The family-type homes “Siyanie” – Kyustendil celebrated the International Children’s Day with a lot of games, drawing with chalk on the pavement, dances and sweets. The photos show the smiles of the children and young people and only a part of the fun they had.
International Children's Day
On May 23rd all children and young adults from the family-type homes “Siyanie” – Kyustendil went for a first time on a trip to the Rila monastery. The experience was quite exciting for most of them as they had not visited a monastery before. In the beginning of the tour some felt a bit insecure but the staff took care and explained to them what the place and its purpose is. In a little bit all of them found it charming and interesting.
Highlights of the tour were the chapel and the museum where everybody went and took a look at the beautiful mural paintings. Of course, the trip didn’t go without a serious amount of laughter and funny situations. One of the most entertaining moments for everybody was our 18-year-old Silvester singing during the travel on the bus.
The trip was possible due to the generous sponsorship done by Cedar friends Nikki and Stuart Byfield. We would like to express our gratitude for their dedicated support and for giving the young people this wonderful experience.
Prague is a lovely city. It made the race amazingly scenic. The participants were over 9000 and it was a wonderful experience to share in the comradeship of such a challenging event. I ran the race in 4: 16 hours and was placed at 4130th position. The race was over 42 kilometers long…
The experience was marked with some truly incredible impressions. For a number of miles I ran alongside a one-legged man who was absolutely inspiring. A team of seven young people were pushing a special wheel chair so a boy with cerebral palsy could take part. A young man was running with a picture of his dad on the back. He had died of cancer. The boy was running to raise money for cancer research…
At the end of the race I cried my eyes out from sheer exhaustion. I was thankful for the whole experience in spite of the fact that I was taking mouthfuls of salt at the refreshment stations as I had to do all not to vomit. My Irish friend Barty had come and run with a broken toe in order to encourage me. My Namibian friend Mirco and his wife Anja came all the way from Sofia to Prague to wave me on. ..
Running a marathon is much more than an extreme physical effort. It’s a mental challenge to stay focused and expand your limits. And it’s a way to feel true friendship again and of course, essentially – to make other people’s lives better. I’m grateful to all who sponsored my run and contributed to the improvement of the care and support our young people in Kyustendil receive.
The Cedar representative Jeni Petrova attended a seminar dedicated to the new ways of supporting children with disabilities and their families that took place in Sofia Municipality on May 8th. The event was organized by Prijateli 2006 Foundation specialized in the field of foster care. The organization has taken the initiative for the seminar in order to launch a deeper public discussion and raise awareness about the needs of the children with disabilities and their parents.
The participants had the chance to listen to some very informative and interesting presentations like Intensive Interaction (Lumos Bulgaria), Early Intervention Team (Samariani Association), Centre for social rehabilitation and integration (Karitas Bulgaria), etc. Together with that, the Chairman of Prijateli 2006 Foundation Mr Hans Ordnung shared the organization’s concept of the ways to support the parents of children with disabilities. Emotional and professional help and consultation are among the keys to achieving the main goal – building the parents' capacity and confidence and thus assuring a fulfilling and enjoyable life for the children.
The seminar is the beginning of a consecution of initiatives that Prijateli 2006 Foundation and their partners will take to support the process of social acceptance and understanding of the issues related to the children with disabilities and their families.
The long-term Peace Corps and Cedar volunteer Anne Balser came back to our country to do a week training with her colleagues and friends from Daycare Center Kazanlak and social therapists from the family-type centre “Siyanie” - Kyustendil. She and her American co-worker Hanna Embry conducted several lectures and did practical exercises with the professionals on topics including Applied Behaviour Analysis, Discrete Trial Instruction, Principles of Behaviour, etc. Additionally, the training participants were lucky to hear from them useful ideas about the application of one of the newest methods of teaching children with autism and mental disabilities in a naturalistic environment. The method is being used in the Daycare centre for children with autism in Denver, Colorado where Anne and Hanna are working. Its practical outcomes and the achieved results will be presented by Anne at a professional conference in Seattle in May this year.
Anne spent 2 years between 2009 and 2011 in Bulgaria working alongside and teaching Daycare Center Kazanlak personnel contemporary methods of work with children with disabilities. As a result of her hard work the centre reached a very high professional level and is one of the best centres supporting the development of children with special needs in the country.