is what every member of “For Our Children” team believes. The dream that unites them and inspires them is one day in Bulgaria to have no social home, behind which windows one could see sad and lonely children’s eyes. They dream that every child, even the different one, has a family where it feels secure and protected, loved and free to dream. Because these children are the future of Bulgaria and we must give them the life they deserve. To the question I asked from the beginning, whether this dream will come true, depends entirely on us … ” We thank Bianca Marinova from Volontime for the wonderful…

Read More

44 children went back to their biological families during the first 6 months of this year

By | News | No Comments

44 children went back to their biological families and now they enjoy the love and care without fear that they will be left alone. This is one of the biggest successes of the teams of “For Our Children” foundation in Plovdiv and Sofia during the first 6 months of 2018. For the whole year 2017, they are only 44.   One of the children, which parents fight to take back, is Pavel.   Less than a year ago Liliya went to the Child Protection Department (CPD) with the hardest decision she had to make – to leave her child to other people, who would take better care of him. “Pavel will be better off if I am not his mother – with me he wouldn’t have the childhood that every child deserves. He should find new mother and father who would have everything – a house, jobs, they will go on holidays, and they would even have a dog.”   This is what Liliya thought when she was handing Pavel to the social workers, who immediately after that was sent to a Family Type Placement Center. The very next day she went abroad, believing this might help her forget the loss. Because there is a saying – “Eyes that you can’t see you can easily forget.” However, tears fall the same in Bulgaria and abroad. Both hers and his.   Pavel lived in the Family Type Placement Center just for a few months. He cried every day, he missed her every single minute. The staff there noticed that the child is very sad and decided that he should live in a real family, so hopefully he will forget that he is abandoned, alone and he does not have a mother anymore.   Dimitrina Georgieva, a foster parent of “For Our Children” foundation opened both her heart and her home for Pavel. She has already taken care of 3 other children, who now have a family and a chance for a bright future.   Only 2 months after Pavel started living in Dimitrina’s home, Liliya, her husband and daughter came back to Bulgaria with one wish – to take Pavel back. Living abroad didn’t help Liliya forget her loss and she didn’t stop thinking about him – she was wondering how he looks now, whether he can walk and what was his first word. The decision she made was after she heard that if she does not take him back 6 months after she has abandoned him, she might never see him again. And the end of those 6 months was close.   “We want our child back,” were the first words the family said when they went to the Community Support Center “St. Sofia”, said the social worker Fikree Baydarova.   Liliya and her family underwent a serious three-month-long preparation and attestation, so our team from the CSC can be sure that if they send the child back, the family won’t abandon it again. Fikree met the family many times in their small but cozy home, and she talked with them a lot about their problems and also their strong sides.   Yesterday Liliya took in her hands Pavel and together they went back home where the boy will receive lots of love. The foster mother Dimitrina is happy that one more child went back to its biological family, and is sure that they will deal with all the challenges that come their way without any…

Read More

The importance of the early childhood development was discussed by representatives of the Ministry of Education and “For Our Children” foundation

By | News | No Comments

The Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev, the Deputy Minister Denitsa Sacheva, the chairwoman of the Child Protection Department Eleonora Lilova, experts from both institutions and the CEO of the “For Our Children” foundation Ivanka Shalapatova discussed the importance of early childhood development.   The meeting was initiated by the foundation. Its purpose was to discuss the expert work group of the Ministry of Education, and to plan the strategic purposes of the early childhood development in Bulgaria as a new stage of the national politics for children.   The participants negotiated that the politics for children and families, and the protection measures should cover not only the children at risk, but all the children in Bulgaria. This should happen from day one and its purpose is to guarantee the right development and start in life of all of them.   Mrs. Shalapatova thoroughly presented the progress of making the first Strategy for early childhood development, which was reached by a wide range of interested people under the coordination of the foundation’s team. The goal of the participants is to set strategic goals for the early childhood development, which should be discussed with the children, families and experts, with local and national authorities. This way, there will consent and with joint efforts we can all make Bulgaria a better place for the youngest members of the community.   Minister Valchev approved the importance of the early childhood development and the need for joint efforts, so we can reach a high quality of life for the youngest children. He also emphasized that this is one of the most important topics for the Ministry of Education. During the meeting it was also negotiated that the expert work group will guarantee dialogue so all the changes could be discussed. The education, health and social systems should work in sync, with the child and the family will be in the center. The minister agreed that everything made by the foundation and other institutions will be the main work of the new expert group.   The first meeting of the new work group is forthcoming, and it will mark the start of the work out of new strategic goals for the early childhood development in Bulgaria. It was also negotiated with the Representative of the Council of Ministers that the topic of early childhood development will be synchronized with the starting process of the creation of new Ambition for Children 2030. Minister Valchev highly appreciated the willingness of the foundation and other institutions to be active in analyzing the situation, the pointing of the problems and creating key changes in the period until year 2030. This would improve the quality of life of the youngest children and will be a great start for realizing the full potential of children – the most valuable capital of our community.   The efforts of “For Our Children” foundation for the adoption and implementation of an integrated and modern policy for early child development are supported by the OAK foundation under the “Care at Early Age”…

Read More

A memorial meeting about a forgotten story was organized by “For Our Children” foundation in Plovdiv

By | News | No Comments

The team of “For Our Children” foundation invited to a special meeting in Plovdiv one of the most important people, who gave hope to many boys and girls in the first home for children deprived of parental care in Bulgaria “Rada Kirkovich”, namely – his former directors Ms. Yordanka Paunova and Mrs. Stanka Mileva. The meeting was also attended by the people who helped write history – Deputy Mayor of Sport, Youth Activities and Social Policy of the Municipality of Plovdiv Mr. Georgi Tityukov, Director of the Social Policy Directorate Mrs. Veselina Boteva, Mrs. Rositsa Atanasova, representative of SACP in Plovdiv.   What made us organize this meeting? The process of deinstitutionalization has been going on for the last 11 years. Institutions are being closed down and new ones are being opened. However, did anyone tell the story?   As a future owner of part of the building, we have decided to preserve it as a museum exhibition. This will tell the history of the home, the first social workers, the first foster families, the first cases of returning children to their families, for the people with big hearts that contributed to make more children grow happy in a family in Bulgaria. One of these people is Mrs. Paunova, who devoted 20 years of her life to children left without parental care.   During our meeting, the people who worked with her were emotional and eager to tell us some nice memories. For the great love she gave to all children. For the individual care and attention she gave to every child. How she was trying to develop their talents – if a child was a good mathematician, she always found a way to arrange for this child to study in a private school. If a child was a good football player – she found a way for him to train more. If a child was a painter, she found a way so that this child will study and become a professional one. The children couldn’t stop communicating with her even after they started living in a foster family, or they were adopted or went back to their real family.   We want to tell the story of people like Mrs. Paunova. Those are the real heroes of Bulgaria. The heroes who bring brightness in the lives of the ones in need, and give hope to the children.   During the meeting, Mr. Tityukov described to us the changes that will happen to the building of the “Rada Kirkovich” orphanage. The features that “For Our Children” foundation will have there are: a Community Support Center, an Educational and Hi-tech center for early development of children. And the most important part of the building will be the floor with museum exhibitions, which our foundation will restore.   “The new should replace the knowledge for the old. When people come to educate themselves about social work, this museum will motivate them to continue the work of people like Mrs. Paunova. Through the museum exhibition we would like to inspire our visitors to continue to help children, remembering the old days.” shared Ivanka Shalapatova.   Mrs. Paunova was sincerely pleased that despite the changes the memories of the past will be saved. “I thought that this story will die after me, because people did not take care to preserve it.”   It is a strength to be part of one great deed!   To be continued…     The “Rada Kirkovich” home for children deprived of parental care is the first orphanage in Bulgaria. It was set up in 1878. One of the most dedicated to the children’s cause and fighting viciously for changes is the director-Mrs. Yordanka Paunova, who came 110 years later. One day with the idea of ??change, Ivanka Shalapatova, today executive director of the “For Our Children” foundation, visits the home and meets with the director Mrs. Paunova. During the conversation, Mrs. Paunova clearly realizes that if a partnership starts, the children will have a real chance to live in a better environment. And this woman with a big heart says: “Every child deserves to be loved. So tell me, when do we start?” From that moment on, the work to get the first children from the home into a family environment started, and some of them returned to their biological families, others were adopted or lived in foster families or family-type accommodation….

Read More