Novinite has interviewed Ivanka Shalapatova, Executive Director of the Four Our Children foundation. Shalapatova has a considerable contribution to the protection of children's rights in Bulgaria and the fight against child abuse. She instrumental in the successful implementation of regional and global experience in the protection of children's rights.
Shalapatova is among those who introduced foster care to Bulgaria. This year, she became the winner in our Personality in the News poll's Charity section.
The For Our Children Foundation has provided support for more than 6000 children and has been working for 22 years to make sure that every child grows up loved and supported by its family. In 2014 alone, the foundation helped 616 children at risk, a number beyond its results of previous years, and prevented the sending of 380 of them to institutions. The same year, it worked with 58 foster families and accommodated 66 children.
What motivates you to engage in charity?
We live in a society that has inherited a range of practices and attitudes that are damaging to Bulgarian children. I cannot put up with violence against children, with the failure to guarantee their basic needs and rights, and with the silent and permanent isolation of children at orphanages. This motivated me to turn my back on my student’s dream of being a leader in the tourism sector and for 18 years now I have been devoting all of mu energy to the mission of striving to make sure that every Bulgarian child lives in a secure family environment and develops their full potential. I am also motivated by the thousands of adherents to the cause of the “For Our Children” Foundation because no achievements would have been possible without them. Doing good deeds is difficult but when you are not alone it makes things easier. I am also motivated by the developing civil society and by the other colleagues who also spare no effort to defend other important causes. I am also motivated by people’s values and good interpersonal relations that are gaining ground even in Bulgaria. I am also motivated by the freedom to accomplish my dreams in our country and to be an innovator and author of your success....
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