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PROFI CREDIT and “For Our Children” Foundation back together for more happy faces

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For the fifth consecutive year, PROFI CREDIT stands next to “For Our Children” Foundation in our mission to ensure that every child is loved and lives in a safe family environment. The company made a donation of 10 000 BGN In the following months the foundation will invest the money in supporting children and their families to cope with the challenges they face.   PROFI CREDIT is in a partnership with “For Our Children” Foundation from 2015 and ever since then it has supported the programs, carried out by the Foundation through the social services centers in the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv. The company supports us not only financially but it is also an ambassador of our cause and with the help of its employees, partners and clients, it doesn’t stop searching for new adherents, who believe that children deserve an equal chance and opportunity to develop their full potential.   “We are connected with “For Our Children” Foundation by our partnership, which purpose is focused on the most important thing – the bright future of children. I hope with the support of PROFI CREDIT Bulgaria, you will be able to preserve the completeness of more and more families and together we will give a chance for a happy childhood to more children at risk,” said the Executive Director of PROFI CREDIT Bulgaria – Svetoslav Nikolov, during the annual National Trade Conference of the company.   Through the years, PROFI CREDIT expanded the scope of its cooperative support and included its employees by presenting them the opportunity to take a part in different initiatives. In 2017 and 2018 the company organized actions to raise material donations in support of large families the foundation worked with. Volunteers prepared packages for newborns, the funds for which were completely covered by PROFI CREDIT. They contained things of first necessity with which the parents can safely welcome the new member of the family – clothes, bottles, teats, baby cosmetics, adapted milk and other things. In January 2018, the company deducted 5 BGN from each granted credit in support of children in need.   We are really happy to have a partner like PROFI CREDIT, which realizes how important it is for a child to receive care and attention, to be loved and to grow up in a family. Thanks to such sustainable partnerships, we were able to support over 1200 children and families in the past…

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“For Our Children” Foundation with an award from “Project of the Year” initiative by Tulip Foundation

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At an official ceremony, which was held last night at Club 1 of The National Palace of Culture, “For Our Children” Foundation received 1 of three awards in the annual competition, organized by Tulip Foundation – “Project of the Year”, in which 14 other civil organizations were nominated. This is the second award for the foundation, the first one being for the launch of the Family Type Placement Center “Family House” in 2016. This year the organization is honored for the successes it has achieved over the three-year “Care at Early Age” project, in support of children, age 0-7, and their families.   The statuette, specially made by prof. Georgi Chapkanov, was given by Iravan Hira – Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and also a longtime supporter of “For Our Children” Foundation. He congratulated the Foundation and defined our cause as one of the most meaningful that deserves to be supported and encouraged. Part of the award was also a certificate and an encouraging grant. The award was accepted by Vanya Kaneva – Leader of our “Advocacy and Projects” team, who thanked the jury, the entire team and the funding organization – OAK Foundation, saying that without them the team would not have been able to succeed in supporting nearly 500 children, more than 800 parents and over 150 specialists.   The other two projects, which were awarded with a prize from the competition, also focus on children and their well-being. The Association “Compatibility” – Varna won for its “Support for Parenting” project, which purpose is to prevent the abandoning and abusing of children by helping disadvantaged parents. Donation Company “St. Ivan Rilski” – Balvan village received an award for its Center for Prevention and Sport, in which different children from the municipality of Veliko Tarnovo can be involved in different practical and theoretical activities, aimed to their promote security and prevent everyday risks.   The fact that the main target group of the three projects are children, provoked the Ambassador of Italy to the Republic of Bulgaria and a member of the jury – H.E. Stefano Baldi, to congratulate the organizations and the other members of the jury for realizing that children are our future, the future not only of Bulgaria but of the whole world and it is really important that they are given an opportunity to develop. In order to congratulate the nominated and the winning organizations and especially Tulip Foundation for the sustainability of the competition, honorable guest of the ceremony was also the Deputy Chairperson of the State Agency For Child Protection – Mariela Licheva.     From April 2016, “For Our Children” Foundation implements “Care at Early Age” project, which main purpose is to improve the development and well-being of children at early age (0-7 years) by introducing an integrated health and social approach to their care. The aim is through research and advocacy activities to support the improvement of the policy and practice in the early child development in the health, social and educational systems. Part of the advocacy efforts of the Foundation under the project is the preparing of a National Strategy for Early Childhood Development, which is going to function as an integrated framework, to combine all sectoral policies in order to achieve a common vision for the well-being of the children and their families, by applying a shared philosophy, goals and a united approach to the early childhood…

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“Family Bread Making” or the art of making bread

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During the weekend, before one of the brightest Christian celebrations – The Annunciation, “For Our Children” Foundation organized the first “Family Bread Making” for some of our donors and their children.   Why “Family Bread Making”? Bread accompanies people throughout their entire life – from early age to the end. It’s a symbol of the family. To knead bread, to respect the traditions and to respect the bread – a lesson, which is transmitted from grandmother to granddaughter, from mother to daughter. Bread is a magical connection between generations. Bread and its making unite the small and “the big” children. Every bread is an independent piece of art. The old bread masters say that the recipe for a nice homemade bakery includes mastery but mostly desire, a good heart and a pinch of love. These are also some of the most important “ingredients” you need to be a good person.   In order to thank our most dedicated donors for the trust and support, we invited them and their children to spend their Saturday in a less traditional way – by kneading bread. In addition to baking delicious dough products, with our sleeves rolled up, we were drawing beautiful paintings with flour together – we also played a crumbling theater, which was really interesting for the children. We were telling different stories – for example, when was our last time when we did something good for a stranger, we tried to find out the answer of the question “What helps us do or what stops us from doing good things?” And of course – we dreamed for all of the future occasions in which together we’ll be helping a lot of children to have a sunny and a happy…

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Proposals for reforms in the five areas of impact of the National Strategy were prepared by the participants in the “Care at Early Age” conference

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Proposals for key reforms in the five areas of impact of the National Strategy were prepared today by the participants in “Care at Early Age” conference, organized by “For Our Children” Foundation. Within small working groups, the guests focused on finding solutions to the challenges that stand in front of the strategic document, in the areas of impact – health and nutrition; early education; child protection, safety and security; social protection; support for parenthood and early childhood intervention.   All of the proposals will be united in one document, which will be presented for considering the working group on the preparing of the strategy, said the Vice President of the work group and Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation Ivanka Shalapatova. She encouraged the participants to think in the direction of finding concrete solutions and not to focus on the difficulties and challenges. The discussion also included the Chairwoman of the State Agency for Child Protection – Dr. Eleonora Lilova.   The president of the working group on preparing the strategy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Denitsa Sacheva, opened the discussion, emphasizing that the integrated approach between the institutions, at local and national level, the civic organizations and staff security, are the key for the successful preparation and application of the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development. She presented the achievements of the Ministry of Education and Science in the field of early childhood, one of the most important areas for the Ministry of Education and Science. Ms. Sacheva expressed her hope that the preparation of the strategic document will also be among the successes, achieved by the end of the year. She expressed her satisfaction from the fact that there is a consensus in society on the importance of investing in early childhood development and thanked all of the participants in the preparing of the strategy – non-governmental institutions, the academic community and others.   “The purpose of the discussions today is to get as many different point of views as possible in order to make this Strategy work and to be supported by an action and financial plan. We, from the Ministry of Education and Science, including Minister Krasimir Valchev, are deeply involved in the subject and we want to receive working, real and possible proposals. We are ready to support them, so that we can work in favor of children who are our future,” she said.   Today’s conference guest was the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Politics – Zornitsa Rusinova, who urged everyone to work together, to be active, because only then we’ll be able to save our children’s future. She thanked for the partnership with “For Our Children” Foundation and for everything that we do to ensure that every child will grow and develop fully.   “There will be happy childish smiles only if all of us together work in one direction and unite. Only then all of the children will grow happy, healthy and educated” she said.   From April 2016, “For Our Children” Foundation implements “Care at Early Age” project, which main purpose is to improve the development and well-being of children at early age (0-7 years) by introducing an integrated health and social approach to their care. The aim is through research and advocacy activities to support the improvement of the policy and practice in the early child development in the health, social and educational systems. Part of the advocacy efforts of the Foundation under the project is the preparing of a National Strategy for Early Childhood Development, which is going to function as an integrated framework, to combine all sectoral policies in order to achieve a common vision for the well-being of the children and their families, by applying a shared philosophy, goals and a united approach to the early childhood…

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“For Our Children” Foundation presented the results and the assessment under the “Care at Early Age” project

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Today was the first day of the two-day conference “Care at Early Age” at which For Our Children Foundation announced the results of the three-year project – its main goal is to improve the development and well-being of the children at early age (0-7 years) by introducing an integrated socio-health approach to their care. The purpose is to support the improvement of policy and practice in early child development in health, social and educational systems by research and advocacy activities.   “First of all, I would like to thank all of the partners and supporters of “For Our Children” Foundation. From the health, education and social systems, and of course – to all of the colleagues, who are social service providers, for agreeing to be together and to change the old way we work in the name of children”, said Ms. Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of the Foundation, in her opening speech.             Success of “Care at Early Age” project Through our work in hospitals, social and other settings, over the past 3 years, we have supported 824 parents, 497 children and 151 specialists. 50% of the children are under the age of 1 year and 26% of them are children with disabilities or developmental difficulties. We conducted 28 trainings for specialists and parents and 10 discussion groups. We have renovated the environment in 4 sites to make them more welcoming and cozy.   At a round table in 2017, we launched a dialogue between state institutions, local authorities, international organizations, the non-governmental sector and academic and professional communities, about what changes we want to see in Bulgaria, related to the early childhood development services. We conducted a large-scale study – “Early Child Development in Bulgaria” on the impact of the health, social and educational systems on the childcare at the earliest age and their security, which we presented at a conference in March last year. The forum participants gave recommendations for improving the systems (social, educational and health) for early childhood development in Bulgaria. The most important of them was to create a National Strategy for Early Childhood Development that functions as an integrated framework, combines all sectoral policies for achieving a common vision for the well-being of the children at early age and their families, by applying a shared philosophy, goals and a united approach to early childhood development.   Over the past three years our organization had the opportunity to pilot new and integrated services and practices for children and families, and to develop its expertise in the sphere of early childhood development. At the conference we presented some of them – the “kangaroo-care” in neonatology wards, positioning of premature babies, musical therapy for premature babies and others, which we launched during the three-year period under the “Care at Early Age” project.   The effect over the children and the families. Nearly 80% of the parents surveyed, supported by the Foundation’s team, feel confident that they can adequately meet the needs of their children. 87.5% of them say that their children’s care has improved, and 75% say they have received sufficient assistance from specialists. This is what the report of the external assessment, presented by Ms. Linka Toneva from “Development Policies”, points out.   The assessment of the project shows that its activities have contributed to a more informed debate on the topic of early childhood development and to the reforms in the sphere of early childhood development in Bulgaria and to the launch of the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development.   “The Ministry of Education and Science” relies on the cooperation and interaction with all of the interested institutions and civic organizations and we highly appreciate our partnership with “For Our Children” Foundation.” Proof of this is our work on the development of the Strategy for Early Childhood Development… I’m certain that with joint efforts we’ll meet the challenges of the time and we’ll continue to work together,” said Deputy Minister Denitsa Sacheva on behalf of the Minister of Education and Science – Krasimir Valchev.           “The first stage of the development of every child – the age from 0 to 6, is the most important stage in its upbringing. Not only to the child but also to the future citizen of our country. That’s why we support and pay attention to every debate, dedicated to the child care at early age”, says the congratulatory address from the Chairwoman of State Agency For Child Protection – Dr. Eleonora Lilova, which was presented by the deputy chairwoman – Mariela Licheva.                 I congratulate “For Our Children” Foundation and Ms. Shalapatova for their introduction of the topic of early childhood development in the Bulgarian debate”, says Velina Todorova – member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.                   I congratulate the team of “For Our Children” Foundation for the successful ending of the “Care аt Early Age” project, because, without a doubt, the first years are extremely important. They set the framework for the successful development of every child,” shares Sanya Saranovich – Vice Chairwoman of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for Bulgaria.     The “Care at Early Age” conference continues tomorrow – March 15, at 9:30 am, with discussing the progress in developing a National Strategy for Early Childhood Development and the key elements in it, which need a wider public debate. Part in it will take the Deputy Minister of Education and Science – Denitsa Sacheva….

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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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For Our Children Foundation and Institute for sustainable development of the law Foundation will examine the normative basis for early childhood education and care in Bulgaria

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For Our Children Foundation and Institute for sustainable development of the law Foundation have launched a study of the practice and normative basis to promote early childhood education and care in Bulgaria. The study is part of a project, implemented in the partnership of the organizations, which aims to optimize national policies for early childhood development and to focus the attention on issues, related to the quality of education and childcare services, as well as the approaches to their solution.   The two organizations will conduct an analysis of the legal framework for early child development in the country and its compliance with the standards in the European Union. Under specifically developed mechanism, tools and methodology for civil control over state and local activities and policies, a research will be carried out in 20 kindergartens in 5 settlements, which is going to determine whether their practices are in line with the existing regulatory framework and recommended practices at European level, and whether there is a need for change.   Based on the studies, the organizations will prepare an assessment of the legislation and will give proposals to change the regulatory framework and guidelines for quality improvement. These proposals will also be presented during a workshop-seminar with officials from the state and municipal administration, during which the participants will have the opportunity to discuss the suggestions and upgrade their qualification.   The analyzes, assessments and the results of the researches, through the developed monitoring tools, will be discussed at a roundtable in the beginning of 2020 with the participation of representatives of the non-governmental sector, business, other representatives of the society and state and local administration.   For Our Children Foundation and Institute for sustainable development of the law Foundation have a lot of experience both in research projects and in advocacy in the field of early childhood development.   The project “The Practice and the Legislative Base for Early Childhood Development” in the Republic of Bulgaria in the context of “European Union Council Recommendation on high-quality early childhood education and care systems” is funded under the operational program “Good Governance”….

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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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