Maria Yordanova is a happily married woman and mother of two children - Sofia, 9, and Samuel, 6. By education Maria is a Special Pedagogue - Master in Social Work and Master in Preschool and Primary School Pedagogy. She has worked for many years as a specialist in the field of disability, building a solid career and experience.

In 2016, however, her younger son Sami was born with a diagnosis of Child Cerebral Palsy (CPP). This unexpected turn in her life presents a huge challenge, despite her professional experience.

When she found out about her son's diagnosis, Maria looked for a group or community to identify with and share her experiences. This proved more difficult than she expected. She decides to build herself a community of parents to help each other. Thus, in 2020, the Foundation for Children with Cerebral Palsy was born, supporting children with this disability and their families.

Faced with various difficulties, Maria realized that running an NGO requires specific professional skills that she lacked. Seeking opportunities for improvement, she joined the training of the "Initiative" project of the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, where she found support and inspiration.

With her participation in the Initiative, Maria finds a second life. In a highly motivating environment, she made connections with other successful people in the NGO sector who not only provided her with knowledge but also boosted her confidence in her own abilities.

As a natural extension of the Foundation's work, Maria's next idea is to create a place dedicated to mental and physical support for mothers of children with disabilities. This place should not only provide peace of mind and protection, but also give mothers the freedom to pay attention to themselves as well. The concept of "Mom's Place" met the support of Sofia Municipality and the Municipality of Oborishte in Sofia, which provided free of charge a municipal space for the implementation of Maria's ideas. Companies and private donors who believe in her cause have responded for the renovation and preparation of the place. Get to know Maria's story in the video below.

The Project Initiative for building the next generation of civic leaders is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway under the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria within the framework of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The main objective of the project is an accumulation of knowledge, and skills and creating the conditions for transfer of experience to young leaders of civic organizations. The project is implemented by the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation.