A celebration of play and adventure for those of all shapes and sizes took place in Mall Ruse to help celebrate the 10th birthday of the complex. For two consecutive days, members of the EQ team entertained the public.
In a “Hyde Park” improvisation centre adults and children sang, danced and gave recitals and we are pleased that among the number were youngsters from the small group home in Byala. This was linked to a presentation by representatives of Ruse University’s department of social pedagogy.
Following the opening ceremony, a special certificate created by local artist Ognian Balkandzhiev was presented to the manager of Ruse Mall as a way of saying “Thank You” for tears of support. Plaques were also given to the individuals responsible for bringing the social services into being – David and Galina Bisset, Georgi Simeonov and Desislava Encheva.
The noisiest contribution to the fun and games was the play area for babies and toddlers where brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents supported the mini horse races, story-telling, singing and dancing and helped with our parachute games.
The weekend would not have been complete without our charity bazaar which, on this occasion, raised 440 leva that we will use to further develop our mixed ability play group which is a key part of our programme in Early Childhood Development. Funds will also support our work with physically disabled children and their parents that focuses on mobility and physical rehabilitation
For two weeks, a giant jigsaw puzzle featuring the butterfly logo of the complex will be on display at the mall. It is already covered in goodwill messages.
It is extraordinary to think that in the decade since it was founded, the Ruse centre for social support has provided comprehensive services to over 4700 recorded beneficiaries – children and young adults, their parents and relatives, foster parents and adoptive parents, mothers to be and others.
Our centre for street children has handled 247 primary cases and provided services for 708 – clients: children and young adults, their parents, relatives and friends have received support in different areas.
Our small group home known as the Pink House has been home for 16 children since its foundation. Of that number, 3 children with significant special needs have been adopted and one young man was moved to another residential service in the community more suitable for his age.
Our community interaction has involved 463 participants in group work with children and adults (groups of parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and children’s clubs). We have hosted group activities with 82 adopted children and provided counseling and support to 369 mothers in the city’s maternity unit. Over 120 teenagers have been involved in our Music Academy and training programme for Young Philanthropists. Our experts have advised 485 citizens (parents or relatives of children with problems, candidates for adoptive parents, foster families, etc.);
Over 1100 students from 13 schools in the city have taken part in EQ workshops on topical themes.
We have provide training and technical support to many other organizations that has included hosting more than 200 visitors to the complex allowing exchange of know-how with Bulgarian organisations and groups from several EC and Balkan countries. Roughly 70 teachers, school counselors and psychologists have participated in our Educational Resource Group over the years. Our team has benefited from visits by 48 trainers and mentors from social services and education.
Holiday programmes, festivals and public campaigns are a trademark of Equilibrium and we’ve run over 150 children’s holiday programmes and celebrations, 10 summer adventure camps for clients of the complex and 9 recreational retreats (mountains and sea) for the children from the Pink House.
At the complex we’ve held 32 workshops, conferences, information forums, roundtables etc. We have coordinated campaigns to promote foster care, positive parenting, prevention of abandonment and emotional abuse and many more.
The figures provide some idea about the breadth and scale of the work done at the Ruse complex which has strengthened its community presence over the last decade and continues to demonstrate that investment in the welfare of children and the resilience of families is what makes communities stronger and the future brighter.