The National Foster Care Association Gave the Second “Childhood Saviors” Awards for Contribution to Foster Care
The National Foster Care Association handed out the awards “Childhood Saviors” for the second time on the occasion of the Day of Foster Parents and Foster Care. Foster parents, doctors, teachers, social workers, human rights defenders, adopters and experts were awarded for investment in foster care. The association organized the ceremony with the friendly support of Mtel. Hosts of the ceremony were Drago Simeonov and Lilyana Boyanova, and special guests of the evening were Deputy Minister of Labor Rositsa Dimitrova and Deputy Minister of Education Tanya Mihaylova.
Four foster mothers were granted with the prize "Childhood Saviors”. Natalia Alexandrova and Minka Todorova raise two sisters and give them safety that compensates for the difficult start in their childhood. The distinguished Dima Stoyanova meets her foster son in a social home for children with disabilities. Love motivates her to take care of a 15-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who is not able to talk and walk, and communicates with him only by touch and sight. The fourth winner of the prize is the youngest foster mother in Pazardzhik - Ivelina Kurteva. For several years, Ivelina looks after a girl who needs continuous medical supervision, treatment and care in a hospital.
The special award for Adopter – Childhood Savior was bestowed to Milena Dimitrova, her husband Ivailo, their son Hristo, and to Carlos and Gabriel, the adopted children the family. Years after seeing a tragedy on the television with starving children in an orphanage, Milena goes visits an orphanage. There she meets a special boy to whom she has a strong connection. By taking the first steps to become his foster parents, they realize that he has a brother and so they turn out to have not one but a total of three children. Years later they adopt the kids.
The National Association for Foster Care also distinguished with an award two social workers. For three years Miroslava Milkova is not only a social worker, but also a person who guides, trains, supports and responds to every problem of the foster parents, who nominated her. Tzvetan Todorin is awarded for firmly asserting the right of the foster children to express their opinion He opposes any attempt to take a change of measure when this is contrary to their interest.
The journalists Vasilena Grivcheva from Nova TV and Maria Vankova from bTV were awarded with the prize for contribution to foster care "Childhood Saviors" because of their approach towards foster care and children. The journalists gain the trust of foster parents with their humanity, concern and professionalism that change attitudes towards foster parents. Maria and Vassilena fight social problems and inequalities and turn human stories into emotional stories.
The teacher – Childhood Savior, awarded by the National Foster Care Association, is Nina Maksimova - elementary school teacher from "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" in the village of Staro Oryahovo. She changes the fate of a 6-year-old mentally retarded boy who, when placed in foster care, is in a severe emotional and physical condition. For three years the child has achieved great results. He learns to read, write, think. He graduates first, second and third grade with certificates for a child with special educational needs, who has achieved great success in school. The Foster Care Association also distinguished the website for video training Ucha.se for the investment in foster education and the free subscription to the portal for more than 300 school-age foster children.
Two doctors are the winners of the "Childhood Saviors" award for their kindness, humanity and professionalism. Dr. Jovka Bakardjieva, a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine, was awarded for her continuous struggle to return the ability of two foster children to walk. Family Doctor Spar Weisalov is not afraid to cure children in foster care, for whom there is no clear medical history. He does not give up on the difficult cases.
A special prize was also received by the Clinic of Ophthalmology of "Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital" for the initiative of free eye examinations of children in foster families. The dedicated team showed respect and care to the foster children, something very rare in the Bulgarian health system.
Three non-governmental organizations were also given the "Childhood Saviors" award. Karin Dom Association received the prize for the invested support and care for many children with disabilities in foster families, who, besides the physical pain, suffer from terrible emotional pain. With the help of healthcare professionals, the team of the association has prepared a foster family to accommodate a baby infected with syphilis at birth, for whom doctors and social workers insist on living in a home for abandoned babies rather than in a family environment. A special prize was also given to the National Network for Children, which has an exceptional contribution to the organizational development of the only parental organization of foster parents.
Investors - childhood saviors are two companies. Ozone.bg, the online shop for entertainment and leisure products, together with the website "Maiko Mila", received the award for their initiative to donate 50 backpacks with school supplies and kits for the first school day of foster children from Vidin, Vratsa and Lovech. Winners are also the boys from 1bike their initiative “Bike for Waste, Bicycle for a Child”, during which more than 100 children in foster families from all over the country receive recycled children's bicycles. A special award was also given to Mtel employees, who donate individually for the education of children in foster families over the past 5 years.
The National Foster Care Association cannot exist without the volunteering and the expertise of several individuals and organizations that donate time, knowledge and skills. The special award "Childhood Saviors" goes also to the IT specialist Yosif Cheresharov, who donates technical resources and knowledge to the association, and the company OBS, which donated to NFCA a relationship management software tool worth nearly BGN 30,000. The NFCA psychologist Rumen Kolev is honored for his direct work with foster youths and the SMARTS advertising agency was awarded for its investment in the association's causes.
The National Foster Care Association bestowed with the "Childhood Saviors" award all employees in the social sphere of Mineralni Bani Municipality. The municipality is a small one, but it employs hearty people, who support foster parents in everything important to them. The educational infrastructure in the municipality hosts children from foster families and the municipal administration encourages foster parents by providing them with various forms of support and ensuring their participation in public life.