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In June,  Equilibrium  launched a new project ′′ Sustainable Families ′′ with the financial support of the IRIS Program. The project supported a total of 74 families where there is a risk of crisis – potential for removing children from their homes and a need to preserve the psycho-emotional state of families and improve their awareness to protect against Coronavirus. The selection of the families was carried out on the basis of analysis and assessment of the individual needs of each family. In total, 313 family members  were supported, of whom 171 children.

Equilibrium originally aimed to support a total of 60 families within the territory of Ruse municipality, including small towns and villages in the area over a period of 5 months. The project team managed to exceed the goals set.

A special brochure was also developed, containing information about the ways of preventing Covid-19. It was written in a language understandable to both children and their parents. Material support for children and families was also accompanied by psychological consultations where the Equilibrium team identified such a need.

Feedbacks from all the families we worked with is more than superlative –

36.6 % of supported families share that ′′everything ′′ provided to them in the support package was important and necessary for them. 21 % reported that the food products donated were most important to them. The remaining 42.4 % provided references to the overall interaction with the team, emotional support, advice and counseling: ′′ communicating with the team “, ′′ cooperating “, ′′attention to my daughter and me”, ′′ support for school, advice, sharing, firewood “, ′′ conversations that calm the psyche and first-necessity products ′′ etc. More specific support is also reported – paid household bills, purchased medicines, stove, inhaler, etc.

Facemasks were mentioned among the essential items provided.

Families with children at an early age have indicated that formula milk, diapers, medicines and baby cosmetics that help them take adequate care of babies.

The Iris program provided the opportunity for Equilibrium to provide complex assistance to the highest-risk families in Ruse Municipality. We at Equilibrium believe that the working approach to support is holistic – the opportunity to provide both psychological, advisory assistance and the essential, especially tailored material support for families.

IRIS Program supports projects of civil organizations, chitalishta and initiative groups to help  children and their families who are especially vulnerable to Covid-19. The program was created at the initiative of the Bulgarian Donation Forum, National Network for Children’s and the Foundation ′′ Civic Initiative Workshop ′′. It is managed by the Foundation ′′ Civic Initiatives Workshop “.