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Dec 27, 2013

Final Report - Summer School for Children without Parents

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being with us and supporting or project “Summer school for Children without parents”. During the last three years we managed to organize three wonderful summers for underprivileged children from Sofia, Gabrovo, Berkovitsa and Plovdiv.

During the sessions the children and youths managed to learn useful skills and knowledge to prepare for their successful entry into society and the labour force. Together we worked on their motivation and the development of professional attitudes and understanding of employers’ essential expectations: responsibility, ownership, honesty and reliability. They also had the opportunity to experience what it is like to create a project proposal for funding their own ideas which gave them a good taste of some essential professional skills and motivated them to learn more about each other and about the specific business topics they engaged with. The young participants in the Summer Schools had the chance to attend vocational trainings depending on their personal needs and 2-3 week internship at an employer, which required of them to go to work every day, complete tasks at different functions of the organization, and meet their employer’s expectations.

Along with the hard work the children and youths also had a lot of fun exploring the nature - like being part of an expedition orientation with map and compass, which helped them build confidence in their own abilities. During the exercises they learned how to achieve goals, to work in a team but still strive for leadership, to be tolerant and responsible, as well as to respect the nature.

During these years we worked on increasing the motivation of the children and youngsters, their self-confidence and trust in their own abilities. Strong attention was put on leadership and teamwork. After each practical exercise there were many discussions which helped them reflect on their actions and see possible ways to practice what they learned during the games in the real life.

The main focus of these activities was put on effective inclusion of the young people in the world outside care – development of abilities to adapt and to integrate. Our volunteers worked with the children and youths not only in teaching them new knowledge but also in developing their talents and curiosity to learn new things.

Our work with children and youths during the summers showed very positive effects on the performance of the children and still convinced us further in the necessity of continuous work on their motivation and provision of support during the whole year.

For this reason Step for Bulgaria team developed a new program called Mentoring Program for Underprivileged Youth. The Mentoring Program gives the chance to build a strong relationship between an underprivileged young person and a young professional, who can give advices and support the youths in their first steps in real life. A relationship with non-parental adult influences positively the youths’ perception of self-worth and competence, promotes resiliency and helps them be better suited to benefit from the support of their parents and care-givers.

For the coming year we will put our efforts on the development of this program and we will stop organizing Summer Schools as separate activities – the training sessions will be smoothly incorporated in the Mentoring Program.

Soon our new project will be on GlobalGiving so you can continue being part of our team by supporting our new project. You can also visit “Teach Life Skills to Children without Parents” and support this cause.

We would like to thank you for your continuous support - both material and spiritual. Given that we're a completely volunteer-run organization, the support we see in donors of the GlobalGiving network gives us yet another reason to work persistently to create better life opportunities for the underprivileged youth that we work with. Without you, the personal growth of our children and youth and their development as responsible and successful adults would be impossible!

Thank you for being part of this through your contribution!

with gratitude,

Step for Bulgaria team

Nov 25, 2013

Year-long Educational Programme

Dear Friends,

Your support during the last year gave the opportunity for 50 children and youngsters from Sofia, Gabrovo, Plovdiv and Berkovitsa to participate in year-long educational programme. The programme consists of 4 modules “Psychological module”, “My Rights”, “My Health” and “Professional orientation”. The content of the modules was developed based on the necessities of the children and youngsters and in its essence it is training for acquiring abilities for independent living.

The Psychological module covered topics related to communication – challenges and difficulties, conflict management, aggression, assertive behaviour and non-verbal communication. Through “My Health” module the children and youngsters were introduced to their rights as patients. There were discussions on healthy nutrition as well as topics on sexual health and culture. During “My Rights” module the participants gained knowledge on basic legislative documents that guarantee the rights of the citizens in the country. During the discussions and the role-games, the children and the youngsters leaned which institutions they should refer in case their rights are violated. Special attention was paid to the topic of discrimination – problem that concerns directly most of the children. Sessions within module “Professional orientation” were organized in the form of discussions. Topics of these discussions were directed to how to write a CV, what is the significance of getting proper education and how it influences future career development, which are the steps that each person should take in order to achieve professional realization.

The children and youngsters were very active during the discussions and role-plays. The discussions were open and the children and youngsters shared not only thoughts but also their own experience on some of the topics.

 

Thank you once again for making this possible! With your continuous support we believe we can help more children and young disadvantaged people to be better prepared for life outside the institutions.

 

Sincerely yours,

The Step for Bulgaria team

Oct 2, 2013

Summer School - Adventures in the Wild

Dear Friends,


The school year has already started and the sun is not so bright any more but the youngsters from Sofia, Gabrovo and Berkovitsa are still talking about their summer school.

 We had exciting days during which we worked together on increasing the motivation of the youngsters, their self-confidence and trust in their own abilities.   

The main focus of the program this summer was placed on effective inclusion of the young people in the world outside care – development of abilities to adapt and to integrate. Strong attention was put on leadership and teamwork. The method which was used was experiential education – e.g. learning by experience.

The young people lived real adventures and challenges in nature - like expedition orientation with map and compass, which helped them build confidence in their own abilities. During the exercises they learned how to achieve goals, to work in a team but still strive for leadership, to be tolerant and responsible, as well as to respect the nature.

During the group work the youngsters had a task to become a team that functions effectively. The participants went through different stages of the process: from the creation of the communication rules of the group and distribution of roles to building trust between them.

After each practical exercise there were many discussions which helped youngsters reflect on their actions and see possible ways to practice what they learned during the game in the real life.

 

Thank you for being part of this through your contribution! For our youngsters it makes a difference.

 

Best wishes,

The Step for Bulgaria team

 
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