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Nearly BGN 80,000 for 500 Children at Risk Raised by Singing Business People and Local Pop Stars

October 23, 2014
Nearly BGN 80,000 for 500 Children at Risk Raised by Singing Business People and Local Pop Stars

For Our Children Foundation held its fifth Evening of the Virtues; BBLF, again, partnered the event

Pop stars Orlin Pavlov, Margarita Hranova, Silvia Katsarova, Orlin Goranov, Edelina Kaneva, Vasil Petrov, BNR children's choir soloist Sara Gusheva and entrepreneurs Milen Bonkalov, Maxim Behar, Maria Shishkova, Ivaylo Yosifov, Lin Golding and Snezhana Angelova, a mother that For Our Children (FOC) foundation supports, raised BGN 78,340 in support of children in risk of being abandoned by parents and placed in an institution.

This is the outcome of the fifth Evening of the Virtues that FOC organised on 21 October 2014 at Sofia Event Center. During the charitable event attendees could appraise the musical performances by donations. The funds raised will support 500 children in risk of being institutionalised. The foundation will provide economic, emotional and specialised support to babies in risk, children with disabilities or development issues and will also assist their children in developing the children’s full potential.

A charitable tender put up for sale Stiliyan Petrov’s T shirt, Martin Panteleev, Sofia Philharmony’s principal conductor’s baton, a copy of Time of Parting signed by author Anton Donchev, an authentic mask donated by pop star Beloslava and many more. A painting by young Doan, a kid FOC has supported, was sold for over BGN 1,500. A post card signed by Gianni Rodari and an award received by local theatre celebrity Georgi Kaloyanchev were among the most intriguing items on the bid list.

„For Our Children Foundation focuses on support for newborns and very young children. We believe it to be the investment everyone should do so that it gives back in the future. The more we invest in very young children the less expenses we will have in the future,” Ms. Ivanka Shalapatova, FOC Executive Director commented.

This year’s Evening of the Virtues’ patron was Alessandra Maggi, President of the Innocenti Institute in Italy. The Institute was founded 600 years ago and consults a number of European states on their children and family support policies. It is essential that from the very start of the pregnancy parents have the opportunity to consult with experts and other parents so they know the importance of the child’s early development. Parents should be informed about the child’s development in the first couple of years so they stay with their child firmly and gently, know what the stages of development are and be of help”, Ms. Maggi said.

Some 2,000 newborns and children up to 3 years are being placed in institutions every year. The major reasons for separation from families include poverty, lack of support and disabilities of children. It is not uncommon that doctors advise parents to abandon their children. Data of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee just 1 out of nine children living in institutions leave the institution and stay with a famil, the rest are institutinalised again.

Over 150 disabled children were supported by the funding raised at last year’s Evening of the Virtues. Some of them made teir first steps and uttered their first words in 2013. In 2013 the Foundation supported  total of 518 children and their families. In the first 9 months of 2014 the foundation helped over 520 children.

The support of the partners of the event covers all of the expenses so all funds raised will benefit the good cause. Partners include general sponsor Dundee Precious Metals Chelopech, golden sponsor Salvis Pharma and special sponsor EOS Services.

The event is organised with the support of Sofia Event Centre who provided their venue free of charge and with the kind support of BBLF, Business Park Sofia, I Do Advertising, J Point, Ideas Lab, M3 Communications, Musical Academy, Marvin Wine Cellar, Speedy, Arlet  Hair Shops, Appolo and Mercurius Foundation, Flame Studio, Dimitar Shosho Kotsev, Rene Catering,  Devin Mineral Water, Sofita Translation Agency, Mastershop Hobby Atelier, photographers Simeon Salov and Stefan Nedelchev.