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11 Months Healthy Nutrition For Our Children by Herbalife Nutrition Foundation

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Among the children worldwide, which the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) will help this year, are also those with which the specialists of “For Our Children” Foundation work. Thanks to the donated $ 10,000 through the HNF program “Casa Herbalife”, we can together, over the next 11 months, to ensure the best opportunities for healthy nutrition for dozens of children at an early age.   “For 25 years, the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation and our Members and employees have been dedicated to improve the children’s lives by helping to provide access to healthy meals and nutrition education. This time, we are proud and happy to contribute to the mission of For our Children Foundation both financially and voluntarily in order that children in need to get the nutrition they require to reach their full potential.”– shared Romeo Cazanescu, Country Director for Bulgaria.   “For Our Children” Foundation will invest the donated funds to ensure adapted milk and baby food for the babies and toddlers in our Family-Type Placement Center “Children’s House“. This will allow us to guarantee the daily full and healthy nutrition of its young inhabitants – an element of the overall care for their growth in a family-type environment. Some of the funds will help vulnerable families which “For Our Children” Foundation supports through the Community Support Centres in Sofia and Plovdiv and the Foster Care Centre in Sofia, providing them with food, necessary for the proper development of their children.     In the coming months, Herbalife Мembers will become a true part of the Foundation’s life by immersing themselves in the workplace of our specialists and supporting our team in their efforts to provide quality social services to children and families.   “We’re all very excited that this generous donation from HNF will enable us to ensure and improve nutrition of the vulnerable children supported through our services. It will also help us to increase awareness of the caregivers – parents, relatives, foster and adoptive parents, babysitters – about the healthy nutrition and encourage proper nutrition habits. Thank you, Herbalife Nutrition Foundation!” – said Galya Getzova, Director Corporate and Individual Partnerships and Communications of “For Our Children” Foundation….

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The colorful world of children enchants Sofia on Children’s Day

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It’s 1st June! Our day! Our favorite holiday!   To celebrate the International Children’s Day, “For Our Children” Foundation organizes a festive holiday with many balloons, delicious treats, presents and all sorts of surprises. Our helpers were one of the most loved children’s heroes – Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Langstrump, also known as Pippi Longstocking, and a delicious purple lollipop – Miss Tutti Frutti. To meet our most special guests, from Disney’s world has arrived and Mickey Mouse, ready for a real celebration.   To make the day even more fabulous, a magician arrived from the distant city of the Soap bubbles, which filled our entire yard with colorful soap creations.     In a painting studio the little artists poured their creativity into colorful paintings, and with their miraculous brushes and paints Pippi and Tutti Frutti drew the faces of all children. The boys imperceptibly turned into Batman and Spiderman, and the girls, with crowns and butterflies on their cheekbones, became real princesses.     All this happened while the voices of the talented children from the children vocal group “Smehorancheta” intertwined in beautiful children’s songs that were heard through 9 buildings in the 10th.     And of course, what would be a child’s holiday without an appetizing “feast”, as it is in all the palaces and kingdoms of fairy tales. An infinitely delicious ice cream, warming up all the senses, chocolate waffles, jelly bears, hand-made cookies and a unique cake await all of our guests.     “I am very excited that today I have the opportunity to be here with you. It is a honor for me to celebrate today’s celebration, in which we respect the right of every child to have a happy childhood, with all of you – the guardians of this right, the people who, with a lot of hard work and genuine concern to the most vulnerable members of our society, do everything this right to be respected and all children in Bulgaria to grow happily in a safe family environment”, said the Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation in the field of Integrated and Social Services -Mariana Taseva.       For our magical celebration was heard from a lot of our partners and friends, who also wanted to join us to celebrate the children’s holiday together. Our special guests were Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Zornitsa Rusinova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Denitsa Sacheva, Eva Zhecheva, Director of the Children’s Rights Directorate to the Ombudsman, as well as representatives of the diplomatic sector in Bulgaria. We also received congratulations from the Minister of Health – Kiril Ananiev.           “I thank to “For Our Children” Foundation for the support of the children and families and for combining all services into one and for having a common purpose – all of the children in Bulgaria to follow their dreams and to be happy” – said deputy Minister Rusinova.           “Our children are our biggest teachers. I wish we, as parents, to keep their curiosity, to be as fearless as they are when we have to discover new things, to have their kind words and thoughts, so we can be their strength and support” – said deputy minister Denitsa Sacheva to the parents, who was our guest together with her son. To the children she wished to be healthy, happy and to study in order to succeed.         This holiday wouldn’t’ have been so magical without the support of Sofia Municipality. Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, Coca Cola, “Cake Box”, “Vega Cakes”, “Serenata” waffles, “Jimmy’s” ice cream, children vocal group “Smehorancheta” and all of our donors and…

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The holiday of For Our Children in Plovdiv was magical

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This year traditionally, with a lot of happy games, surprises, delicious treats and a cake, “For Our Children” Foundation and friends celebrated the International Children’s Day in Plovdiv. The magical holiday was our gift for all children and families our team from Community Support Center “For children and parents” works with.   Animators, fairy-tale characters and DJ were entertaining the children. The good mood was maintained by the sunny boys and girls from kindergarten “Zaharno petle” and the 11-years old girl Agleya Kaneva from Art Voice Centre.   Many of our friends and donors from the corporate sector, as well as representatives of local institutions, “Child Protection” Departments, the Regional Directorates “Social Assistance”. For the first time, many of the foster families joined our festival, which, thanks to our good partnership with Plovdiv Municipality, received our support from last year, have the opportunity to attend various upgrading trainings to make them even better at caring for children.   “It is our belief that foster care is a chance for many children not to fall into the isolation of institutions but to have a real family to give them individual care, attention and love. We thank them for their dedication to this tough mission” said Lina Samandova, Regional Manager in Plovdiv.   The Turkey’s General Consul in Plovdiv – Hussein Ergani, was also with us in order to celebrate the Day of the Child.   In order to congratulate children, families and our team in Plovdiv, where 27 years ago the Foundation has begun its journey, came the newest member of our Board – Aneliya Dimova.   “To me children are what makes life beautiful. There is no better moment than the childish smile and the glowing eyes of the curiosity and the endless questions of the little child, its stubbornness to climb the next challenge and to share the joy with its closest people.” she said. And turning to the guests, she added “Thank you for your presence here, motivating us even more strongly to be the support of hundreds of children and parents who need us, to give a chance for the development of Bulgarian children and an opportunity for their parents to be successful in their difficult task. Dear guests, small and big, entertain, smile, be happy at this wonderful children’s holiday!”   Every child deserves to have a happy childhood filled with a bunch of holidays! Let’s together make it happen!         We would like to thank all of our partners, without whom the holiday wouldn’t have been possible! Gifts for all children in the form of toys were donated free of charge by BART and backpacks – from language centers “Helen Doron”. “Svetlina Manufacture Confectionery” – Ivan Stanilov, made sure there are a lot of sweets for the guests. Delicious waffles – from “Serenata”, ice cream – cakes “Chochko“, and the unique two cakes were donated to us specifically for the holiday from “Leksi” Supermarket. And this year, Coca Cola took care of the water and juices for the guests of our holidays in Plovdiv and Sofia. Thank…

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NNC insists on leadership and in-depth debate on child and family policies

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Among the possible solutions are the broadcasting of a child and family minister and a child ombudsman – that was announced during a press conference by the Network, held in 12 cities across the country.   Bulgaria needs leadership and responsibility for better coordinating child and family policies. This was stated by representatives of the National Network for Children during a press conference, which took place in Sofia and in 10 other cities in the country.   “Debates in recent months have shown it is time for Bulgaria to take more responsibility for children and families in Bulgaria”, said Georgi Bogdanov, Executive Director of the National Children’s Network during the event. “We as a group of 152 organizations working with and for children and families – professional and parental associations, are asking this today for Bulgaria to be a better place to live and develop children and families to be more relaxed and supported in the care for their children” he added.   In order this to happen, and to bring the child and family policies to the fore, we propose to set up a Minister of child and family. We think his or her task should be to provide a comprehensive approach to the problems faced by children and families. This leader should lead the public debate, unite, coordinate and offer policies that meet the different needs of the different children and their families in the Council of Ministers, together with all the ministers and state agencies, according to the National Network for Children.   This would be an expression of commitment of the state to families and a focus on family support as the best place for children. Currently in Bulgaria there are over 20 different normative acts, plans and strategies that regulate and plan the support, which makes it fragmented and even sometimes the policies in the different sectors – education, health care, social care – contradict. 91% of the parents that the National Network for Children consulted 3 years ago, believe that government policy which supports families is ineffective. A substantial part of their criticism is related to the lack of quality childcare services and to the resources allocated by the state to support families. In addition, the structures responsible for policies in support of children and families don’t have the necessary powers or are not positioned to assert their commitments. There is a lack of coordination between the different institutions. This leaves the policies of children and families stagnant and even sometimes in regress such as quality of parental support and especially in dealing with cases of children in need of protection. The most common recommendations we hear from children and their parents during the preparation of our annual “Notebook” report are related to the fact that there is a huge gap between state institutions and people. Very often people don’t think they are heard and don’t believe something can change. In recent months, it is obvious that public trust in state institutions in terms of policies for children and families is extremely low. That’s why it is necessary to have a clear plan on what state support policy for the family is to provide support and support to all children and parents.   But to have a Minister of Child and Family is not enough. There is a need for an institution to monitor both its work and the work of all state institutions concerning children and families. That is why we insist on the Ombudsman for the child, whose role would be to advocate for children’s rights and to solve the problems that parents encounter, including potential violations by state institutions. Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Europe that has no ombudsman responsible for children. This puts children’s questions in competition with a number of other issues – about steam prices, the working conditions of adults, etc. and accordingly, many of the problems remain not only unresolved, but also not on the agenda. Creating the position of the child ombudsman will make it possible for children’s interests to be a real task for the state, and because the good life of the children is inextricably linked to the good life of families – and to the parents themselves.   If Bulgaria has a Minister for Child and Family, he can be a leader and assert the rights and interests of children and families in all systems – health, education, social, justice and etc. This will result in greater integration and improved coordination and interaction to meet the needs of children and families. These include the creation of opportunities for parents’ economic development and support for a better standard of living and active inclusion especially of women and mothers, policies to reconcile work and private life, ensuring equal access to support for all children and parents, regardless of status, income and risk; connection between family and school, and between school and social support; regulating tax concessions; promoting and facilitating other sectoral policies – energy, transport and cultural policies. Serious strengthening of the child protection system is also needed. If we have a Minister, he will be able to provide the Parliament a better basis for developing legislative changes and social policies and participate in planning for government investment in children and support for parents – budgeting the costs of child and family support.   “We from the National Children’s Network believe that investing in children and parents is no less important than investing in the country’s economy and gross domestic product. A better implementation of policies for children and families requires both leadership and a clear financial commitment to ensure that they won’t just remain on paper.” – that was announced by the National Network for Children.       National Network for Children is a reunion of 152 civic organizations and adherents working with and for children and families across the country, including “For Our Children” Foundation. Promoting, protecting and respecting the rights of the child are part of the key principles that unite us. In 2018, organizations members of the National Children’s Network supported 74,000 children and their families with their work. 4 500 specialists working with children and families throughout Bulgaria (teachers, psychologists, police officers, judges, social workers) were supported by NNC organizations through trainings, consultations and joint activities. If you want to keep up-to-date on child and family information, join the new Facebook group “For a Better State of Our Children”.    …

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Our Board of Trustees has new inspirational members

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Four new “powers” joined the team of the Board of Trustees of “For Our Children” foundation. In the fulfilling of our difficult mission, we rely on the strategic support of our Board of Trustees – a community of people who put their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm into the development of the organization and the success of our activity.   The more and more expanding needs and spheres of support for children at an early age, as well as the need for a quality change in policies, which guarantee their rights, provoked us to expand the members of the Board of Trustees and also the spheres of influence and the guarantees that the children of Bulgaria will have all rights and opportunities for development and happy childhood.   After an opened selection and long meetings with the candidates, our current presidents – Silviya Tsanova, Kapka Stoikova and Georgi Kamov decided these 4 new “superheroes” to join the team.   Who are they? Why and how they share our causes? Ekaterina Panova   Ekaterina Panova is a journalist, editor, psychologist, photographer and a good parent. She has worked as a reporter and editor in news agencies for more than 15 years. At the moment she is a political reporter at BTA and author of the blog “Where the heart lives”.   “As a mother and a person with a big heart, I face a disrespectful attitude towards children every day – it looks like adults in different roles and uniforms seem to forget what is like to be a child. This makes me feel really sad and at the same time it makes me strive for change. The kind words, the gentle smiles and the warm hugs don’t spoil. On the contrary – they sow goodness in every child’s soul. When we respect the children as individuals, when we are interested in their opinions and respect their desires, they develop their potential in the most useful for them and for the society way. I believe that the loved and supported children are our better future. That’s why I gratefully accepted the invitation to be part of “For Our Children” foundation, so we can together multiply our love.” Aneliya Dimova   Aneliya Dimova has many years of managerial experience in the field of managing people in large multinational companies and part of her responsibilities include corporate social responsibility management policies. She also involves and manages projects, aimed at helping local communities, children with special needs and educational projects.   “To me, children make life meaningful. There is no bigger moment than the one when you see the smiles of the children and their shining eyes on the other side, the curiosity and the endless questions of the little оne, its stubbornness to climb the next challenge and to share the happiness from the achievement with the closest people. “For Our Children” foundation is a platform and a team, working to provide a supportive environment for children and families in need. It is a great honor to give my personal contribution to this cause.”     Gergana Ivanova   Gergana Ivanova is managing partner of The Smarts communication group, Paragraph 42 PR Agency, IGMedia, Shoot. As the head of one of the strongest creative agencies on the market, Gergana is perfectly aware of the need of every good cause to be explained and to reach people in the most emotional and convincing way. She has been a supporter of the causes of “For Our Children” foundation for many years. Apart from being an individual donor, Gergana and her team support all of the foundation’s campaigns, by giving messages and visions of the causes it fights for.   “I believe in the power of Good and its final victory. Children are the personification of this Good. The most important thing which is worth fighting for every day. I believe that the more we listen to children, their voices and unadulterated wisdom, the better chance we give to the Good to win.”     Metodiya Chadikovski   Dr. Metodiya Chadikovski is a formal general manager of Roche Bulgaria. Currently he has an international role in Roche and with his work he helps the women with breast cancer to fight the disease. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sheffield, UK.   “I don’t think there is something more important than my family. That’s why I am really happy there is such a foundation in support of our children. As a parent, I realize my importance in my children’s lives and I accept any care for children, who need it, to be extremely meaningful and important. It is my honor to support “For Our Children” Foundation and to contribute to their success.”   We are glad that people with sensitivity to social causes join our Board of Trustees – people who are motivated to work and for whom the rights of children are a mission, who believe that INVESTING ON TIME in children is a guarantee for success! Welcome to our…

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PwC Bulgaria in support of “For Our Children” Foundation

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We are one step closer to fulfill our big dream – to open a Complex for Early Childhood Development in Sofia and Plovdiv. Thanks to the donation of the „PricewaterhouseCoopers” Company, “For Our Children” Foundation already has some of the furniture and materials needed for the future buildings – interior doors, building elements, desks, shelves, racks and more.   With this really good gesture, the international company shows that it’s not only professional in quality auditing, consultancy and tax services, but also in realization of good.   Thank you, PwC Bulgaria for make it possible to support more children to have an equal chance to develop their full…

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“For Our Children” Foundation won an award from the Bulgarian NGO’s Portal

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On an official ceremony for the second consecutive year “For Our Children” Foundation won an award in the category “Most publications at ngo.org in 2018” from The Information Portal of Nongovernmental Organizations in Bulgaria.   We thank to the NGObg.org portal for giving us a place where we can share the good. In order to motivate more and more people.   A famous parable tells how one man goes to the beach after a harsh storm and sees how another one is throwing sea stars in the sea. “But they are so many. You can’t save all of the stars, they are thousands. You won’t be able to change the things.” The man took another sea star in his hands, threw it and said – “yes, but look – I change the faith of this one.”   Every good story, every good work, deserves to be shared.   The good news were not going to exist without the people who made them possible. “For Our Children” Foundation has a really good team – people with experience, people with high professionalism but the most important thing – people who live with the thought every child in Bulgaria to live in a security environment. People, who are so much acquainted with the cause of the organization that they are experiencing every single case and every faith that touches them.   The good doesn’t like to be…

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Who is a friend was discussed by students, together with the team of “For Our Children” Foundation

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Our training course for tolerance and friendship has passed with a lot of emotions with the students from two of the 3rd grade classes of Vasil Levski Primary School in Rogosh, Plovdiv. Chief Expert Early Childhood Development – Tsvetelina Ganeva and the social workers Stela Aleksandrova and Margarita Cherneva from The Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” did their best to gain the knowledge of the students related to the emotional intelligence, the ways to cope with an aggressive behavior and the building a positive relationship between each other.   The pedagogues from the school connected our specialist with a request to share with the children more about the good ways to express our feelings, on the base of their expertise, so that we don’t offend or hurt the others. And also how to be more tolerant of the differences between us.   Right from the beginning of the training sessions, we created together some group rules. In order to remember them better, we played a several games – exercises with the students. The most interesting for the children was the discussion for the best friends and for the qualities they need to have.     Here are some of the descriptions of a friend, which were given by the children:    He has to be good and to help me in difficult moments, to play together..  To drive bikes together..  We have to help each other and to play together..  The best friends are not only boys, they can be girls too..  Ivan is giving me ideas..  My best friend plays football, watches movies and wants to become a goalkeeper one day. If he does, I would be really happy for him..  You have to share with your best friend secrets and he has to keep them safe..  My best friend’s name is Stani. We both go to visit his grandmother together. He always helps me in difficult times. When we fight is just for one minute, He is the person who helps me and I believe he won’t let me down if I share him a secret.  My best friend’s name is Mariya. Once I struggled with a task and she helped me. We love playing hide and seek.   The loneliness is one of the most common problems in today’s “digital childhood”. The sooner we start building an atmosphere of tolerance for our children, give them a chance to say what they need to say, in order to hear their opinion, the earlier we would be able to prevent future forms of aggression. It’s important for children to recognize the different emotions – both theirs and those of others. This way the children build positive relationships, teamwork and cooperation.   We are looking forward to hear what the bigger children think on topics, related to the emotional intelligence. To be continued..     P.S. all of the names of the children in the material have been replaced by fictional ones in order to keep their true identity in…

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Hunt for Eater eggs for Our Children

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In the days before the bright Easter holiday, “For Our Children” Foundation surprised all of the children and families it works with, with Easter eggs hunting.   Under the sounds of spring melodies, in the company of a good weather and warm sun lights, and encouraged by a real Easter rabbit, the children and their parents enjoyed the Easter adventure. All of the guests who has an Easter spirit and a research flair, had the opportunity to take a part in the searching of more than 150 hand-decorated, unique Easter eggs, which were made by the team of the organization earlier that day.   In addition to the Hunt, we were prepared a colorful program to tell our little and big friends for the Easter traditions, how to celebrate the holiday and how to greet the other people during the three days of Easter. The answers of the children of the question “Why the first egg has to be red?” were a lot and all of them were different. Some of them were “Because this is my favorite color” or “that’s what my grandmother said” until we heard “the right” answer, which was given by one of the biggest kids – “because it symbolizes God and his blood”. We told them some not so popular traditions in Bulgaria and the most interesting for the children was the legend for the Easter rabbit. Maybe because they heard it from him – how on the first day of Easter, even before the dew rose, he jumps from a garden to garden and leaves colorful eggs for the owners of every house, in order their year to be good and happy.   Even though the children were really tired, they participated in the Easter limbo and dances, with witch the holiday rolled to its end.   Apart from all of the eggs they had discovered, the little “goldsmiths” came home with a lot of presents, balloons and candies, but also with one red Easter egg. With this present, the Foundation’s team wished all of the families to be healthy and to greet the holiday in the warmth of their homes together.       Every child deserves to have a happy childhood, full of special moments, holidays and traditions! We share the same view with our partners from Raiffeisenbank. Without the support of their charity initiative “Choose to help”, the event “Hunt for Easter eggs For Our Children” was not going to be possible. We are thankful from our…

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The country with an assessment of 3.5 for the achievements in the area of the early childhood development

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Today, on the presentation of the “Notebook 2018” report, prepared by the National Network for children, it became clear that the average assessment of the country for its efforts towards early childhood development, is 3.5. That was announced by Vanya Kaneva, team leader Advocacy and Projects of “For Our Children” Foundation and author of the research document section, dedicated to the early childhood development. Besides this area, Kaneva also presented the results on the topics “Child Health” and “Education”.   “The Notebook” carries out an annual monitoring of the commitments made by the institutions, concerning children’s rights. It is being developed by experts in relevant fields and for a third consecutive year it includes the opinion of hundreds of children, young people, parents and professionals. This year’s leading topic is the rights of the children with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and another 8 key topics, which are being considered in order to fully cover the children’s rights, are the child welfare, protection of all of the forms of violence, early childhood development, child health, education, family environment and alternative care, child justice and child participation. The report also includes recommendations that would improve the existing policies and practices.   The assessment of the efforts of the country, related to the early childhood development, was introduced as a separate part of the report in the preparation of its past edition. This is due to the recognition of importance and the bringing of the early childhood development in the foreground, as a priority by the Bulgarian state institutions, including the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.   Although in 2018 was taken an action to develop a National Strategy for Early Childhood Development, by accepting which are expected the problems in the three areas – health, education and social, to be addressed and to regulate the interaction between them, the report makes clear that the provision of universal and integrated services for early childhood development is insufficient. The challenges are the lack of coordination between the different systems, family-oriented approach and support for parents, the absence of policy for the leisure time and cultural activities of the children, the lack of adequate policies and measures, targeting the children with disabilities and development difficulties.   Among the main recommendations of the experts in the area are the accepting of the Strategy for Early Childhood Development and its recognizing as a broad platform for joint actions between all of the institutions, introduction of patronage care, introduction in the legal framework of the World Health Organization’s 2016 recommendations for tracking the pregnancy, introduction in practice of the unite standards for the early childhood development, changing the approach in the care for children in the kindergartens, ensuring the sustainability of the early childhood development and expanding the network of services for early childhood intervention.   The assessment in the field of “Family Environment and Alternative Care” has risen from 2.53 to 3.5. This is mainly due to the fact that the closure of specialized institutions for children continues and in 2018 the placement of children without disabilities until the age of 3, was officially suspended in the Homes for Medical and Social Care for Children. During the year, it is actively working on two new major projects – The Social Services Act and the Disability Act. Some regulatory changes were made in order to expand and develop the social services provided in the community.   The highest rating experts give to the state’s efforts in terms of education – 4.00, and the lowest – for the successes in the field of “Justice for Children” – 2.5, which is also the lowest from the first edition of the report until now (in 2012 it is 3.56).   “The Notebook” is going to be sent to the state institutions and meetings are about to be initiated, during which the recommendations of the report would be addressed to the decision-makers at political…

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LR Global Kids Fund choose to support the children in our “Family House” again

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For six years in Family Type Placement Center “Family House” of “For Our Children” Foundation, we give a second chance to the children, deprived of parental care, we change fates, we make the miracles come true .. thanks to the support of our partners, the main among which is LR Global Kids Fund. 45 children today live in a family and have a chance for a happy childhood and good life, thanks to the donated 129 000 BGN in the period.   In Saturday on a special event for its best distributors and partners, the international foundation has announced that it will continue to support the professionals of “For Our Children” Foundation by providing opportunities for babies and children from 0 to 3 years, deprived of parental care, to grow and develop fully.   With the raised funds – a percentage of the sale of their products. As well as the double LR donations from their individual donors, LR Global Kids Fund supports causes in the countries where it works. In Bulgaria, they chose the most vulnerable – the children, who are waiting for home and family, the children supported by “For Our Children” Foundation.   We are thankful to our friends from LR! In Saturday we saw a strong flame in their eyes – a flame of good, of sharing, of giving, of love and hope. Let the flame continue to “burn” in many more eyes, uniting us with more and more partners in the fulfillment of our dream – a happy childhood in a family for every…

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The charity concert of the children from 32nd “St. Kliment Ohridski” School attracted dozens of guests and raised 450 BGN

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More than 450 BGN were raised by the charity concert which was organized by the children from 32nd “St. Kliment Ohridski” School one week before Easter.     The children from tenth grade, with class supervisor – Mrs. Lyubina Ivanova, together with another young talents from the choir “Bulgarian Nightingale” from “Dr. Petar Beron 1926” Community Center, with supervisors Neolina Pelova and Nadezhda Tsankova, and vocal group of students from 32nd “St. Kliment Ohridski” School with supervisor Iliyana Trayanova. All of them entertained the full of guests hall by singing popular Bulgarian and foreign songs. They also turned into different roles, and in the end finished their performance with Bulgarian traditional dance – “horo”, because as they said: “Horo is a Bulgarian dance and we are helping to the children of Bulgaria!”   This initiative is not the first time when the children from the metropolitan school are giving us a hand. It all started last year, at Christmas, when they gave up on their gifts and gave a chance to another children, deprived of maternal love, fatherly support, whose life begins with rejection, to feel the magic of the Christmas holidays.   After that, on another beloved and real Bulgarian holiday – Baba Marta, the girls and the boys invested all of their creative energy and enthusiasm in the making of more than 400 martenitzi. The unique red and white creations we gave to some of our true partners and friends in order to thank them for the trust and support.   And we reached today’s concert, through which, with the help of these amazing kids, we will help to a lot of their peers, and even younger children, to grow loved in a safe family environment.   The children from 32nd “St. Kliment Ohridski” School and others like them, are our inspiration for 27 years to fight for the right of every child to grow and to develop in a family, surrounded by love and care! They are the proof that there is no age limit for the good! It only needs a good…

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For the second consecutive year the Asian Culture Festival supports “For Our Children” Foundation

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The third edition of the Asian Festival will be held on June 15 from 10:00 to 20:00 in the Borisova Garden Park in Sofia. The event – The Magic of the East, will present traditional art and culture from 16 countries of the continent of the rising sun, united under one cause – the safe family environment for all of the children and support for parents from their first moment.   “According to us, the future for the children around the world is among the most important areas, in which our societies should invest resources. Our communities unite not only to demonstrate the richness, diversity and unity of the Asian culture, but also to contribute to the brighter future of the children in Bulgaria.” – says H.E. Sri Astari Rasjid – Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of Bulgaria.   This year the festival will offer more than a rich and colorful program with dance performances, musical, theatrical and martial arts of the summer stage. The exhibition tents of each embassy will offer souvenirs-unique, accessories, exotic foods and beverages, the funds from the sale of which “For Our Children” Foundation will invest in supporting vulnerable families at risk of separation and will save from abandoning at least 15 children at an early age.   The festival is free but invites the visitors to participate in the traditional charity tombola, by purchasing a ticket with which they will contribute to the cause. The participants in the tombola will be able to win a prize from the numerous partners, who are also donors of the festival, including the biggest prize – a two-way ticket for two to an Asian country, provided by the long-time partner of the event – Turkish Airlines.   “We are thankful to the participants and the organizers of the Asian Festival, and especially to H.E. Sri Astari Rasjid – the main initiator of the event, that for the second time they trust us and support us in our mission to give confidence to the families, in order to overcome the difficulties and to stay together. Because only the family can give a stable basis for the successful development of the child and only in a family it can get an equal chance and to enjoy a fulfilling life.” says Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation.   With more then 16 400 BGN raised from the last year’s festival, the foundation’s team encouraged the development of 48 children in foster families, including children with special needs, giving them the opportunity to visit sports and summer camps, green school, to enjoy theatrical productions and to develop their imagination in the art-shops and other activities.   More about this year’s edition of the Asian Fate of the East, see HERE or at Instagram at @asianfestivalsofia.         The Asian Culture Festival in Sofia was held for the first time in Bulgaria in 2017, thanks to the mutual cooperation of twelve Asian embassies and honorary consulates, and thanks to the kind support of State Cultural Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Metropolitan Municipality of the Republic of Bulgaria. The upcoming third edition – “The Magic of the East” aims to reunite the diplomatic community in Bulgaria, to serve as a bridge between cultures, to create an environment of partnership, friendship and…

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For Our Children Foundation and another 4 Bulgarian organizations participated in the general meeting of the Eurochild international network

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On 17 and 18 April in Brussels, The Eropean Children’s Network “Eurochild“ organized the 15th General Assembly. “For Our Children” Foundation is also a member of Eurochild – on behalf of the organization, participation in the annual meeting takes Dimitar Ivanchev – project coordinator. Except for “For Our Children” Foundation, more 147 representatives of organizations participated in the meeting, including the Bulgarian ones – The Cedar Foundation, National Network for Children, Social Activities and Practice Institute, Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children – New Bulgarian University.   Eurochild has a total of 171 organizations from over 30 countries, sharing a common focus – the well-being of the children and respect for children’s rights. Following the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the network wants the children’s rights to be in the center of policy development at local and international level.   Every year the network allows new organizations – defenders of the children’s rights. Traditionally, the first day of the meeting started with introduction of the new members and went on to discuss how the European Union is contributing to the efforts of the Member States for the successful respect of the children’s rights and how Eurochild can participate in the policy-making, which is going to help the EU to achieve this. Speakers during the day were Valeria Setti, coordinator at the Child Rights Directorate of the European Commission, the Deputy Chairperson of the Children with Disabilities and Social Inclusion Unit – Josefin Hederstrom and Stefan Hermans – Director of Policy and Policy Assessment of the Eropean Commission.   Workshops were held during the second day, in which the participants exchange views and ideas on various issues, one of which was related to the deinstitutionalization and realization of the second strategic goal of Eurochild – no more children in institutions in Europe.   Participation in the discussions took also a record number of children aged 13 to 17 years with which the network want to encourage child involvement in making important decisions and to show that recognize the children as active agents of change and that their opinion is really important.         The pictures used in the material belong to Eurochild….

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Students organize a charity concert “Together For Our Children”

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Under the words “Together For Our Children”, the students from 10th grade of 32 Central School with Study of Foreign Languages “St. Kliment Ohridski” and their friends organize a charity concert in order to support the mission of “For Our Children” Foundation. The event will take place on 20.04.2019, 17:30 at Cultural club “Dr. Petar Beron” in the Ivan Vazov neighborhood, Sofia. The concert will unite on one stage the creative aim of the students to awake the good and the cause of the foundation – every child to be loved and to experience its childhood in a secure family environment.   Staging, made by the students and songs of the vocal groups of the cultural club will cheer the audience. The atmosphere will be filled with the enthusiasm of the young people in their desire to help the younger and helpless children, who didn’t receive the happiness and the opportunity to develop their potential in a real family.   Everyone is welcome. Against only 5 lv we can contribute not only to the cause of the boys and the girls from 32 Central School with Study of Foreign Languages “St. Kliment Ohridski”, but also to encourage them to continue to pursue their mission in the future.   There is no age limit for the good! “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” Angela…

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For the fourth consecutive year Citibank – Bulgaria supports foster children and families

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For the fourth consecutive year Citibank – Bulgaria supports “For Our Children” Foundation and showed us that the development and the happy childhood in a safe family environment is a value that unites us. With the $ 20,000 donation we will continue to help a lot of foster children and families but we will also organize a campaign to find new foster families, who will be able to give a second chance for a childhood In a family for a lot of children.   The support of Citibank-Bulgaria is really important for the development and the high quality of the foster care. The financial institution provides between 30 and 40% of the resources, which allows us to provide additional services for foster children and families – visit by doctors in emergency accommodation, additional experts – psychologist, specialist “Early Childhood Intervention”, and for the children with disabilities or developmental difficulties – rehabilitation, specialized therapy and medication. With the cooperation of Citibank Bulgaria, the foster children also enjoy various socializing activities – sports and summer camps, art studios, excursions to natural and historical sights, visits to museums, picnics in the nature, etc., which develop their talents and skills. During the past year, we organized 5 additional upgrading trainings for foster parents that we support, in order to improve their knowledge and to be even better in the care for children.   The team of Citibank-Bulgaria also support our activity, they even involve their friends and families. Over 40 employees, together with their relatives, helped us to bring the fence to our social service centers to life within the global voluntary initiative of the bank, and for the start of the school year they renewed our base with specialized developmental toys needed for the work of our specialists with the foster children. In addition, employees also make regular donations in the form of adapted milk and clothing. They are also our dear guests and supporters of events and holidays such as Children’s Day, Evening of Virtues and Christmas.   At the end of 2018, this partnership received the recognition of Sofia Municipality – together we won the first prize in the category “Social partnership with business” in the first “Annual awards for good practices in the area of social services” of the municipality.   “We are so proud of our partnership with “For Our Children” Foundation and we are really happy because in 2019 we will support their team again in order to make the life of the most helpless children in Bulgaria better. The whole team of Citibank is committed to the cause and believes that even with small but significant actions, together we can contribute for the positive and real change in the lives of the foster children.” says Stanislava Taneva, Managing Director of Citibank Bulgaria.   We are thankful that we have the trust and the support of Citibank-Bulgaria – a partner, who realizes how important is for the children to live in a safe and developmental family environment from their very first day. Thanks to such sustainable partnerships, over the past year, we managed to save 51 children deprived of parental care from living in an institution. They have received love and individual attention from 36 loving foster families, which we support….

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Welcome to a free lecture “First Care for the Newborn” in April in Plovdiv

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Dear mothers and fathers, the team of The Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” in Plovdiv of “For Our Children” Foundation, and University Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment Plovdiv have the pleasure to invite you again to a free MEETING-DEMONSTRATION:   FIRST CARE FOR THE NEWBORN   WHEN: 18.04.2019 /Thursday/ WHERE: University Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment Plovdiv ADDRESS: Bulgaria Blvd. 234, floor 1, meeting room START: 17:00 WHO: Dr. Diana Argirova, pediatrician and neonatologist GIFT from “For Our Children” Foundation: A book about the mother and the baby   You will learn:- How to bathe the baby – How to feed it properly – How to take care of the skin of the newborn – Some other interesting and important details   We know it’s not easy to be a mother or a father. This is learned with time. We would be very happy to be useful with what we know and can do..   PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! Subscriptions for participation: 032/ 943 444 or 0885 764 838 Contact person: Stella Alexandrova, Social worker at Community Support Center “For Children and Parents” in Plovdiv.   We are expecting…

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Celebrate Easter with a cause “For Our Children”

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It’s April. The spring is in the air. The first blooming trees remind us the winter is already gone. Everything is awakening for a new life. The warm southern wind carries the smell of homemade Easter bread and the children are looking forward to Thursday or Saturday when they will be dying eggs with the whole family. It’s Easter .. in just a few weeks!   However, for some children this day is not great, it is not so important, it doesn’t make the children wait for it impatiently. It’s not the time when the whole family is together to celebrate one of the holiest holidays. One of these children, whose life started far from his real family, is Veselin – waited and desired, the only son who came to light on Easter. But the day is becoming dark when Vesko is taken away from the hands of his father – Valentin – somewhere where he would “share” the love of some unknown women with other abandoned children. Which Vesko is not.     Valentin and the team of “For Our Children” Foundation were fighting for three years for the returning of Vesko at home. We are so happy the boy is going to celebrate this Easter and his fourth birthday with his family – they will be dying beautiful eggs together and they will make the most delicious Easter bread ever. Why it will be the most delicious? Because his father is a baker and when a great handful of love is added to the bake, everything becomes more delicious.   For the children like Vesko and their families, “For Our Children” Foundation launches the “Easter for a child at risk” campaign. Everyone can take a part and give a chance to at least 20 girls and boys to develop their full potential in a safe family environment. Until the end of April you can organize with your friends, family or colleagues charity bazaar or other initiative and donate the funds for the children at risk we work with. You can organize a competition for the most delicious Easter bread, exhibition of the most beautiful egg in order to show your creative skills and after that you can test their strength in a traditional fight with eggs – a lot of ideas and endless imagination, especially when we are united under the same cause – the development and the happy childhood of the children at an early age.   If you already have another plans for Easter, you can always make your contribution by donating online on our site. Because a lot of families and their children still need yours and our help!   For more information: contact Snezhanka Marinkova, senior expert “Campaigns and Communications” by phone 0887 070 268 or by e-mail: s.marinkova@detebg.org     For Our Children Foundation is a Bulgarian non-governmental organization, which supports Bulgarian children at risk since 1992. Since its inception, the foundation has supported over 12,800 children and families at risk. In 2018 our experts worked with over 1 400 children and families in the Community Support Centers in Sofia and Plovdiv, Foster Care Center and Family Type Placement Center “Family House”….

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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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For Our Children Foundation joined “Bulgaria Donates” Campaign

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From 22nd of March to 31st of March “For Our Children” Foundation is a part of the national donation campaign “Bulgaria Donates”. The aim of the campaign is to give an opportunity to causes from all over the country to reach more people who share the belief that donation helps to develop the society we live in.   The cause of the foundation’s involvement in the campaign is dedicated to the early childhood development, because we know that investing in children’s development at an early age is the key for every next stage of their life. By donating for our cause, the good people become part of something bigger. Their support give hope and security to the parents from the first moment after birth. Their support, our team, who is next to the family from the beginning, will help the parents to acquire skills based on their strengths in order to give the most important things to their child – love, care, a chance for development and a happy childhood. Because only in a safe family environment, the children will get a strong start and a chance to develop their full potential.   In the week when all of Bulgaria donates for a lot of precious causes, donate to our children! Today! Because their tomorrow depends on us today.   Visit For Our Children Foundation website at the “Bulgaria Donates” website and make your own contribution. Let’s together help more families today, so they can be able to give their children the necessary care and love for tomorrow!     For Our Children Foundation is dedicated to the children, to the future, to the hope. The development and happy childhood. We dedicated the past 27 years, during which we supported 12,800 children, families and…

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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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For Our Children Foundation will present the results of the project “Care At Early Age” at a two-day conference

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“For Our Children” Foundation organizes a two-day conference on topic “Care at early age” in Hall 8 of the National Palace of Culture. The conference starts at 13:30 pm on 14th of March (Thursday) and ends at 13:00 on 15th of March (Friday).   The Forum will present the results of the Foundation’s three-year work under the “Care At Early Age” project, which aims to change the approach to services for the youngest children, so that they can get the best care in the period they need it the most.   On the first day, the participants in the conference will focus on the mechanisms for the wider perception and introduction of an integrated health and social approach to child care at an early age. The successful practices in the project will be presented in several health establishments and social services. Part of the program on the first day are also demonstration formats in which the participants can see and experience elements of the work under the “Care at early age” project. This will include the presentation of the kangaroo-care in the neonatal ward, positioning of premature babies, music for premature babies and others. In addition, attendees will be able to get acquainted with information materials for specialists and parents, set up under the project.   A special speaker on the first day will be professor David Olds, Professor of Pediatric Diseases and Public Health at the University of Colorado, who is going to be a part in a panel discussion on topic “Integrated Practices and Approaches to Early Child Development in the Health System”.   On the second day, the focus will be on progress in developing a national strategy for early childhood development and its elements, which need a broader public debate.   In order to present the strategy, the process of its development and key thematic areas, there will be Denitsa Sacheva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science and chair of the working group for creating a national strategy for an early childhood development. Also, Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of “For Our Children” Foundation and Deputy Chair of the Working Group.   The conference will be attended by H.E. Emma Hopkins, Ambassador of Great Britain to Bulgaria, Deputy minister of Labor and Social Policy – Zornitsa Rusinova, the Deputy Minister of Health Zheni Nacheva, the chairman of State Agency For Child Protection – Eleonora Lilova, Sanya Saranovich – Deputy Representative of UNICEF Bulgaria and Velina Todorova – Member of the United Nations Committee on the rights of the child.   More than 100 representatives of national and local authorities, the academic community, international experts, professional and non-governmental organizations and individuals will take part in the discussions, dedicated to the theme of early childhood development and its importance for the achievement of a stable and prosperous society.     Since April 2016, “For Our Children” Foundation works under the “Care At Early Age” project with funding from the “OAK” Foundation, whose main goal is to improve children’s development and well-being in the early childhood (0-7 years old). ) by introducing an integrated health and social approach to their care. The aim is through research activities, as well as direct field work, to support the improvement of policy and practice in the early childhood development in health, social and educational…

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With our support in 2018, 27 children left the institution and started living in foster families

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During the past year, 53 children, deprived of parental love, had a second chance for a happy childhood in a family. Instead of living in loneliness and isolation in an institution, these children are happy because of the love, the individual care and the attention of the 36 foster families, supported by For Our Children Foundation. There is no way not to be proud because 15 of the children were accommodated directly from the maternity ward, so they haven’t experienced a single day in the loneliness and isolation of the institution. Also, 27 of the children were able to get out of the specialized homes and residential care, because of our help.   Last year we’ve focused our energy and resources on the support of children at an early age (from 0 to 7 years). The belief we are fighting for, is all children to be loved and to live in a safe family environment from their very first moment. Leading principals in our work are the early support and the early intervention, which are the most important for the development of the children’s potential. In 2018, 47 of the children, fostered by the families we support, are up to 7 years old, or 90 %.   And now let us tell you more about one of these foster children and one of these foster families   7 years and 5 children. More than 2 500 sleepless nights, except for those two or three evenings, when there is peace. More than 60 000 hours of worries and alerts. And too many minutes that will never come back. But also many minutes spent in games, hugs and kindness.   In 5 sentences, this is the life of Tonka Blazheva, who just like her surname, has truly good character – well balanced, patient. Loving. Just like any mother. Even though she is “just” a foster mom.   “The children are always smiling when she is around – they look calm and happy. She is always talking to them, even though they are little babies”. This is what the social worker from the Foster Care Center – Diana Petrova, says about her. Like an expert and a mother of two twin girls, she supports Tonka in her cares for the children.   During the last 6 months, Tonka is taking care of Mihaela. She saved her. From the loneliness, from the lack of family and from home where live a lot of children like her – pure souls, who are looking for love.   She saved Misha, just like she saved the 4 other children before her. She accepted her, when she was just one month old – right after the maternity ward. Thanks to the good care and love she is receiving from Tonka – care, which she was not going to receive in a house for abandoned babies, the little girl haven’t lost a single day from her development and today she is one cuddly, cheerful and smiling little beautiful lady. Well, sometimes she gets angry but that’s her charm.   “They were both a big idyll. Tonka is living in a tiny house – nice, neat – like in a fairytale. Every time when I go to visit her, I see a big beautiful garden of flowers and the most beautiful ones she names after her foster children, Now Mihaela has an entire chrysanthemum garden for herself and all of the chrysanthemums are named after her.” – remembers Diana.   Why in a past tense?   Because at the beginning of the week Tonka gave her foster child Mihaela to her adopters – the wonderful Kolevi’s family, which was waiting exactly her for so many years. With colorful almond-shaped eyes, brittle dark hair, little nose and red cheeks. 6 months old – little, gentle and fragile like a porcelain doll. And so beautiful.   Mihaela will never know what is like to be alone or abandoned. She received love and care from her foster mother, which are no different from the love and care she would have received from her “real” family. And which she is going to keep receiving from her adopters.   Tonka? She is already taking care of another child, who just like Misha, can’t live with its biological family. She continues to keep in touch and talk with the adopters of the 5 other children and to enjoy how much they’ve grown up. She said even though the difficulties, she will continue to be a foster parent, because children are her happiness and inspiration. Foster care makes her feel useful and happy because she can help more children to live in a family.   Tonka is another example of how the foster care is a childhood saver. She is the magician, who makes the childish dreams come true – to be happy, to have a family, to love and to be loved….

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We organize workshops for parents of children with developmental difficulties “To grow together plus”

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Dear parents, welcome to the series of WORKSHOPS on topics related to the challenges of parenting a child with developmental difficulties, and its extra educational needs. You will have the opportunity to exchange information, skills and support, which are going to be useful in promoting the progress and development of both your children and you as parents.   Within several conductive Saturdays, we will look at the following topics: – The four stairs of parenting – Psychological needs of the child and parental purposes – Our children and how we love them – The listening – an important skill of the parenthood – How does the child explore the world around him/her – Setting boundaries: why and how? – Parental responsibilities – Being a parent: influences and choices – The end and the new beginning   WHERE? Community Support Center “St. Sofia” in Sofia, Vazrazhdane, 21 Gyueshevo str. WHEN? You can take part on 9th March (Saturday) from 10:30 am or at latest on 16th March at 10:30 am. The series of workshops will be held within a few conductive Saturdays. FOR WHO? For parents of children with developmental difficulties HOW? For free. Pre-subscription required! WHY? To grow together plus..   The main purpose of the Program is to create a stimulating and supporting environment in which the parents, together with the workshop leaders and the other parents to: – exchange ideas on how they perceive their parenting – know themselves more as parents – find effective ways to cope with the additional difficulties they are living – learn another ways to communicate with their child – to get acquainted with the scientific point of view of the positive interaction between a child and a parent, and parenthood in the interest of the child (and the parent)   Every child deserves to be greeted with joy and to develop as a happy person. This is the way his parent is accompanying him – the parent who didn’t refuse to learn that the parenthood grows, despite the difficult circumstances. The workshops “To grow together plus” are for these kind of parents. To sign up for the workshops and for more information, you can contact our For Our Children Foundation’s team: Militsa Gocheva, an Early Child Development specialist (0884 918 151); Tsvetelina Ganeva, Senior Expert Early Childhood Development (0879 943 440) or Petya Uzunova, Senior Expert Early Intervention (0882 314 878)     “To grow up together plus” is a program of workshops, developed by UNICEF, for parents of children with developmental difficulties. For Our Children Foundation is a part of the organizations, which apply the program In…

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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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