WELCOME TO THE PROJECT PAGE
"WAYS TO FREEDOM"!
Do you remember that special birthday when you turned 18 years of age? Do you remember the exciting anticipation, the feeling that you are a grown-up now, that are free and independent? And what about the bold dreams and the plans you had about the future?
For each person, this period of life is exciting, full of so many changes, energy and enthusiasm. However, for for those children and youths who live apart from their parents and use social services as a measure of protection, this period is not as expected and emotional.
For many of those young people this is a crucial period when they feel most vulnerable and insecure. Some of them share that unlike their peers who can always rely on their family and relatives, they often miss having their own support network and are required to leave the care facilities without enough preparation to have independent life. Often they miss those important skills needed for making it on your own.
Many of them indeed become victims of discrimination and poverty or are being stigmatized. During the first months after they leave the care facilities they are confronted with instability, confusion and feelings of isolation, loneliness and fear. One of the biggest challenges for them is to believe in their own qualities and abilities, to learn how and where to find help and support, to learn how to maintain their friendships and partnerships.
According to the Child Protection Act of the Republic of Bulgaria, young people who live in different forms of alternative care have the right to remain there until they are 18 years old, and if they have not completed their secondary education up to 20 years. The most common services that accommodate children and young people are the Family-Type Accommodation Center, Foster Care and Transitional Housing. After 18 or 20 years, these young people have to leave the social service in which they are housed and start their own independent lives.
In recent years, the child protection system in Bulgaria managed to achieve considerable success in the provision of alternative care for children, separated from their parents, but young people leaving care and their fate in the early years of their independent lives, still remains far from the focus of state policies. These young people are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, characterized by high unemployment, poverty, social exclusion and deviant behavior.
The Paths to Freedom project aims to address these key gaps in supporting young people leaving care in their transition to independent living in Bulgaria.
Young people who are leaving care or have already left care within a year, can apply for support from the project by submitting an application. They can choose to be supported in several categories: finding suitable accommodation; health care; education or employment, social and psychological consultations.
During the first year (2020) the project will be implemented only in the cities of Sofia, Pernik, Veliko Tarnovo , Gabrovo and Tryavna.
If you want to support young care leaver, you can do so by signing up for the Youthlinks digital support platform. The platform provides a virtual meeting place between young people in care, businesses and mentors. There will be also different interest groups with key topics related to supporting young people in their way to independent life.
Who are we?
SOS Children's Villages Bulgaria Association is the first civil rights organization in Bulgaria providing direct alternative family care for children at risk, registered in 1991.
The association is a licensed provider of several social services for children and families: Foster Care, Family-like residential care, Social Support Center and Mother and Baby Unit.
Fundamental to our activity is a child-centered approach that involves providing services or providing care that is in the best interest of each child, regardless of their race, gender, language, ethnic and social background, and religious background.
Our vision is: Every child grows up in a loving home, surrounded by love, respect and security.
If you want to send us a message, you can use the contacts below or write to us directly via the form on the right.
“Every big thing in world only comes true, when somebody does more than he has to do.”
Hermann Gmeiner, Founder of SOS CHILDREN`S VILLAGES INTERNATIONAL
SOS CHILDREN'S VILLAGES BULGARIA ASSOCIATION
1618 Sofia, Pascal Todorov Str
Responsible for all publications and content in this website is entirely SOS Children`s Villages Bulgaria and under no circumstances it should be considered that those publications reflect an official position of the Financial mechanism of EEA and the Operator of Active citizens Bulgaria Fund.