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20151012_162426Under a municipal project, Pavlikeni has created a family-type accommodation centre (small-group home) and centre for social rehabilitation. Personnel and children representing these new facilities traveled to Ruse where an event had been organized to mark the successful completion of the Pavlikeni project.

Why Ruse? A speaker from Pavlikeni explains:

“The city of Ruse provided the team that started the process of deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria and it is a centre of know-how in providing community-based services. Your small-group homes now accommodate children transferred from the residential institution in Mihaltsi. We know the children and it will be fascinating to see how they’ve changed in their new home.”

Children and personnel from both Ruse facilities came together in Hope House and this provided an excellent opportunity for the EQ representatives to explain the challenges and achievements related to the management of the adaptation period that followed the transfer of our children from bigger institutions.

EQ has actually produced a short film charting progress over the 17 months since the launch of the family-type centres. It reveals a process of transformation in the youngsters as we set to work to tackle the effects of institutionalization and to set goals for each and every child. Inevitably, there is still a great deal of work to do but we are in the happy position of recognizing potential.

The meeting between the children and young people from the two towns was also a celebration that involved entertainment and gift for everyone.

It was especially heart-warming to see the reactions when the children from Mihaltsi met old friends and acquaintances who – in turn – could barely believe how they’d changed.

It was the first meeting between the two teams but it certainly won’t be the last. All agreed on the virtue of sustaining contact and meeting at intervals to exchange ideas and experiences. It  is invaluable for the personnel  but more  especially for children and young people in the new services.