Crisis Centre for Girls

ZOV’s children’s club are a safe haven for the children, and a place where they can come to meet with a familiar, kind face, and a spring board for success. It provides opportunities and experiences that pave the way for brighter, more fulfilled futures. 

 Background

In Bulgaria there has been an increased number of registered cases of violence towards children. We want to support a centre for 15 girls who have been victims of violence such as sexual abuse, trafficking, domestic violence and forced prostitut   Over the next few years numbers are likely to increase as there is only one Crisis centre in the Veliko Turnovo (VT) area.  There are  plans to raise the number of children in the Crisis centre over the next few years. This is due to the increase in cases and the lack of similar services in the wider area and the country as a whole.    There is an urgent need for more support for this centre.

The Centre

Children live in a very secure environment which means they are unable to leave the home or even walk in the area. One of Crisis centre’s role is to protect them from dangerous people.  They do nothing in their spare time have no friends  and feel isolated and unhappy and scared about their future. They need educational support and extra curriculum activities especially dances, drama and life-skills sessions as well as guidance in preparing for their future

“Children in the Crisis centre in Balvan have very difficult stories and need support, attention, extra curriculum activities and group activities to help them deal with their trauma. Also the children in Crisis centre have a different daily routine – they have strict rules and almost never go out because have to be kept safe.  Any activity is useful to improve the children’s self confidence and self-esteemWe really believe that ZOV could bring a support that will improve the Crisis centre environment the children’s lives and will make them happier. Together we could bring back the smiles and happy childhood to our girls.” Director of the Centre .

ZOV has nine years experience setting up different projects and activities for children at a risk in Bulgaria.

Specific aims:

  • support the children’s personal development by providing experiences that take them outside of the home especially in the natural environment.
  • provide extra support for individual children to participate in certain extra-curricular activities that they otherwise would not have access to
  • offer educational support and recreational activities
  • embed a team of NGO staff and student volunteers within the home, who can offer a regular and trustworthy point of contact for the children
  • share experiences of the children’s club with other child services professionals in the local area and regional area
  • developing confidence using team work and communication
  • To encourage children to identify future work and study goals
  • Develop key life-skills and prepare children for life outside institutional care

Thanks to support from Friend of Bulgaria ZOV started this project in 2016 which provide the following weekly activities:

  • Dance and Drama Club
  • Cooking Lifeskills Club
  • Education Club (helping with school, homework and future educational aims).

Additional Activities:

If we receive more funds we will provide more trips away from the home and include the girls in our mentoring project which has been running for four years, as well as providing specific training to help the girls as best we can.  The Mentoring project has been extremely successful in alleviating the isolation that children in care often experience, by getting them to actively engage with their local community and receive support and individual attention from student mentors from the local university Each girl would be matched with a student mentor from the local university that they will meet twice a month. The volunteer mentors are trained and supported by professional social workers.  In addition to the mentoring programme we would organise a week-long trip in the summer and a two day trip at Easter so the girls have an opportunity to spend time in nature away from the home which is especially important in the summer months.

Expected Results:

  • Improved social skills and lifeskills
  • Improved communication and emotional skills
  • Improved care for children victims of violence
  • Development of basic domestic skills
  • Increased enjoyment and fun, music and dance sessions
  • Social inclusion and increased self esteem of children victims of violence
  • Improved cooperation and team work
  • Improved social inclusion of children and girls victims of violence
  • Prevention of violence against girls and manage with prejudices against women concerning home violence and violence at all

If you would like to support this project and help us to fundraise so we can provide more support to the girls than please contact Charlotte@zov.org.uk.