January 30 2024
During the summer, we met a young single mother of a three-year-old boy. The woman is of Roma origin, this is her only child, and she has decided not to have any more children, so that she can take care of little Hristo in the best possible way. She has not attended school and is illiterate, which gives rise to the need for support.
Two specialists from For Our Children Foundation take on to help the mother – a social worker starts working with her, and an “Early Child Intervention” psychologist with the child. The screening of the little one goes well and shows that the child has no deficits and is completely in norm for his age.
The mother undergoes an examination by a psychiatrist in order to find out if she needs special support. The outcome is good as she is proven to be completely mentally healthy. However, it turns out that a huge negative influence on her is her own family, who do not believe in her and impose on her their idea of how to riase a child.
The mother and child live alone in very poor living conditions, but she always strives to keep it clean and warm. Hristo’s father is not part of their lives. The little one does not go to kindergarten because he has a huge fear of being abused and ridiculed there, as his aunts and uncles tell him that. For this reason, it is impossible for the mother to start working and thus improve their standard of living.
Against the all the difficulties she faces, the woman has a highly developed maternal instinct, takes care of the child with great care and love, and has a strong desire to give it a better start than what she herself received. The mother diligently follows all the directions she receives from our specialists and the results are visible. At our first meeting, the child was still in diapers and on breast milk, but with the right guidance, within three months she was able to wean him off breast milk and teach him to use the potty.
The work continues in the direction of Hristo going to kindergarten. With the assistance of our specialists, an application was submitted, which thankfully was approved. It turns out, however, that the child did not have the mandatory immunizations added, but together we managed to catch up in time for the start of kindergarten.
At the moment, the child is about to start kindergarten, and the specialists from the foundation are helping the mother to find a job. A desired next step is to apply for municipal housing.
Our meeting with Hristo’s mother shows once again that regardless of background and circumstances, a child can be loved and raised in a good way and get a good start in life. As long as the parents or the parent is devoted and capable of distinguishing himself even from his own family and his own bringing up. Help, in the form of an organization like ours, is close at hand as long as the parent looks for it.
The story was told by Albena Ilieva, a social worker at For Our Children Foundation.
*Photo for illustration purposes only.
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