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Elena Kabakchieva

Health and Social Development Foundation

Elena and HESED Foundation are helping Roma children in order to develop their social skills, delay early marriage, avoid risky behavior and achieve successful professional orientation.

Problem

Everyday, Elena and her team see thousands of “hidden” children in the Roma neighborhoods of Bulgaria. Although these children have as much potential as any other children, they have very limited opportunities to develop their social skills due to a lack of guidance from parents and the prevailing traditional norms in their communities. As a result, they often drop out of the education system, enter into early marriages, acquire risky behaviors, and find themselves unable to position their skillsets in the job market.

Solution

Elena and the Health and Social Development Foundation (HESED Foundation) are helping Roma children advance their personal development and improve their professional orientation while avoiding unnecessary risks. It applies a model for integrated development tailored to children between 0 to 18 years old in the Roma community and their parents. The approach includes building parental competence, fostering early childhood development, and developing the necessary social skills in adolescents.

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