Evidence of success
We achieve visible educational results
We measured the effectiveness of our preschool educational program with a control group of children who we not included in preschool education. Thanks to the services based on the Model for Integrated Development, the children (4- and 5-years old) achieved impressive results – five times higher than the results of their peers who did not attend services for early childhood development. This success is also largely due to involving the parents, who as part of the program learn how to assist their children in their educational paths before first grade and after. The noticeable progress of the children prompted their parents to begin to imagine a very different future for them.
- Read more: An article in the journal of “Clinical and Counselling Psychology”, year III, issue 3 (9) 2011 (available only in Bulgarian)
We create sustainable change in the behaviour of young Roma
Social norms among young Roma can be sustainably changed through a social skills training carried out by specialists with professional experience in value clarification, attitude change and skills development (in terms of avoidance of risky behaviour, responsible parenting, family planning, successful inclusion in the classroom and in the labour market, prevention of diseases, etc. Moreover, after one year the positive effect of the training increases among social networks in the community.
- Read more: An article in the British Medical Journal
Our services in the community are increasingly popular
When we started our first preschool program in the community, we faced a major challenge: how do we convince parents in the benefits it has for their children. We made great efforts to enrol the first children in the program, but only within two years the number of parents who came to register their children on their own climbed over 200. Today the limited capacity of the Health and Social Centre in Fakulteta forces us to suspend the registration process early and draw long waiting lists.
Early childhood education is the most reasonable investment
Programs for early childhood development have a higher rate of return on investment than any other policies. Thirty prominent economists gathered at an international forum in 2007 reached the agreement that early childhood development is the most effective programme out of 29 different approaches for improving public spending and policies. The Nobel laureate James Heckman is emphatic: the negative socio-economic consequences of social inequality “can and should” be overcome by investing in early childhood development.
People from the community are part of the process and the solution of problems
The role of the health and social assistant from the Roma community is crucial for the successful delivery of community services. Selecting community assistants well is extremely important. That’s why we developed a special procedure for assessing the qualities of the job candidates, based on the “assessment centre” model, which includes an interview, attitudes and skills assessment, roleplaying of situations and others.
Best practice implemented in the largest Roma communities in the country
The model of offering integrated services by a qualified team of specialists and community assistants was evaluated as a best practice for community-based services and was partially implemented in the largest Roma communities in the country within the National Programme for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and the National Tuberculosis Control Programme. This program was assessed by the Global Fund as the best among the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The foundation is a provider of social services licensed by the Agency for Social Assistance and the National Child Protection Agency.