We accept 2005 as a turning point not only for us, but also for the child protection system in Bulgaria. Until then, the country had, as social services, only a few daycare centres for children with disabilities. Then, under a project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, funded by the World Bank, 10 complexes for social services for children and families were launched. The project „ Reform for improving the well-being of children in Bulgaria “ gave the start of something that has so far been unknown, new, revolutionary and different.
The Ruse complex was one of the first ( under the auspices of Care International ). For us, this was a dream come true! We entered the newly renovated building ( an old primary school ), which was to become the first service of its kind for which there was no methodology at the time, no regulations or tools created. The building was bare, lacking furniture and equipment. We started from scratch, including recruiting staff who immediately had to attend to filling the spartan interior.
But for us, the most important thing is the personnel who have manned the complex over the years and also helped transform the lives of hundreds of children and families over the years! Mobile field work in vulnerable communities had been something completely unknown prior to 2005. Slowly but surely we have won the trust of the communities in the city neighbourhoods and in the surrounding small settlements, so that they do not perceive us as a threat to them and their children. We became a source of hope, support and optimism for families and Equilibrium became a household name. People often recognize us as their only advocate and people to turn to in their worst times of crisis.
Our history is full of difficulties, with many battles, with many changes in local and central government, which have sometimes forced us to start almost everything from the beginning, but history also remembers countless successes, innovations that have impacted on programmess and services across the country. Indeed, the complex has contributed significantly to policy development.
History remembers the hundreds of sleepless nights of our cohort of staff but also the outcomes for children and families.
Happy holiday, colleagues!