Parents +: Grandmother Stanka, who has raised three generations
Grandmother Stanka is 72 years old, but her great-grandson, Misho, 1 year and 7 months old, often calls her "Mum". The elderly woman is one of the many in Bulgaria who take on the upbringing of children of their relatives who cannot or do not want to take care of them. The National Foster Care Association ( NFCA) and “A1” have been working on a special program "Parents+" to support financially or emotionally families in such vulnerable situations to ensure a calm and normal childhood for the young children.
In the case of Misho, his mother- whether because of her young age or other personal reasons - has abdicated from responsibility. That is why her grandmother, despite her advanced age, takes full care of the baby when he is as small as three days old - from his discharge from the maternity ward.
"Misho is such a cheerful and loving child. He makes me very happy. I raised my son - his grandfather, I have looked after his mother for many years, I pray to be alive and healthy, to be able to raise him, to see him big.", shared grandmother Stanka.
It is clear to most people that caring for a child at this age is a continuous combination of sprint and marathon. It is also difficult for young parents, but Grandma Stanka has not given up over the years and does everything possible for Misho to live well in a family environment. Under the "Parents+" program, organized by NFCA and funded by “A1”, Grandma Stanka receives assistance with funds for clothes, diapers and food for the child.
Misho's mother is granddaughter of grandmother Stanka and is just 20 years old now. After she refused to take responsibility for her child, it turned out that her mother, Grandma Stanka's daughter-in-law, also did not want to take care of her grandson because she could not overcome the deteriorating relationship with her daughter and continued to live abroad. At the same time, the child's father has been unknown for a long time. The only and closest relative to take care of Misho so that he could grow up in a family environment is his great-grandmother Stanka. It is no coincidence that he often calls her "Mum."
NFCA has no information that other close relatives support grandmother Stanka in caring for her great-grandson. Only her brother's wife, who is also not much younger, supports the elderly woman. When Stanka had to be hospitalized in an accident, she temporarily took care of Misho. The two women together help the mother of grandmother Stanka, who is over 90 years old. That is why the foster parents from NFCA, trained as social workers, help with the most necessary things for the upbringing of Misho, which is not always possible to buy with the modest pension of his great-grandmother Stanka.
The "Parents +" program is implemented in 14 regional cities in Bulgaria. By the end of 2021, “A1” will invest BGN 100,000 to help prevent separation between biological families and their children. The initiative is part of over half a million levas of A1's investment in the cause of foster care in our country, aimed at ensuring a normal and peaceful childhood for the children in Bulgaria.