For Our Children Foundation
Part of the children in the Region of Plovdiv are “invisible” and have been neglected for too long. Our research shows that they have limited access to social services and early education and that no local agency has an adequate data on their number and needs.
Amid the depths of a demographic crisis we should be doing much more for them, especially in the early childhood period.
Plovdiv, Kuklen, Rodopi, Perushtitsa, Stamboliyski, Maritsa, Sadova, Asenovgrad - central Bulgaria
There is a lack of understanding in the community about the challenges, faced by the vulnerable children and their families and how important it is to identify risks as early as possible. There is limited awareness about the ways for their active social inclusion and support.
There is a lack of community based services that work in an integrated way to offer complex support for children at risk and their families.
The various barriers, preventing access to the existing social services puts such children and their families at risk of social exclusion and violates their rights according to the UN Conventions, which will potentially cause problems in the future such as access to nurseries, kindergartens, schools and dropping out of school, unemployment, antisocial behaviour, etc.
We will work to create conditions for active social inclusion of children with disabilities and carer.. We will achieve this by ensuring the access to complex integrated trans-sectoral social services. Our activities aim to empower parents to be advocates for their children.
With our advocacy efforts we will also aim to improve local authorities’ and stakeholders’ understanding about the needs and challenges of the children with disabilities and developmental difficulties and their families.
We will work to improve the coordination and cooperation between the specialists working in the healthcare, social welfare and early education and care fields.
We will encourage joint initiatives of the separate systems who are supposed to work in the best interest of the child.
The groups that we will target include:
specialists working in the local early childhood development services, parents of children 0 to 7, parents of children with disabilities and developmental delaysdifficulties focusing on those at risk of social exclusion; local authorities; local social welfare, healthcare and educational institutions who are responsible for implementing and monitoring of the relevant local policies; local civil society; local media and journalists .
A round table to raise awareness about the difficulties for children with disabilities and developmental delays difficulties in the region and to discuss the possible interventions.
A campaign to improve the local community’s understanding of the rights and needs of the children and their families.
Three coordination meetings for local professionals to work together on the identified challenges.
Three parental meetings to improve parental capacity, empowering them to self-advocate to local authorities, to unite and become stronger in advocating for the rights of their children.
Direct advocacy activities aimed at local mayors and institutions.
We will sustain our programme for information, evaluation and referrals for integrated social and health services.
Local authorities will have better awareness regarding the problems and the needs of the children with disabilities and developmental delays difficulties and how crucial early age intervention is for dealing with them.
There will be better coordination among the professionals working in the separate systems due to the coordination mechanisms in place that they themselves created as part of the project.
Improved parental capacity and active advocacy by the parents and improved access to early childhood services for the children.
In the long-run the results from the project will generate better health and educational outcome for the children at risk.
Our activities will raise awareness among local authorities about the internationally protected children’s rights and what they can do to remove barriers and foster the conditions to allow children to develop their full potential.
We will encourage local professionalsprofessional to take up the responsibility to coordinate their work in the best interest of thethc children.
We will educate parents on how to be active advocates for their children and families.
The long term results of our effort will make the local community more accepting and supportive of children with special needs and their families which help those children grow up to beto be be active citizens of a much more diverse, inclusive and tolerant community.
For Our Children Foundation’s mission is to make sure that every vulnerable child in Bulgaria has a secure and happy childhood and a bright future. For 28 years the foundation has been working to provide quality professional care for children aged 0-7 through our social services, project activities and our advocacy programme aimed at improving early childhood policies. In order to ensure a system approach towards improving the well-being of children in Bulgaria we work simultaneously on all levels - family, community, society. In the meantime we are cooperating with the social welfare, healthcare and educational systems including by helping them coordinate better for the best interest of the children.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Direct project costs - 7490 EUR; labour costs - 13 230 EUR, utility costs 1250 EUR
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