PROJECT “LIBRARY ON ROAD: TOYS AND MUSIC IN MOTION”
The project has been implemented since 2016 in several places in the town of Targovishte and neighboring towns. It is a natural continuation of the “Mobile Approach – Toy Library” project and aims to consolidate the achievements, ensure the sustainability of the results, and expand the places where it is applied. After a careful review of the places where the project was implemented in 2014-2015, new partners were added – Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment – Targovishte and Kindergarten “Bee” – Targovishte, and subsequently, its branch in the village of Vardun has become the main center of the project.
The main partner is the Club of Non-Profit Organizations (KNSO) Targovishte. The project is entirely funded by the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. For the entire period of the project implementation from 2016 until now, the amount of BGN 60,222 has been invested, of which BGN 10,294 has been invested in the transformation of the children’s department in the Community Center “Svetlina”, Davidovo, in the Reading and Games Corner.
The project in the Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment (MBAL) – Targovishte
The project started in early 2017 with the renovation and furnishing of the playroom in the children’s ward of the hospital. That was realized entirely with the donors’ funds of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.
The room is furnished as a Toy Library and is equipped with toys, games, and drawing materials for children of all ages.
Organized or individual activities with children are being held by a representative of the KNSO and carried out with funding from the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.
The aim of the project is to support the recovery process of children who are temporarily hospitalized by providing opportunities for educational and recreational activities in the hospital environment. Regular activities with children and parents are organized and held to promote the child-parent relationship.
Within the project, children and parents have access to the activities on a daily basis. In addition, twice a week the room is visited by a game specialist who organizes activities with the children and the parents.
Shared by children
“We have puzzles at home, too, but these are new and I haven’t solved them.”
“I am not hungry. I want to stay here.”
“Are birthdays celebrated here?”
“It’s very nice here, it’s calm and you can play… And do other children come? Will they come?”
“I’m not sick anymore, am I?”
Shared by parents
“Today is a great day for us. Sometimes it takes a little to smile. I laughed with my whole heart. Thank you!”
“Great idea. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“We are glad that there is such a wonderful space for little ones and grown-ups. We were very surprised. I hope that in more places they will create a friendly environment for children.”
See more in the video (link)
The project in the Community Center in the village of Davidovo
The project is a natural continuation of the completed project “Mobile approach to the Toy Library”, implemented in the period 2014 – 2015. Weekly activities with children and families by specialists of the Club of Non-Profit Organizations with funding from the WWO are being conducted in the Community Center “Svetlina” in the village of Davidovo since 2016.
In 2017, within the framework of the project, the children’s department of the library at the Community Center was completely renovated and furnished, entirely with funds from the donors of the WWO at a total value of BGN 10,294. Now it is a place where children and parents gather to learn and play.
The project aims to provide children from rural areas with more opportunities and access to play, toys, activities in support of their development, social skills, and in their preparation for entering kindergarten or school.
- In 3 years, 75 children and their mothers or another adult who takes care of the children participated in the programs;
- Completely renovated children’s section of the library with a new corner for reading and playing created;
- Involvement of the fathers in the renovation of the yard of the Community Center;
- Monitoring and evaluation with the participation of parents, representatives of municipal and local educational authorities were conducted;
- The programs are now recognizable by the community.
Shared by parents
“I like the fact that in addition to learning, the children are experiencing great joy. My child is always talking about it and wants to keep coming.” /parent of a child from the village of Davidovo/
“The children say many nice things. They want to visit the Community Center all the time.” /grandmother/
“There’s no need to thank me. I am doing this for the children. They always ask about you and want me to take them here.” /father/
“They tell us everything when we get home. Our younger girl has also made progress. She is not so violent anymore. She used to push, pinch, and hit her sister when she didn’t give her a toy she wanted immediately.” /grandmother/
“Are these cups for the Community Center? You don’t own me anything for them.” /local storeowner/
“When organizations, institutions, and parents work together, the results are inspiring!” /Nelly Nikolova – community center expert at the Targovishte Municipality/
See more in the video (link)
The project in Kindergarten “Bee”, branch in the village of Vardun
The project initially started in Kindergarten “Pchelitsa” – Targovishte in partnership between the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, Kindergarten “Pchelitsa” and Club of NGOs – Targovishte in order to support and monitor the transition of children from nursery to kindergarten, through programs based on play in the period March 2016 – December 2017.
Based on the results achieved under the project, its natural continuation from the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year became the branch of the kindergarten in the village of Vardun.
The aim of the project is to stimulate the development of children in Kindergarten “Pchelitsa” and their integration into the formal education system.
In order to achieve this goal, the project provides a game specialist who, together with the children’s teachers, conducts structured sessions on the “Element of Play” Program on a weekly basis. The project also intends to increase the sensitivity of parents about their children’s needs through relevant activities, which are planned depending on the specific possibilities. In order to monitor the progress of the children and the effectiveness of the program, a screening of DP3 child development is performed at 6 months by interviewing the parents.
Most of the children who study there come from low-income working families. The kindergarten in the village does not have the opportunity to organize the groups by age and needs, which leads to all children, between 2 and 6 years, studying simultaneously in a mixed group. Over the years, their number has varied. The lack of opportunities for permanent work in the village has led to the emigration to larger cities or abroad of many parents or entire families from the village of Vardun. This also affected the number of children in the kindergarten, which at the beginning of our work was nearly 30, and now (2020) is about 15 children. 100% of the children in this kindergarten are of Roma origin. This creates the need to work towards Bulgarian language comprehension and expression skills development. That is the main goal of our work – to improve their communication skills.
The kindergarten is visited by a game specialist, who implements the Early Childhood Development Program “Element of Play” together with the teachers once a week. By involving children in playing, reading stories, participating in music sessions, etc. the programs support children not only in to expand their vocabulary and to advance in their speech development but also to practice and learn social and emotional skills such as being polite, to follow rules, to develop friendships, to be initiative, to work better in a group, etc. This is extremely important because we all know that the models of learning and interaction are being set in the child’s mind in childhood. And if properly stimulated and nurtured these models might have a lifetime impact. In the long term, they would have a positive effect on the learning and employment opportunities of these children.
The positive impact that WWO programs have on children from kindergartens in the village of Vardun has been measured through a tool for monitoring child development (DP3), which we are administrating at the beginning and at the end of the school year. For 2020, the data show that:
- 100% of the children included in the project are making progress in various child development areas. It is a result of the work on the programs, as well as due to natural factors such as the growth of the children, communication with other children and adults, kindergarten enrollment, etc.
- Within 100% of the children, progress is being made in terms of the ability to adapt in a group, to respect rules, and to follow an authority, skills necessary for the full conduct of the training sessions. However, with the inclusion of a large number of children in the group, more efforts will be needed to achieve this.
- For all 100% of the children, we observe active vocabulary expansion, learning of many new words and concepts, necessary for their full inclusion in the life that surrounds them. However, most of them experience difficulties in pronunciation and grammatical connections of words in a sentence. Some children find it difficult to formulate complex sentences, as well as to express their thoughts in a longer, connected oral presentation. In the long run, this would create difficulties in their communication and socialization, which is a field needed to be further worked on.
Shared by parents
“It was very interesting. I have not participated in such meetings before, but I would definitely participate in the future. “
A parent from the village of Vardun after a demonstration of a fairy tale and a parent group
Shared by teachers
“You managed to make them hear the story, and they are noisy and it’s hard for these children to concentrate.”
A teacher from the village of Vardun