Roma communities, schools and kindergartens

Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
Trip End Dec 12, 2008

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Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Scravena and Botevgrad Roma gypsy communities, Scravena school and Scravena kindergarten all received an early visit from St. Nikolaus yesterday as The Trussell van brought them Christmas presents. Today is St. Nikolaus day in Bulgaria, a national festival celebrated across the country, so delivering presents seems quite apt really.

Scravena families could not contain their excitement as they were given their boxes. Fortunately, the voucher system we used meant that the giving out process was less frenzied than it could have been , but Ani our translator did very well to calm some very excitable people. After the distribution each family took their boxes home, waiting till the evening to open them when all those at work or school would be back. The blankets knitted by kind ladies back in the UK were also given out much to the delight of all who received them (the photos show some very happy faces).

Next stop was Scravena school, where the children performed some traditional Bulgarian dances and songs for us as a thank you for the boxes. Again, more excited youngsters and happy faces as we gave each child a box. After this we visited the kindergarten who had just settled down for a nap when they were woken up to receive a Christmas Box - I think a few of them thought they might be dreaming. Later on we bumped into a very grateful Bulgarian lady whose grandchild goes to the kindergarten, she told us how pleased her grandchild was with the box and how much they treasured it - amazing to hear!

The last visit of the day was to Botevgrad Roma Community, a much bigger camp than Scravena, here the same excitement ensued and Ani had to work even harder to control the situation!! But she did a great job again. Everyone here was so pleased to see us, the kids are all so loving. Two teenage girls gave Molly and Ani a bracelet each, it's so touching to be given gifts from people who have very little give. We managed to give each person a box (after a visit to the warehouse to pick up a few more...) and had a very happy community by the end!

Today we giving boxes to The House of Joshua residents followed by a St. Nikolaus celebration with the Mayor of Scravena and local TV where we have been asked to talk about The Trust's work in Bulgaria.  Traditionally St. Nikolaus Day is celebrated by eating fish, and Richard is already dreading having to eat cold fish on TV. After this we're off to Sophia to distribute boxes to an orphanage, a refugee centre and a Roma community - all in a days work...
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rosiewardcat on

all in a day's work
Hello from home,

all the volunteers at Salisbury Sainsbury's were thinking about you yesterday as we collected for the Christmas Hampers here.

It's cold but sunny here today, the frost hasn't melted in the shade.

David's dad

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