Fakulteta Neighbourhood in Sofia
April 2021 - April 2024
At least 168 parents and 84 children
Project "MOGA - Model for Early Education, Care and Active Participation" targets pregnant women and parents of children up to age 5. It is based at the MIR Centres in the Fakulteta neighbourhood, which are run by the Health and Social Development Foundation (HESED). The project started on 30 July 2021 and is scheduled to be completed on 29 April 2024.
Hesed has been working to support early childhood development among vulnerable groups for 20 years. Early childhood is a time of immense importance for brain development and learning capacity, and is key to reaching a child's full potential. The quality of parental care and support in this period largely determines the child's success in reaching its developmental goals and subsequently its performance at school. Services that have an impact at this age are proven to have the highest return rates, while the lack of intervention leads to severe deficits.
If we start early, we will reach far.
Through MOGA current and future parents are raising their knowledge and skills in how to set their children on the best path of development. The program also provides better access to available health, educational and social services, including support on the job market.
What makes this project different?
MOGA is distinguished by its strategic nature due to its mechanism for evaluation of the service effectiveness. A report with data on the participants' progress throughout the program will be presented at the end of the project, which will provide the involved institutions with strong arguments in formulating new policies of national importance.
- A long-term training program for parents (lasting from 1 to 3 years), relevant to the child's age, covering all main components of nurturing care - health, nutrition, early learning, security and safety and responsive caregiving. The program also includes practical cooking classes for parents, playgroups for parents and children to enhance early learning and socialisation, an educational daycare program for 3 and 4 year olds, medical counselling with a pediatrician and an OB-GYN, employment counseling and support.
- Gathering empirical evidence and preparing a report on the immediate impact of MOGA on the quality of childcare, children's overall development, parental employment and civic participation.
- Empowering mothers in the community through (1) the Council of Mothers - an advisory body to the program with the participation of women from the community, which ensures the application of the principles of cultural tolerance and continuity in the program and (2) the MOGA Leadership Program for mother-to-mother support in the community on nutrition, early education and responsive care.
- Online and offline information campaigns in the Fakulteta neighbourhood and among the general public, under the slogans "I CAN and You CAN" and "They CAN more than we think." The project's name in Bulgarian "MOGA" means "CAN" in English.
- An advocacy campaign including a festive event and demonstration in the community with parents and children participating in the project, as well as a roundtable discussion to present the results and products of MOGA to the professional community at the end of the project.