From June 7th to 9th, 2023, Plamena Nikolova, Director of “Child Policies,” and Antoaneta Ivanova, member of the Board of Directors and representative of the “Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus” Association, participated in a working meeting of the national coordinators for the project “Emergency Care for Early Childhood Development for Ukrainian Refugees” (ECDUR) in Tirana, Albania. The project is implemented in partnership between UNICEF and EASPD – the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, with the financial support of the United States government. The meeting was attended by representatives of EASPD, as well as the national coordinators from the other four partner countries where the project is being implemented – Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, and Romania.
The meeting was part of the international conference organized by EASPD and UNICEF titled “Family-centered Early Childhood Intervention: How to make it work,” dedicated to early childhood intervention and its implementation as a model in different European countries. Plamena and Antoaneta participated as speakers in the panel focused on storytelling through filming in the five countries involved in the project. During the panel, a portion of the film about Bulgaria, directed by Laurentiu Garofeanu, was shown. The conference’s extensive program included key experts on early childhood intervention from Europe and the United States. There was also special participation from the Deputy Minister of Social Affairs of Ukraine, with whom contacts were established to strengthen the ties between Bulgaria and Ukraine and facilitate procedures for Ukrainian citizen refugees to access social and other systems both in Bulgaria and Ukraine, aiming to address specific issues as an additional result of the project.
Borislava Cherkezova, Executive Director of Karin Dom-Varna and a member of the Board of Directors, also participated in the panel on Early Childhood Intervention in the context of emergency resettlement of refugees.
The Bulgarian delegation represented at the meeting was invited to a meeting with the Bulgarian ambassador in Albania, Mr. Ivaylo Kirov, where possibilities for cooperation between the organization and the Bulgarian representation were discussed, especially regarding support for the Bulgarian ethnic minority in Albania.