Over 150 representatives of children organizations throughout Europe gathered at the annual meeting of the members of Eurochild, whose network unites over 165 civic organizations from 33 European countries. As a member of the network, the executive director of the Cedar Foundation participated in the event on June 15th 2020. It was followed by a number of webinars, whose main topic was how the pandemic affected all areas of child care in Europe.
The Cedar Foundation was invited to share the challenges and good practices in managing family-type centers during a pandemic. In her presentation Mrs Dimitrova shared what measures were taken in order to guarantee the physical and mental health of the children and young adults, who live in the family-type homes of the foundation, as well as of the employees. The focus in our work during the past months of emergency epidemic situation was on risk evaluation and a dynamic action plan, which includes additional activities and therapies for the children and young adults; providing transportation for the employees and adjustments to their schedules; adapting the fundraising strategy to the new reality, as well as advocacy before the responsible authorities. Some of the main outcomes of the situation are the importance of good planning, flexibility of the measures and good interaction with the media, as a mechanism for influencing the authorities. During the discussion, which followed the presentation, the participants shared that they are impressed with what Cedar has achieved, especially when it comes to the civic sector using the media as a tool for influencing important decisions about childcare and people.
Over 40 European organizations participated in the webinar, dedicated to good practices in the alternative childcare during a pandemic. At the end of the event, all participants expressed their desire to continue sharing experience and this way improving their work in supporting the children.