For Our Children Foundation is a Bulgarian non-government organization which has been supporting the vulnerable children and their families since 1992. For Our Children is an inheritor of the British human rights organizations European Children’s Trust, Christian Children’s Fund and Every Child. With its international experience and qualified expertise, the organization applies for the first time at national level the support for parents for prevention of children abandonment, foster care and creates the first municipal teams of social workers for child protection. For 25 years now, For Our Children Foundation has been a standard for qualified social work, works for its integration in the state policy for child protection and for the increase of the system’s capacity.
How we help
Every year, more than 1000 children are abandoned by their parents, most of them at the maternity ward. Their childhood starts in a social institution or separated from their parents and are brought up by strangers.
The active social work, psychological support and mobilization of different specialists around a child are the main factors, which help for coping with the situation of vulnerability and the hardship in the life of a family.
How you can help
For more than 20 years “For Our Children” Foundation has met a reliable and responsible partner in the face of the business sector. A sector with which we realize project for corporate social responsibility, we create new social innovations, we support the most vulnerable children and families and we make children’s dreams come true.
Everybody from “For Our Children” Foundation believes that small acts multiplied by millions of people can change the world. Our individual donors are people who every year change the world for hundreds of children by donating once or regularly with material donations or volunteering.
Our team in action
I learnt about the story of Archangel from his mother Elitsa. She told me about his health problems, which started right after his birth. His heart stopped a few times, the doctors managed to save his life, but Archangel’s brain remained damaged. Now he often has difficulties breathing and cannot do it without the help of a special apparatus. I met Archangel when he was one year and seven months old, but his development was like that of a 5-6 months old baby. He was lying in bed most of the time, could not sit, did not make any sounds, and could not hold toys in his little hands. He could not feed himself, did not know how to chew and swallow the food. While I was watching Archangel, I noticed that he did not take his eyes off his mother and was smiling at her all the time. The boy was attached to the mother because she was next to him and constantly helping him. Elitsa was talking with great pain while telling me about the challenges she went through as a mother, but in her eyes I saw courage and the strong will of a mother. When I told her that she was extremely brave she looked at me and said: “What else can I do? He is my child! My child!” With these words, Elitsa revealed the whole meaning of being a parent – to selflessly devote yourself, to accept your child the way it is, to love it unconditionally and fight every day so it can have a better life. Despite the low income and the fact that the mother had no previous parenting experience, she had never thought about abandoning her child. For Elitsa, taking care of her son was, although he had a serious health condition, was as natural as breathing. The reason for Elitsa to turn to the Community Support Center (CSC) Plovdiv was that in spite of her constant efforts, the mother still needed material and emotional support. We gave her food and baby cosmetics. We also provided rehabilitation for Archangel, which the doctors will perform at home because the little boy cannot be transported to the hospital. The mother needed someone to share her fears and doubts with, to tell someone the way she feels on a daily basis. We provided specialists who she could freely talk to and make her feel emotionally supported. After our persistent mutual work, Archangel can now sit, makes sounds and hold his toys by himself, he even presses their buttons to make them play songs, which entertain him. A rehabilitator from CSC works with him. His mother knows there is a person who will always listen to her concerns and support her, as well as somebody to share her joy from the achievements of the child. Before our team from CSC appeared in the life of Elitsa, she was alone through all the hardships and struggles. Thanks to our help, Elitsa now knows that she does not need to walk this long road on her own. We are constantly next to her and her family. This makes her feel more secure and allows her to feel vulnerable, to take the heavy burden off her shoulders and feel confident about being a good parent more often. We from CSC do everything possible to provide maximum support to Arhangel and his family. We are to be intercessors before different institutions so that the little boy can have access to the health services he needs. We will continue to provide material support, because taking care of a child requires many resources that the family does not have. Elitsa still feels scared at times: “I don’t know if my child will be able to grow up, walk or eat on his own. I always hope these things will someday happen but when he gets sick I start thinking about the worse”. But Elitsa says that in moments like these she can fell the help and support from the CSC and starts feeling hopeful. “Bulgaria watches over my child” she tells me with the tender smile of a mother…
“My wish is to have a laptop” – says quietly Nikola, 9 years old. He has finished the school year with very good grades but he does not have the right to make wishes. The income in his family is already allocated before it even gets into the household. Nikola is the oldest from three children in the family of Emilia and Zahari. They do not have enough resources to take good care of their children. The father is unemployed and cannot find a job because he has epilepsy. The mother has spent her childhood in orphanages. She was often bullied there and because of that, she lost her hearing. Despite the poverty, the family makes sure that the children feel loved and supported. The youngest member of the family Melinda was born with distorted legs and has not begun to speak yet. The parents were concerned and sought help from the program Early Childhood Intervention at the Community Support Center (CSC) “St. Sofia”. “The only thing I want is for Melinda to start talking”, told us with great pain Emilia when we first met her family. The parents were confused, didn’t know how to help their daughter, that’s why we introduced them to our specialist Raya Tzvetanova. She evaluated the child‘s development, explained its condition to the parents and directed them to a specialized clinic. An operation is to be performed on the little princess and we will continue to support her parents. They live outside of Sofia but come to the activities the CSC organizes for them and Melinda every month. We consult them about stimulating the girl’s development and help them not lose hope that she will soon say her first…
With great joy but also a bit of sadness, we said goodbye to Peter today and sent him to his new family. From now on, the biological grandparents of the little boy will take care of him. Pete came to us more than a year ago, when he was still a little baby, straight from the maternity home. We from Children’s house contacted the grandparents of the child right on the first week and they showed their readiness and desire to visit the little boy two times a week, play with him, feed him and sing him to sleep. We witnessed a strong emotional bond being formed in the family with every visit, and Pete found love and warmth in the eyes of his grandparents. The little one even met his mother who got attached to him really quickly and will stay continue to visit him until she can take care of him by herself. Although we were sad, we said goodbye to Peter and we are sure that he will grow up to be a happy child, surrounded by the love and care of his closest…
Sofia Airport Center (Logistic Center), building В2, 2, bul. “Hristofor Columb” 64, Sofia 1592
02/ 980 70 58, 988 82 45
With the support of Sofia Airport Center