The Sofia City District Administration hosted a seminar “We want to know our rights and hear you” on June 25 as part of the “Right of participation and voice”, which is implemented with financial support provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism from 1.09.2020. Sofia City District Administration supported the cause and kindly hosted the event.
The seminar aimed to increase our knowledge regarding the rights of the child and their application and whether there are differences in the understanding of professionals and children.
Mrs. Jivka Takeva-Parvanova – Deputy Regional Governor welcomed the guests and stressed the fruitful partnership of Regional administration with Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria in all types of activities related to children and families. Teodora Ivanova, Secretary General of the SACP, also gave a greeting, emphasizing that she would be happy to have the institution entrusted to her host the next seminar. The congratulatory address received by Dr. Kastreva, Head of Regional education department Sofia, was also read. Boryana Klimentova, program director of Hope and homes for children-Bulgaria briefly presented the project and the floor was given to the most important participants – children.
The leading Elena represents all the children. She then invited Mihail and Lydia to talk about the organization and the program for children’s participation. Kaloyan, Boyan and Geri described what we have done so far – what meetings, what sessions, what activities and what this has brought us. They also shared their personal feelings from the two advocacy meetings with the two ministers – Minister of Labor and Social Policy and Minister of Health.
Kaloyan presented his participation in the 13th European Consultative Forum for the Development of a European Strategy for the Child. Shares personal experience and impressions. Niya and Christina shared the alternative report created by the children from the program and sent to the Commission of UN. Christina shared her personal experience and impressions from the 13th European Consultative Forum. Elena and Lydia also stressed the importance of this forum and were impressed by the number of participants and how many countries there were from. It was important for the children who participated in such a Forum to hear their voice and respect their opinion.
Kaloyan stressed how much they want children to promote their rights and no institutions full of children. For this to happen, we will need new like-minded people, clear goals and sustainable policies for a good future.
The children from the program presented in a short scene how they see working with children at risk and how we should all get involved. At the end, each participant in the program for children’s participation and the project “Right of participation and voice” shared their personal motivation, which encouraged them to get involved.
All present, specialists from State agency for child protection, Regional administration, health structures, child protection departments, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations expressed their positive impression of the children, supported them to continue working and developing in this direction and also not to forget the importance from participating and hearing their voice when they become parents themselves.