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Citibank Bulgaria launched a partnership with For Our Children Foundation which aims to provide foster care and a safe family environment for at least 12 children in 2016. The event at St. Sofia public support centre was attended by Stanislava Taneva, Managing Director of Citi Bulgaria, Grigoriy Ananiev, director of Capital Markets for Romania and Bulgaria, Ivanka Shalapatova, CEO of For Our Children Foundation and Mariana Taseva, director of the Centre for Foster Care.
At the event For Our Children Foundation received a check for USD 20,000 which will be invested in recruiting , training and supporting foster families and children placed with them.
"It is my great honour today to welcome Citibank in the big family of For Our Children supporters. The mission of our organisation has always been shared by responsible partners who realise that the future of our nation lies in investing in early childhood when children need to live in a secure family environment and not in the isolation of social institutions. I am happy that in Citibank we have found a partner who through its support today invests in the sustainable development of our society addressing social inequality and the prosperity of Bulgarian children," Ivanka Shalapatova said.
"To me and the entire team at Citibank it is an honour to be here today to indicate our respect and commitment to the team of For Our Children Foundation and their tireless efforts to improve the lives of children at risk and create a feeling of belonging. This is one of those situations where it is not words but acts that demonstrate personal and corporate attitude. Challenges in life come in many different forms and attitude is what makes them significant and different. Citi’s support for the development of foster care in Bulgaria has a place in our global mission of social responsibility and promoting financial inclusion in low income communities. This partnership also provides opportunities for joint initiatives with the voluntary participation of employees of the bank, foster children and families and foster care specialists. I believe this is just the beginning of our journey together," Stanislava Taneva said.
"We are very grateful to For Our Children Foundation for their efforts and it is a great privilege to have a minor contribution to their achievements. We have set a big goal and we hope to not only keep our support but also engage our partners to join the good cause too," Grigoriy Ananiev said.
According to a report of the European Parliament 45% of children in Bulgaria live in poverty which puts them at extreme risk of separation from their family, social exclusion, school dropout and low chance of further development in life. Foster care is a chance for children who live in an unfavourable family environment, are separated from their parents or are placed in a social institution to feel the warmth and support of a family to grow up in peace and security and to develop their full potential.