An early childhood development complex in Sofia will help more than 1,000 children and families a year

The event included a special projection mapping, telling the past and future of the building of the former children's home "St. Sofia"

July 28 2021

More than 150 children, parents, partners and donors participated in the opening of the Early Childhood Development Complex in Sofia, established by For Our Children Foundation. It is located on the territory of the closed Home for medical and social care for children “St. Sophia” and will provide various forms of support for young children and their families, children with disabilities and those at risk of abandonment, as well as adoptive parents, foster parents and professionals. 
The Early Childhood Development Complex was created entirely with individual and corporate donations, and the building was provided for free use to For Our Children Foundation by Sofia Municipality for a period of 10 years. Its renovation is worth over BGN 1,500,000 and  the funds were invested in the complete renovation of the building, which houses a Day Care Center for children with disabilities, two community support centers, a Foster Care Center and spaces for direct social, rehabilitation and counseling work for children in early childhood.
“We, at For Our Children Foundation, do not forget the past and invest in the future of the children and families we will help in our Early Childhood Development Complex. Until recently, abandoned children lived here, and now it is a space for families to stay together. We are happy that we closed the home for babies and in its place we created a place where trust and shared care are leading”, said Ivanka Shalapatova, PhD, Executive Director of the Foundation. She thanked all donors and partners for their support and stressed that the Early Childhood Development Complex is a natural result of the organization’s long-term efforts to make key reforms in policies for children at risk in our country.
“My first meeting with the foundation was 13 years ago. The journey we took together was not an easy one, and most people thought that our efforts were doomed. However, I was sure that success would only be achieved if the Municipality and the experts from the NGO sector joined forces.This is a cause of the whole society and it is worth fighting for it every day to help together all families and children who need help and support!”, said during the opening the mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova .
Those present at the opening of the Early Childhood Development Complex witnessed an impressive projection mapping of the building, specially created by MP-STUDIO, which symbolically closed the doors of the home for abandoned children and opened those of the new complex. “We have been supporting the foundation for a little over a year, but we already feel part of its family. The biggest reward for us is the opportunity through our work and what we do to help the cause reach more people.”, said Marin Dimitrov from MP-STUDIO. The visual transfer to the “past” and “present” was completed by the emotional stories of an abandoned boy and a parent of a disabled child who received support in the new complex, told by the actors Alek Alexiev and Yana Titova.
Since 1992, specialists of For Our Children Foundation have been working to close social institutions for children and provide support to families to stay with their children. The foundation pilots foster care, prevention of child abandonment and reintegration of children from homes into their families, and participates in the creation of the first legal framework for this.
In partnership with the child protection departments and the management of  the former children’s home “St. Sofia”, in 2016 the foundation placed the last children to foster families, which officially left the home in history. A year later, with the support of donors and supporters, the building began to be renovated to be transformed into an Early Childhood Development Complex.
For Our Children Foundation expresses its gratitude to the general partner of the event MP-STUDIO, as well as to VPetrov.photography, spring water DEVIN, METRO Cash and Carry Bulgaria and Red Devil Catering.

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