SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES IN BULGARIA
Association SOS Children’s Villages in Bulgaria was founded on 2 August 1990 in Sofia. It was registered in the Sofia City Court on the 15 March 1991 as a Bulgarian non-profit legal person working for public benefit. It is a regular member of the international humanitarian organization SOS KINDERDORF INTERNATIONAL, under whose umbrella are national SOS-Associations in 132 countries in the world.
The Association is enlisted under № 20021009009 in the Central Register to the Ministry of Justice as an organization working for public benefit in compliance with the requirements of the Bulgarian legislation for such type of organizations.
SOS Children’s Villages in Bulgaria is the first Bulgarian organization, that had received a License from the State Agency for Child Protection for providing social services for children.
The Association is a member of the Council for children and youths to the Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria since its establishment.
Main subject of activity: Practical realization of the pedagogical model SOS Children’s Villages, which includes upbringing and education of left without parental support children in an environment at most similar to the family one, aiming at reaching their full social and professional integration in society.
The model SOS Children’s Villages: It is based on four main principles responding to the natural needs of the child from:
- mother’s love and caress – the SOS-mother
- family protection and support – the SOS-family
- security – the family house and
- the feeling for integrity – the SOS Children’s Village
In every SOS-family house one SOS-mother lives permanently there and takes care for 6-7 children, surrounding them with love, security and warmth. The Mother and the children entrusted to her form one SOS-family. The relationship between its members is preserved even after the SOS-children grow up and leave the SOS-Children’s Village. The SOS-mother is the person who can give to the left without parental care child the necessary support and chance, so that it can grow up in a natural and reasonable environment and undertake with dignity its path in life.
The children, who find once again a home and family in the SOS Children’s Villages are children at risk who need long-term care and upbringing from the following categories:
- complete orphans
- semi- orphans –with one parent alive, who is not capable to take care for them on his/her own
- children of parents with serious health problems and physical disabilities, who can not take the necessary care for their children
- children who were abandoned by their parents.
The proposals for child admittance in SOS Children’s Villages in conformity with the acting law come from the Departments for child protection to the Social support Municipal Directorates as a measure for protection of children at risk.
- two SOS Children’s Villages – in Trjavna /since 1993/ and in v. Dren, Radomir Municipality /since1995/
- SOS-Youth Family Homes – two in Veliko Tarnovo /since 2001 and 2004/ and two in Sofia /since 2002 and 2005/
- SOS-Kindergarten – v. Dren with a capacity of 40 children from the v. Dren and the neighbouring villages as well as children from SOS-Children’s Village.
- Since the beginning of 2004 the Association is expanding the scope of its activity and works on projects, directed toward supporting families for preventing the risk of children’s abandonment. At that stage the projects are covering more than 200 children from socially weak families.
Phases of provided care and of development of children within the frames of the organization SOS Children’s Villages in Bulgaria:
The first phase includes the time starting from the admission of the child in SOS-Children’s Village until finishing its elementary education. Children are educated within the frames of schools of general education and at the same time with them is worked according to individual programmes, aiming at finding and developing the children’s abilities and interests.
The SOS Youth Facility
The second phase covers the period from 15 to 19-20 years of age of the youth, who are making their first steps toward independent life. The girls and boys are directed to choose a profession and vocational school, where to acquire secondary vocational education with a certain qualification. The main accent is laid on acquiring vocational, social and life skills for autonomous life.
It covers the period of three years after the youth finishes his/her secondary /vocational/ education. The Association renders support to the young people in finding and starting adequate job according to their vocational education and interests and at the same time helps them with the housing and the payment of a part of the rent. Ending of the third phase puts an end to the financial engagements of the SOS organization toward the girls and boys.
The last, forth phase foresees preserving the right and the possibility for the youths to keep contact with the SOS-mothers, SOS co-workers and any other friends they have in the organization.
Funding: The Association realizes its activity solely on the basis of donations, made by Bulgarian and foreign physical and juridical persons. It relies on the wide public support under the form of:
- regular donor’s cash allocations
- donations in kind or free services in favour of children and youths
- Bequeath property or funds
- General Assembly
- Board of Directors with Board President Dr. Rosen KolarovNational Office, led by the National Director of the Association – Plamen Stoyanov, managing the operative daily activity of all SOS projects in the country