SOON, in the city of Plovdiv, we will create a Complex for Early Childhood Development, where we will provide and evolve a variety of social services to ensure the optimal development of children at an early age and to support a safe family environment. We will join efforts with specialists in the health, education and social sectors in order to secure full development and a happy childhood in a family for more children.
The Complex will be located on the territory of the symbolic building of the first in Bulgaria home for children deprived of parental care “Rada Kirkovich”. A home, created and sustained through the voluntary donations of patriotic Bulgarians, for whom children were life’s greatest treasure. We deeply believe that the spirit of good-doing and charity in the name of the welfare of children will once more – in the present day – aid our mission to ensure family support, more opportunities for early childhood development, and a happy childhood in a family for every child.
ORPHANAGE “RADA KIRKOVICH”. THE STORY
The story of one historical building – THE FIRST ORPHAGE in Bulgaria.
The Russo-Turkish War, which ended in 1878, left countless children parentless. Driven by their maternal instinct, in the city of Plovdiv, a group of women came together and established the Home for Children Deprived of Parental Care “Rada Kirkovich”. Olga Skobeleva, together with a few other women – the wives of high rankedRussian officers in Eastern Rumelia and the members of the Plovdiv Women’s Charity Association “Mother’s Care” – spared no effort to provide shelter, care, upbringing and education for children who were orphans or half-orphans, or whose parents were undergoing financial hardship.
The central administration in Eastern Rumelia supported the initiative by making it mandatory for municipalities to allocate space for the sustenance of the orphanage in their annual budgets. The well-off residents of the city also contributed by making generous donations and setting up individual monetary funds, while the less wealthy gave away food and clothes for the children.
The Home set off by providing care for 15-16 children, but their number quickly increased, the geographical area, from which they came, also expanded. After the Balkan War, the number of children, who needed to be cared for, reached 110-120 children. The Home became too small and reconstruction and expansion of the building of “Rada Kirkovich” began, while in the meantime some of the children were temporarily re-allocated, including in rented private houses.
136 years after its creation, on October 1, 2014, as a result of the process of deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria, the Home was closed.The few children who still resided there, were placed in other, much smaller, family-type placement centres, where the care they received resembled family care as closely as possible. The building, which had suffered the impact of time, was turned into a warehouse.
Today, the edifice is a monument of culture.
HOW WE WILL SUPPORT CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND SPECIALISTS
We provide universal services in support of the development of parenting skills for a better understanding of and catering to the needs of the child. Together with their parents, the children take part in diverse activities and games, which stimulate their development, so that they are able to reach their full potential. We evolve the children’s ability to recognize and express emotions, to understand the socially accepted ways of reacting in different situations, to communicate with adults and other children, and create an opportunity for creative expression and development of the capabilities and talents of the children.
In our “Early Childhood Intervention” programme, we work together with children with developmental difficulties, premature babies. We conduct a screening and a functional assessment and put together an individual development plan for each child. In response to the needs of the child, we provide rehabilitation therapy and consulting, specialists in the health and education sectors, in accordance with the specificities of the problem at hand, as well as training for the parents and the child in order to nurture the development of the child in everyday life. We also assist in transferring the family to other services.
We actively work toward preparing future parents for welcoming their newborn by organizing training courses for parenting skills. Our team provides consultations in maternity units and carries out emergency interventions.
When we receive a signal by a maternity unit that there is or may be a risk of abandonment of a newborn, we react within 4 hours by providing psychological support to the mother, mobilizing a network of support around the family, and work toward bringing in the resources of the extended family.
We also aid the mothers after their release from the maternity units and support them in taking care of their babies until the risk is overcome.
Active social work, psychological support, and mobilization of different specialists around the child are the main factors, which aid a family in overcoming a situation of vulnerability and dealing with life’s hardships.
We support children with developmental difficulties and their parents, families who wish to reunite with their children after they have been separated, adoptive families and extended families. We carry out a complex assessment of the needs of the family and the risks to the child, provide psychological consulting, mediation and advocacy for improved access to services and institutions. We create a network around the family to ensure support and prevent social isolation. Our specialists also work to support children whose parents are in conflict due to a divorce/ separation.
In partnership with schools and kindergartens, we work for the prevention of violence and the enhancement of sensitivity towards risks and the wellbeing of children when it comes to their development, education and health. We provide psychological support to the child and the family in cases of violence, learning difficulties, risks of school dropout.
We train and consult candidates for adoptive parents. We support adopted children and their adoptive families through therapeutic services and psychological consulting.
The ability of professionals and those who take care of a child to ensure that his or her developmental needs will be adequately met as well as their ability to adapt to the changes in those needs, which come with time, are of paramount importance for the child’s health and development.
The meetings, seminars, and trainings, which we conduct with those target groups, are directed towards increasing their knowledgeability with respect to problems related to development and age-related crises, applying alternative approaches for dealing with conflict and crisis situations, developing their capacities for recognizing violence and protecting children from it. A special emphasis is placed on the formation of dispositions of zero tolerance toward violence against children, and on the development of positive approaches to upbringing, tackling difficult behaviors, effective communication and conflict resolution, and of constructive attitudes and care in harmony with the precepts of the rights of the child and respect for it as a person.
For 10 years now, the Bulgarian child care system has been undergoing a process of deinstitutionalization. Old institutions are being closed down and new forms of care for the most vulnerable children are being established. Yet is there someone to tell the story? We decided to preserve and present the story in a museum exhibition in the very building of “Rada Kirkovich”. The story will tell of the Home, the first social workers, the first foster families, the first cases of children returning to their birth families, the many people with big hearts who contributed to the cause of more children growing up happy in a family.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT the creation of the COMPLEX
Investment in early childhood = investment in the future!
Position your company as responsible toward the community by reaffirming values such as the development of children and the preservation of the family!
In return, we guarantee reporting and transparency in relation to the expended funds and the achieved results. We also issue a Donation Certificate, which allows you to benefit from tax deduction of up to 10% of the accounting profit.
It is of interest to you? Contact us!
Make a donation to support the creation of this innovative Complex for early childhood development and help us to development and a happy childhood in a family for the smallest children in Plovdiv.
Our charity bank account (in Bulgarian lev):
IBAN: BG 32 RZBB 9155 1060 5337 67
Account holder: For Our Children Foundation
Reason for payment: Creation of the Complex for early childhood development in the city of Plovdiv.
Thousands of children and families at risk need support every day. They need your and our support. By making regular donations, you help us follow our mission and give a chance for a better future to children in Bulgaria.
Donate securely online via PayPal
By choosing to donate online monthly, funds will be withdrawn from your account until you cancel your subscription.
You wish to support our cause by directly providing us with materials or your professional services? This type of donation is also of great value to us!
In order to create the Complex, we need the following general materials and services:
- Demolition services, disassembly, drilling, walling in, transporting.
- Floors, ceilings, walls: construction, flooring, first coat, latex, tiles, suspended ceilings.
- Doors and window: interior and exterior doors, windows, joinery.
- Electric materials.
- Water supply and sewerage: indoor water supply system and indoor sewerage.
- Air conditioning: delivery and installation.
- Ventilation system.
* In case of interest, contact us and we will provide you with a detailed description of the types and quantitiy of the materials and services needed.
Become our PARTNER so that together we can secure unhampered development from an early age and a happy childhood in a family for hundreds of children in Plovdiv! Be a part of the change for the children who are in need!
For more information about the methods and opportunities there are to donate for the Complex:
mob. 0882 42 8323