NASO participated in international “Children’s rights are our concern” conference
On January 15, 2016, in the city of Sofia, an international conference on the topic “Children’s rights are our concern” took place, organized by one of the leading members of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO), i.e. “For Our Children” Foundation. The conference was held as a part of the project “The media, the business and I for our children”. Representatives of NASO took part in the event as well. The participants were welcomed by Maxim Behar, President of “For Our Children” Foundation, who also made a brief presentation of the project’s objectives.
A written greeting was sent by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rossen Plevneliev, in which was stated that more efforts should be made on a state level for the provision of sustainability of the newly developed services, for the prevention of child abandonment and the investments in early childhood development. The participants were also welcomed by a written speech of the President of the State Agency for Child Protection, Eva Zhecheva. The President of the Bulgarian Forum of Business Leaders, Iravan Hira, expressed his commitment to the cause of finding a family for all children, whereby the Rector of Insurance and Finance College, Assoc. Prof. Grigoriy Vazov, praised the activities of the “For Our Children” Foundation as well as the conference. Children took part in the event as well recommending the business to make long-term investments in children, the media – to present the reality of what it was to be a child abandoned by his/her parents, and the society in general – to realize that children in risk were not different and that they simply needed support.
In a panel dedicated to the role of the various stakeholders involved in respecting the children’s right to live in a family environment, two presentations were made – by Dr. Maria Herzog, President of Eurochild, and Dr. Julie Bélanger, Director of Research at the European Platform for Investing in Children. The leading topic of both presentations was the need of early childhood intervention and the high returns for the society as a whole by investing in children and their families as the basic units of society.
The main speaker at the conference was Prof. S. B. Bhattacharya – marketing professor and expert in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, researcher and lecturer at the European Management and Technologies School in Berlin, Germany. He presented the world leading corporate social responsibility tendencies and key factors for success, and namely, clearly set goals, involvement of the companies’ management at all levels and in the daily work of their staff, clearly set indicators for results measurement at each point.
The leader of the International Project Department of M&E Factory, Aggelos Savvopoulos, made an evaluation of the expenses and benefits of the various forms of care for children in risk in Bulgaria. Based on a study, it became obvious that, in terms of expenses, the foster care in Bulgaria was the best model compared to other forms of care for children without parents, whereby the institutional type of care was the most expensive one. The conference ended by a discussion of best practices in the field of corporate social responsibility, implemented in the business sector. The key messages and the most important topics of the conference and the round tables in Plovdiv, Varna, Blagoevgrad and Montana will be summed up and presented in the “Children's rights are our concern” handbook.