In June 2014, the General Meeting of the National Network for Children (NNC) adopted the 2015-2020 Strategy of the organization. The implementation of the Strategy began in January 2015.
Strategic objective 2, “Support for the NNC member organizations and the Network as a whole” contains four measures. This report will consider Measure No. 2 ” Development of the capacity of the Network as a community”, comprising three main activities:
- Implementation of national campaigns and advocacy activities at regional / local level.
- Conducting an NNC annual meeting.
- Establishment of Children’s House where work will be carried out with groups of children and young people, on children’s rights and the Secretariat will be based.
The main goal, as of 2020, according to Objective 2, Measure 2, Activity 3 is for “The NNC to establish Children’s house in which activities shall be carried out with children and young people in the field of children’s rights. The space shall be used actively by NNC members from all over the country who work directly with children and families.”
According to the Charter of the organization and the management contract, signed by the executive director, the buying and selling of NNC property is the prerogative of the Board and must be taken by unanimity.
Considering the above, in terms of the Strategy and the powers given to the Management Board and the Executive Director, this report was developed in order to seek opportunities for the realization of the measures and activities set out in the NNC Strategy.
In August 2016 NNC purchased land of 830 sqm thanks to the support of OAK & VELUX foundations.
2. The Project and functionality of the house
The House of Children will provide active and growing environment for children of different age, families, groups and social status. This will be a child friendly, modern and innovative house of all children throughout the whole country. It will be a place for children’s rights protection and support as well as a center for training and preparation of young people for their leading future. This also will be a place for know-how exchange between members of the National Network for Children.
The NNC-owned building will have several basic functions:
- Open and interactive sessions on children’s rights. The idea is to conduct interactive sessions with children who are guests of Sofia or Sofia residents. Classes will be conducted by the Secretariat of the Network, so that the environment for conducting these sessions will be very friendly to kids and various small gifts will be given in the classes and groups to remind them of children’s rights.
- Training centre, in which the NNC members will be able to conduct their trainings at preferential rates and organize their Furthermore, the NNC will develop small social enterprise where young people who leave institutional care can work and have work experience. The idea is to turn it into a meeting place, not only for the NNC members, but for other NGOs as well, to provide them with both meeting rooms and accomodation. The training centre will have a very friendly atmosphere and the converted common-rooms will allow the conducting of meetings between the different participants in the events, outside classes.
- The whole venue will be managed as a social enterprise where young people care levers from homes for children or foster care will gain work experience tutored from experienced professionals.
- The Secretariat office space will require about 200 sq.m., which should be enough for the team but also we will have open space and share office for other member organizations.
The building should be of about 2,000 sq.m. total built-up area, each level of the building will be of an approximate built-up area of 400 sq.m. The distribution of floors could be as follows:
- Basement – Underground garage with storage facilities.
- Ground floor – Child friendly hall with opportunities for screening and separation into two parts. Foyer for a quick lunch, supplied by catering companies, reception, and toilet
- First floor – halls and office space for the NNC Secretariat
- Second floor – accommodation comprising 8 double rooms and 2 single rooms and a common-room with kitchenette.
- Attic – comprising 5 double rooms and 1 single with a common-room and kitchenette. Overall, beds will be for about 30 people. All rooms will be child friendly furnished so children from the country can have good accommodation in friendly space.
|Buying the land||Architecture plan and preparation||Building the house||Furnishing||Opening|
3. Braking down estimated costs
The total estimate costs will be to build and to begin the activities in the House of Children is 1 900 000 euro. At that stage we have secured 350 000 euro.
|Estimate costs in EURO||Source of funding||Activity|
|350 000||NNC||General construction of the building|
|800 000||Velux Foundation||Preparing project proposal for Velux Foundation to support for second time the NNC Project|
|300 000||Corporate donors in BG||Donate building materials for the House from BG companies|
|450 000||Fundraising from other donors||For furnishing the House and internal work|
4. Benefits and risks
The benefits in the construction of our own building, with the above functionalities, are as follows:
- Direct work by the Secretariat with children, on children’s rights.
- Creating a space for the NNC members, where more intensive communication will be held on the issues concerning children from the whole of the country.
- Cost savings on office rent for the Secretariat and other NGOs working with children.
- Affordable rooms for training and other events, together with accommodation for the NNC members and activities of the Network as a whole.
- Possibility of financial sustainability of the NNC through developed conference services.
Risks in the construction of our own building:
- The main risk is associated with finding financial resources for 1 500 000 EURO to cover the main construction works on the project. Whit the support of Velux Foundation the project partly or as whole will be minimized. We hope we have good bases to attract other donors and supporters.
- The other, less significant, risk is that an insufficient amount of building materials is provided for the construction, thereby raising the necessary financial costs of the construction.
The strategy for dealing with such risks is that in cases of extreme circumstances we would preferably take out a loan to cover the remaining costs of completion of the building, and leave the equipment to be phased in over time. In any case, the initial goal is for the office of the Secretariat to move into the new building, so resources for rent can be released to cover the costs of a future loan. A major effort to minimise the risks is to find as many donations of building materials from manufacturers as possible. This practice is used by a number of organizations in the National Network for children, and they have achieved outstanding results in lowering the financial costs of repair or construction.
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