Soap, jam & hope

Trip Start Aug 19, 2013
Trip End Sep 01, 2013

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Hotel Brown

Flag of Bulgaria  , Sofia Region,
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This is the first blog from this year's Trussell Trust Bulgaria summer camp youth team. The Trust, along with partner organisation the Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion (FSCI), have been running camps for the children of Lipnitsa Orphanage/School for years but before the SC team get to the seaside we have a couple of days in Botevgrad, which gives us the chance to drop in on one of FSCI’s long term projects.

After a much needed good nights’ sleep (Monday was a very long day indeed) we headed off to meet the residents of the House of Joshua this morning. It was great for those of us in the team that have been before to see familiar faces and moving for us all to compare life between young adults in Bulgaria and young adults in England. We spent the day making wedding favour samples of soap that the House residents are selling as part of their social enterprise (HOPe Soap) and jam to use up the endless supply of apples they had lying around in the garden. Despite the language barrier we were still able to connect with each of the guys there and have a really great time hanging out with them!

After a very hot couple of hours we decided to go down to the river, much to Marie’s delight. We didn’t quite brave jumping in this year but it was fun to watch some of the local Roma lads do all kinds of crazy dives.

While there we heard a little about one of the resident’s stories. Niki (25) is a very friendly and pro-active young man who loves his job and is always helping out around the house, he was actually in his lunch break when we saw him today and he spent it making a table, so it was quite a surprise when we found out that as well as not being able to count from 1 to 10 he also can’t read or write, this is because when Niki was at school he was quite a chatty student so in order to keep him from distracting others his teachers would tell him to sleep in class to stay quiet. Despite his complete lack of education the FSCI team have been able to help him secure a job tending public gardens for the local municipality. Niki really loves his job and it was great to see him head off after lunch with a big grin on his face, ready to start his shift. It is amazing that Niki has a job and shows what may be achieved by a team working together to help vulnerable young people make the transition from institutionalised care to independence.

Tomorrow we will spend the day in Botevgrad, preparing for the camp and meeting the rest of the translation team.

This year’s youth team:

Laura Ferguson- team leader

Marie Hancock

Nice Hutchinson

Emma Milsom

Jenny Riley

Hannah Seabourne

Phoebe Woods


Vicky Ivanova

Bogi Tropchev

Radi Yordanova

Pavel Popov

Gabriel Ilieva
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Julie on

All looks great. Looking forward to the next instalment.

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