The National Network for Children held its Annual Meeting 2017 – the biggest event of the year, which brings together representatives of over 140 NNC’s member organizations. The idea of the meeting is to meet different people, of different ages, from different places to learn from each other; to plan their future activities in the name of children’s rights and to spend unforgettable time together.
This annual meeting was very special for the Network since the fact that many children and young people from across the country were invited to participate. The young people from Megaphone Youth Network were valuable paricipants in inventing and preparing this great event and took part actively in all days of the meeting.
The event contains several key topics and panels: meetings of the Regional Councils of the National Network for Children; panel on the House of the Children; meetings of the thematic working groups “Education”, “Justice”, “Healthcare” and “Family”; an exhibition of interesting organizations, practices and activities, training for changing attitudes towards children and young people from the Roma community.
One of the major events within the Annual Meeting agenda was the General Assembly where a report on NNC’s activities and a review of the strategic priorities were presented. New Management Board was elected. It includes: Georgi Apostolov, Applied Research and Communications Foundation – who was elected a Chairman, and the members: Vessela Banova, Child and Space Association, Mariana Pisarska, Children and Adolescents Association; Svetla Peneva, Social Dialogue 2001 Association, Lyuben Georgiev, Association “Re-act”, Maria Gineva, “Future for Children – Kazanlak” Association and Ivan Ivanov, “Agapedia – Bulgaria” Foundation. The new Supervisory Board includes: Kaloyan Damyanov, National Association of Resource Techers – Chairman and members: Lyubomira Velcheva, The Duke of Edinburgh International Award – Bulgaria and Dilyana Gurova, Concordia – Bulgaria.
During the General Assembly two new organizations were welcomed as members of the Network – Zografche Bulgaria Association and Phoenix-Razgrad Association. Along with them, the current number of NNC’s members is 142.
During the first day, a group brainstorming took place using the “World Café” method, through which all over 150 participants gave ideas and suggestions for the future of the House of the Children, which is due for a National Network for Children to be build in Sofia. The House will be a place for training, play, children and youth participation, sharing experiences between children and adults and a shared space for all member organizations of the Children’s Network. The participants of the World Café had the opportunity to participate in 6 group discussions and to share their ideas on how to look and what to offer the House of Children, how to partner with the community, the business and other stakeholders, how to offer safe and child friendly environment and how to function as a social enterprise.
In the last two days, two parallel training were held to work on the changing of attitudes towards the Roma community. One module mainly involved young people and set itself the task of exploring how children and adolescents can help and participate in changing attitudes towards the Roma. The other module has tried to find answers to how organizations members of the Children’s Network can help changing attitudes to Roma children. The youth panel also presented a pioneering model for studying the attitudes named “Seekers of IN/Equities”, which the National Network for Children conducts with the support of UNICEF Bulgaria.
This four days of the NNC’s Annual Meeting, which gathered together more than 180 participants, were filled with pleasant emotions, exchange of knowledge and ideas, sharing of good practices, a lot of new acquaintances and partnerships. The common mood shared by the young and the adult participants was: “Inspiration!”