Happy for UNICEF - a happy start for every child

After the successful partnership between UNICEF and Happy for the development of foster care in Bulgaria, today we join forces again to support children

16 November 2023
След успешното партньорство между УНИЦЕФ и Happy за развиване на приемната грижа в България, днес отново обединяваме сили в подкрепа на децата
UNICEF Bulgaria/2023/Yotova

Happy Bar & Grill restaurant chain and UNICEF renew their partnership for a happy start in every child's life.  In 2023 - 2024 Happy will support UNICEF's programs for families with young children in Bulgaria.

"We know that happy parents raise happy children. Together with our long-time partners at Happy, we continue to work to support parents in the most important job in the world - raising healthy, happy children! For the best start in life, babies and toddlers need a safe family environment and nurturing care that includes good health, nutritious nutrition and providing "food for the brain". The food that develops a child's brain are opportunities to learn and play in a safe and secure environment with responsive parents. Providing this care for every child in Bulgaria is our common mission and we thank Happy for their support." said Ms. Christina de Bruin, UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria.

"For us, our long-standing partnership with UNICEF is about much more than providing financial assistance. We are a company with more than 2000 employees and most of us are highly motivated to participate and with personal support and actions for the cause of UNICEF.  Because we believe that every child has the right to a happy start in life, and we believe that Happy is a strong brand because it does good," said Ms. Teodora Popova, CEO of Happy Bar & Grill.

Happy’s donation will be distributed in support of two of UNICEF's programs focusing on the first and most important years of a child's life and early childhood development - "Every Child Care" and "Early Childhood Intervention". See what they are:

The programme "Patronage care for families with children up to 3 years" is implemented in Sliven district, where a team of trained nurses give advice, health information and educate parents in their home. The aim of this support is for every pregnant woman and parent of a young child to acquire the knowledge and skills to take proper care of their child, in accordance with the best standards. Over a period of 10 years UNICEF programme has helped more than 15,000 families. The UNICEF-Happy partnership aims to increase the number of families enrolled in the programme, with over 1,100 new families to be covered in the first quarter. The experience from the programme will help for building a national model for visiting nurses across the country.

The Early Childhood Intervention Program for families with children under 3 years of age includes developmental tracking of each child using social-emotional and cognitive development questionnaires. The earlier the child's developmental difficulties are detected, the easier they can be overcome. Families with children whose developmental difficulties are identified by the questionnaire receive additional support at home from trained professionals. The specialist support parents with advice on activities and games through which developmental difficulties can be overcome. This is important because young children learn best in a familiar and safe environment with a loved one. In addition to support for parents, the programme also includes visits to the nursery and kindergartens by professionals and work with staff to put together a special inclusion programme for the children. An individual plan is developed for each family, based on the child's strengths and the family's priorities, tailored to their daily routine, and needs. Since the start of the Early Childhood Intervention programme, over 1,500 children have been administered the questionnaire and 350 families with young children identified as having developmental difficulties have been provided with additional support. With the support of Happy, UNICEF will expand the programme in Bulgaria.

Another equally important goal of the partnership between Happy and UNICEF is to achieve sustainable positive changes in the attitudes and capabilities of parents to care for their children, because this is key both for the best start in life for every child, which is investment for better future and for the whole society.

"Investing in the complete care of children is the most important investment in our common future, because how we do as parents depends on what kind of people will live and work in Bulgaria and how effective, successful and happy we will be as a society. Happy - our brand name is also our mission! We are experts in the restaurant industry, and so with everything we do every day - offering service with a smile, varied and quality food, and an overall pleasant experience in our establishments - we strive to make our customers feel better and happier in their everyday lives. But when we are doing good on a different level than our business, we trust proven professionals like UNICEF to channel our efforts and resources in the right direction to achieve a clear positive outcome together," said Ms. Popova.

Happy Bar & Grill restaurant chain is among the first corporate partners of UNICEF in Bulgaria and a strong supporter of children's causes. Thanks to the successful long-term cooperation between UNICEF and Happy we have supported the development of foster care for children as an alternative to old type institutions and helped 240 children to find their families. Happy was one of the key partners of UNICEF, and the Government of Bulgaria with whose support we prevented the separation of hundreds more children from their families.

Media contacts

Nadya Marinova
Communications Associate
UNICEF Bulgaria
Tel: 0888 552 645
Tel: 0899 058 087

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.