EDUCATION FOR KNOWLEDGE AND POSITIVE CHANGE
Alliance for Children and Youth has successfully finished the project “Education for knowledge and positive change” thanks to the support of the TRUST FOR SOCIAL ALTERNATIVE and that of partners, benefactors, volunteers and students.
1 October 2013 - 30 September 2014
Fourteen children aged 4 and 5 from communities at risk participated in an informal educational program, organized by the Alliance for Children and Youth. The children visited daily preparatory kindergarten for 9 months.
Due to the fact that in the family environment, as well as in the community, the main spoken language is the Roma language, the biggest difficulty for the children and challenge for the team was the learning of words and expressions in Bulgarian language. At the end of the period there is a visible positive change in the way the children communicate with each other, as well with adults, and in the development of their fine motor skills.
The children are very curious and inquisitive, new information is acquired in a calm and confident manner. During the informal educational period they regularly received health and dental health services.
For the new school year all of the children are enlisted in a preparatory school group ensuring the smooth transition to school and currently regularly are visiting school. The team of the Alliance for Children and Youth is going to follow their school participation and continue supporting these children in order to avoid the risk of dropping out.
For a stable positive change and successfully including the children in the school system the social work with their families was also a key factor. The parents of the children were included in a Program for developing key parenting skills. In the majority of cases the mothers were participants. When the mother was unable to come to scheduled meeting, her partner, who is more often the biological father of her children, came instead of her. The parents showed interest in the presented information – it is their continuous concern how to manage the rearing of their children and they were happy to note their progress. Most of them stated they would like their children to be included in activities outside the Roma community.
During this project The program for sexual and health education for adolescents and youths from fifth to eighth grade was also realized. In lasted 7 months and the talks were focused around developing social skills, self-knowledge, healthy reproduction choices, as well as improving the communication between parents and children regarding sexual themes and problems. At the end of the program the students showed a change in their behaviors – their hyper emotionality was replaced by interest, active participation and comprehension. The pupils talked calmly about adolescence as a period of changes, know of STDs, HIV/AIDS and prevention measures. Most of them share the opinion that a person is ready to become a parent after reaching a majority. They acknowledge that their participation in this course would help them in making important decisions.
The school headmaster and the teachers evaluate the program as very beneficial and state that there should be more such programs in the future.
Through the realization of this project the team of social workers in the Alliance for Children and Youth strengthened the approach used through the years, namely that positive and stable changes can be accomplished through complex and system work with all interested parties.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HIV/AIDS
The program is financially supported by the “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria” and is implemented in Bulgaria by the Ministry Of Health.
Project duration: yearly trough December 2010 – December 2014
The activities that social workers with volunteers from the Youth club “S.U.P.E.R” do are:
• Fieldwork among young people, peer education, increasing the knowledge of young people about safe sexual behavior;
• Distribution of informational materials to promote sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, distribution of condoms;
• Maintain the club of peer educators that provide information and materials about safe sex practices.
MOBILE SOCIAL WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN VULNERABLE CONDITION AND SUCH LIVING IN RISK ON THE TERRITORY OF SOFIA CITY
The project is implemented with the financial support of Sofia Municipality.
Project duration: 9 months (April – December 2013)
The project aims to contribute to:
• improving the social, parenting and family planning skills of families in dire living conditions /no electricity, tap water or sewerage/, whose children are not covered by the system of schools or kindergartens;
• including the children of these families in the education system and minimizing the risk of dropping out from school.
The practice has shown that vulnerable groups usually live in encapsulated communities and the only efficient approach seems to be outreach mobile social work whereby accessible social services are provided on the spot, at the place where the group’s natural environment is. Under the project, workers and profiled specialists (a medic, a lawyer, a pedagogue and a psychologist) visited the communities three times a week.
Outreach training on health and sexual issues was also conducted, covering topics such as sexually transmitted infections, protection and ways to get infections, instructions for appropriate medical establishments in case of need. Condoms were handed out in order to prevent the dissemination of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and also limit the cases of unintended pregnancy.
The lack of social skills is the reason why people from vulnerable groups are not aware which institution they should approach in order to have a problem solved. With the purpose to have their children included in the education system, the parents are consulted on school/kindergarten enrolment and supported with scheduling of meetings with headmasters and pedagogical staff, so that the link between parents and schools is facilitated.
Outreach informal educational activities and sport games are held in the children’s free time, as well as visits to cultural landmarks, the purpose being to prevent children from wandering or living in the streets, or lacking any supervision.
INTEGRATED SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND YOUNG PEOPLE FROM DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES IN THE CITY OF SOFIA
The project was implemented with the financial support of Fund 'Social protection' of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Project duration: February 2013 – June 2013
General objective of the project:
Social inclusion of children, young people and their families from disadvantaged communities through positive change and education.
1. To avoid falling into situations of risk to children and families from disadvantaged communities in Sofia, through their active participation in a supportive environment with appropriate integrated services.
2. To prevent permanent homelessness and falling into risky situations young people leaving social institutions or without permanent home by building skills for dealing with specific situations in the areas of education, health, labour market, finding a shelter.
Main target groups:
Children at risk and their families.
Young people from 16 to 25 years left social institutions or without a permanent home.
COMPREHENSIVE MODEL FOR SOCIAL WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AT RISK
With the support of OAK Foundation and Global Fund for Children
Project duration: October 2010 –March 2013
• Social inclusion of children and families at risk;
• Prevention of abandonment of children and their entry into specialized institutions through the provision of integrated services in the community;
• Prevention of abuse of children.
Main activity 1: Organisational development and institutional strengthening of the team.
Main activity 2: Work with children at risk.
• Identification of individual needs of children at risk and their families.
• Services for children at risk (juvenile victims of violence, negligence, drop-outs, children of risk behaviour, homeless children).
• Educational classes corresponding to the individual needs of children at risk.
• Vocational courses for over 16-year-olds.
• Interactive classes, related to self-knowledge and skill acquisition for efficient interpersonal relations.
• Leisure organisation.
• Summer School.
• Individual psychological consultation.
• Specialised legal consultation.
Main activity 3: Work with families of children at risk.
Family consultation and support:
• Specialised legal;
• Marriage and family therapy;
• Social and psychological support and consultation;
• Medical and health consultation;
• A self-help group for young mothers and pregnant women and family;
• Family conference.
REVENI - TRANSNATIONAL MONITORING OF RETURN PROCEDURES FOR ROMANIAN AND BULGARIAN CHILDREN
Co-funded by the European Commission
Project duration: July 2011 – December 2012
The REVENI project has been jointly designed by 4 different NGOs in 5 different countries in order to improve the level of protection and decisions taken for European unaccompanied minors, victims of exploitation and/or trafficking, or at risk to be, in Europe. The four partners are the Alliance for Children and Youth in Bulgaria, ARSIS in Greece, Hors La Rue in France and Terre des homes in Romania and in Hungary.
ESCAPE project on DAPHNE III program of the European Commission
Project duration: January 2011 – December 2012
The project focuses mainly on:
- Exchanging of knowledge of intervention models to prevent and contrast street violence and peer violence in street, fostering a transnational platform for a strict cooperation between Eastern and Western European country pratictioners who work in the field of minors (in particular with vulnerable groups, minors with migration background/belonging to ethnic minorities - modelling and developing of effective educative prevention programmes aimed to prevent street violence and peer violence and also risk behavior related to drug/alchohol abuse or weapons carrying.
'CONTROL OF THE TUBERCULOSIS IN BULGARIA' PROGRAM
The program is funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and implemented by the Ministry of Health
Project duration: February 2008 – October 2012
The program was financially supported by the “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria” and was implemented in Bulgaria by the Ministry Of Health. The main tasks of the project, realized by Alliance for Children and Youth, were to assist the health care system in early detection and successful treatment of tuberculosis among street children and youth and people from their environment.
The activities were:
- Motivating children, young people and their parents for tests, immunizations and directing to health institutions.
- Doing screening inquiry for the risk of tuberculosis.
VOCATIONAL FOOTPRINTS: MAKING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SUSTAINABLE
Project duration: October 2010 – July 2012
The Vocational Footprints: Making Vocational Education Sustainable Project, running for two years from August 2010, brings together a partnership of organisations from Germany, Bulgaria Turkey, Belgium and Hungary, led by PPP.
Funded through the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme: Leonardo da Vinci Learning Partnership, this project supports and sustain vocational education opportunities and interventions offered to vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families and communities.
16+ YOUTH DAY CARE CENTRE - ALTERNATIVES FOR STREET LIFE
The Project was realized with the support of the “America for Bulgaria” Foundation.
Project duration: March 2009 – March 2012
The overal goal of the programs and activities of the 16+ Youth Day Care Center is to support and empower street youths to develop positive, permanent and sustainable attitudes and behavior to look for and to find decent opportunities for social integration.
Activities and services in the project:
Basing our work on the understanding of homelessness as a temporary crisis, the work of the 16+ team was set on three main levels:
1. Work with children and youth in crisis;
2. Work for support and maintenance of the achieved results;
3. Programs for positive change and development.
MOBILE OUTREACH WORK WITH STREET CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
The project was implemented with the financial support of Fund 'Social protection' of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Metropolitan Municipality
Project duration: April – December 2010
The team of Alliance for Children and Youth established contact and consulted 100 children on the street, as well as representatives of their surroundings and/or family.
The main objective of the project was to increase the effectiveness in dealing with begging and working in the streets children and representatives of their families by providing daily mobile outreach work. The teams of Alliance for Children and Youth worked also in the Day Care Centre '16+' and developed operational network for mobile working on a particular case with staff from the Child Protection Departments at the 'Social Assistance' Directorates, NGOs and with the Police and Sofia municipality.
With the financial support of the 'Open Society' and CEE Trust
Project duration: 2007 – 2009
The project MY RIGHTS provides education and training to young homeless people. The education and consultations under the project My Rights are funded by the Open Society Institute in Bulgaria for the period of 1 year as a continuation of similar activities on the territory of the 16+ Youth Day Care Centre. The juridical consultations, support and education on law issues are as follows: social support, law of insurance, labour, family and penal law. A Law assistant gives law consultations 4 times a week as well as law education once a week to a group of youths. The project aims at future effective interaction between the youngsters and the institutions and by complex juridical support and education to aware them of their rights to have access to justice as well as to adequate social support. This helps them to join the society positively and build up confidence in them to protect their rights.
Developed in partnership with Youth Day Center '16 +', part of Allience 'Children and Youth' with the association 'Alternatives for a new society.' Funded by the State Agency for Youth and Sports, Bulgaria.
Project duration: 2005 - 2006
The project RAINBOW was realized by the 16+ Day Youth Centre with the partnership of the Association Alternatives for a New Society. It is funded by the State Agency for youths and sport and has duration between September 2005 and February 2006.
Activities - obtaining knowledge, skills and attitude thanks to the following programs:
• Juridical school;
• Fitness club;
• Club Delicious;