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Early childhood development involves all the support that a child needs from their prenatal development to the age of 8 in order to realize their right to survival, protection and care, which will ensure their optimal development. It covers such areas as infant stimulation, health and nutrition, early childhood education, family support and community development among others.
On 20 November 2010, the global community celebrates the 21st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and International Children's day.
Every five hours, a child in Bulgaria is placed with an institution. Each year, an average of 2 000 Bulgarian children are abandoned and institutionalised. They grow up with no chance of adequate development and family care. The institutional placement and care of children up to the age of 3 has a lasting negative impact on their development. The current project aims to develop new social and health services and measures to supplement the ones currently running in the territory of the region.
"Support to Reach the Unreachable children" contributed to the establishment of the Social Services for Children and Families in Vidin. The complex consists of three centers: Center for Social Support, Home under monitoring and Day Centre. Services are available to residents of the area free of charge.
This is a town, city, municipality or any local system of governance, committed to ensuring children's rights. This is a town where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of the children are an integral part of public policies, programmes and decisions. The Child Friendly Municipality Initiative aims at supporting the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on regional level by creating a favourable environment for efficient protection of the rights of the children and enhancement of their well-being.
UNICEF Bulgaria joined the international efforts to support children in Haiti and launched an emergency fundraising campaign on 22nd January 2010.
In 2009, UNICEF piloted a model of regional planning of social services with participation of all stakeholders in three pilot regions in the country (Pernik, Vidin and Ruse), ensuring better access to social services and more efficient and effective use of resources. More specifically, UNICEF's support involved: Consultancy and methodological support by a team of consultants
In October 2009 "Playground for Ability Development" was opened in the city of Rousse as a new model for integrated health-social community based service in support to children with disabilities and their families. The project "Playground for Ability Development" in Rousse provides psychological support and therapy to children with disabilities depending on their particular needs. The centre offers stay and care to children up to three hours a day. The real impact on children's lives is better inclusion and integration, improvement of their social abilities and development of their full potential. "Playground for Ability Development" also provides support to families. Furthermore, there is a platform for exchange of experience and ideas among experts working in the child care system. The "Playground for Ability Development" project is launched thanks to our donors who supported our campaign "The Invisible Children".
Our aim is for every child to have the best start in life. In the current economic conditions, it is more important than ever to invest the limited resources with care and in support of families. Early childhood development provides an excellent opportunity that may shape the future of thousands of Bulgarian children. We work in the field of education, healthcare, and social protection in conjunction with national and local authorities and the civil society toward developing and introducing policies and standards of early learning, access to healthcare, and support for families.
Children deprived of parental care long for a home and family. They, too, want to hug and be hugged, to love and be loved... just like any other child. Being a foster parent is not difficult, nor is it difficult to help Foster Care reach as many children as possible.The campaign aims to raise public awareness and provide information about this particular social service.
Tetanus is a preventable disease responsible for the death of one baby approximately every three minutes and of up to 30,000 mothers each year.
One of the priorities in UNICEF Programme in Bulgaria is assisting the process of deinstitutionalization by means of direct work with municipalities in planning and implementing of alternative community based social services. Decreasing the number of children in residential specialized institutions is a priority of the Child Protection System related to the implementation of government policy and concrete measures. The aim is the number of children and families using the alternative social services to grow by 30% as an alternative of the institutional care.
Education occupies a top position in the value system of Bulgarians and this priority has gained an increased importance in the process of modernizing the economic and social structures in the country. A large number of children drop out from school or even never go to school, thus leading to serious social inequality and economic inefficiency.
Protection from violence, exploitation and abuse is a fundamental right of every child and a priority area of concern for UNICEF. We advocate and support the creation of a protective environment for children in partnership with governments and national/international partners including the private sector, and civil society.