Visit to Cedar Foundation in Kyustendil

Cedar Foundation started the de-institutionalization project of the Home for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Gorna Koznitsa nearly three years ago. Cedar has had a good partnership with the director of the home and with both Kyustendil and Bobov Dol municipalities—the towns where the new small-group homes have been built. In September 2009, construction of the homes started with money from the Ministry of Finance, under the control of the municipalities. Cedar Foundation also renovated two apartments from the municipality of Kyustendil, where Cedar is the official service provider. This means that Cedar has been responsible for the distribution of the funds. That included the training of the staff of the home, many of whom moved with the kids to the new homes, as well as the hiring and training of new staff. Cedar did not apply to be the main service provider in Bobov Dol; however, they have been assisting with training there. In October 2010, the home in Gorna Koznitsa was finally closed down. Fifteen of the children were transferred to the two new small-group homes built by Cedar Foundation in Kyustendil. A few weeks ago, we visited the place, and we were happy to see the children in their new environment. The living conditions are excellent. There are eight children in each house, each of which is divided into two living areas. However, there are still some problems with the services that the municipality should provide—a Day Center, where the children can stay during the day, and a Rehabilitation Center, where the children can go for physiotherapy. Cedar also has plans to start a farm, an Occupation Center for farming and gardening where children can work, learn skills, and be supported as they reach their full potential and become truly integrated members of the Kyustendil community.

We wish them good luck in their future endeavors!!