2012 marks the four year anniversary of Worldwide Orphans Foundation Toy Library Model, with the opening of 6 new Toy Libraries across Bulgaria, bringing the country total to fourteen.
Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), an international NGO founded in 1997 by renowned pediatrician Dr. Jane Aronson, aims to transform the lives of orphans and vulnerable children by helping them to become productive members of their own community. WWO programs focus on health, education and psychosocial support of children in five countries.
In Bulgaria, WWO focuses on Early Intervention programs in seven cities across Bulgaria and launched their first Toy Library in November 2009 in Debeletz. Respecting the historical foundation of toy libraries as initiatives for children with special needs, centers for community wellbeing and resources for child development education, a WWO Toy Library is a resource to improve positive child development outcomes for children through play and a healthy one-to-one relationship.
The WWO Toy Library in Karin Dom contains 166 toys organized according to developmental ages and stages 0-3 years, 3-5 years and 5-7 years. WWO partners with Beleduc, a socially responsible German Toy Company and their Bulgarian distributer, Pumpalina, to create access to the bright, educationally based toys based on the highest safety standards. Toy Reference cards and trainings are provided at each site to enhance caregiver interactions and child development knowledge across 5 developmental domains including cognition, fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional and communication. To build country capacity, WWO hires toy librarians to oversee monitoring and evaluation for best practice standards and program expansion.