Kosovo: KOMF coalition for children study visit in Sofia municipality

Source: The Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF

22 – 24 April 2018

The Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF) has been aiming the strengthening of seven grassroots organizations in order to improve protection of the rights of children, as part of the project: “Protection of child rights in Kosovo” funded by the European Union and managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

A two day study visit in Sofia was conducted 19 professionals of child rights and child protection, including municipal stakeholders from the seven selected municipalities, where the sub granted project are being implemented. The goal of the study visit was also to broaden the view of local stakeholders on child rights and child protection, exchange on the child protection system and steps undertaken, as well as to take the best practices adoptable in the country.

The delegation from Kosovo had the opportunity to conduct a meeting with Ms. Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia, and Ms. Albena Atanasova, Deputy-Mayor responsible for social activities and integration of people with disabilities. This was a very useful meeting for our delegation as they had the chance to listen from the Mayor on the good will to change a current situation which needs also lobby and advocacy at the central level and at the same time a very close coordination and cooperation with local actors, including the local civil society which the Mayor described as a “strategic partner” for the municipality. Further meetings were organized with the UNICEF office in Bulgaria and two brief on site visits in two community centers which provide services for vulnerable children within the municipality

On the last day, Kosovo delegation had the opportunity to attend a meeting with the National Network for Children – NNC in Bulgaria, a coalition of around 150 nongovernmental organizations operating all over the country, in the field of child rights and child protection.