Equilibrium’s annual conference took place on 23rd March 2012 in the Battenberg Hall of the Ruse Regional History Museum.
Guests included representatives of the Child Protection Department, Social Assistance Directorate, municipal and regional administration and the new director of the municipal Humanitarian Activities Department – Irena Petrova. We were also joined by our official partners from Ruse’s Open Society Club (OSC) and the UK organization, Hope and Homes for Children (HHC).
The event was facilitated by Lora Sarkisian from OSC who introduced a number of speakers.
The annual activity was summarized by Milena Vlahova, operations director of the complex for social services who was followed by EQ’s chairman, David Bisset and biggest risk-taker who explained how organizational risk is managed at the complex.
The audience was touched by the insight into the lives of the children from the Pink House (our family-type home), provided by Nadezhda Petrova, who manages this facility and Elina Todorova, who is a occupational therapist. The substantial progress made by these children after their transfer from the isolated institution in Mogilino village proved that the care and love in a family environment can substantially reverse the effects of institutionalization.
The finale involved a screening of Arena Media’s film – ‘Transforming Lives’ that tells the story of the first closure of a baby institution in Bulgaria and the creation of a new centre for social services It also features the personal stories of a number of infants who were successfully placed with foster parents or reintegrated into their families. The film was introduced by Tsveta Nenova from Arena Media who explained her personal emotional investment in the venture as she actually undertook the interviews shown in the film.