The responses change but the problems remain...

Trip Start Dec 05, 2011
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Trip End Dec 20, 2011


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Flag of Bulgaria  , Oblast Sofiya-Grad,
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today the team visited the house of “Hope for the Little Ones” in south west Sofia. Here up to six abandoned babies are cared for by staff and volunteers dedicated to finding a way to keep these children out of the state care system. Dani, the manager, showed us around and introduced to the volunteers and babies and explained to us that the project has two parts. The first is to take care of unwanted children, like Pavel who was discovered in the street wrapped in an old jacket or Valya, left at a nearby hospital. These abandoned babies are put up for adoption- something that is still relatively rare in Bulgaria. The second part of their work is to work with poor young mums to ensure that children are not abandoned in the first place. They do this through parent classes and individual support for the family.

For Tedi, FSCI director, this was a difficult visit. She has worked with different marginalised groups from all parts of Bulgarian society but confesses that the whole issue of child abandonment is one that she struggles to cope with and the fact that she has a one year son only makes it harder for her to see these problems first hand. FSCI works to give hope to vulnerable groups, in particular state care leavers: for more details see fscibulgaria.com

We'd love to show you some pictures but we agreed with the unit manager that we wouldn't show the childrens faces so you'll have to make do with the video clip here.

Things are changing here in the state care system, which is seeing a shake-up of previous rules and practices- but there is still a long way to go to reduce the number of children being abandoned, which remains at the sobering rate of more than 150 per month.

After our visit it was time to drop Molly off at the airport, say "'bye" and then say "hi" to Mark & Sue who are joining the team until Friday. The afternoon was spent doing a few jobs at the warehouse including sorting some presents for young men at a juvenile prison that we'll be visiting on Wednesday.

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