Fun in the fearsome sun.

Trip Start Aug 16, 2010
Trip End Aug 30, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Bulgaria  , Varna,
Thursday, August 19, 2010

The sun has been burning down today on the Lipnitsa children and the rather more vulnerable skin of thr UK YT. If you are wondering where the sunshine went back in the UK then look no further- it's all here acting as reinforcements for the Bulgarian sun division...

Our first full day at Kranevo means one thing; the beach. The kids were very excited to get to the sea and get straight into the water which is very warm and only home to 17 types of jellyfish. Don't worry, not many of them are poisonous.

As ever the teachers have a very difficult job trying to get the kids out of the water and a lot of time is spent rounding up slippery eel-like kids and herding them ashore. Back on the beach we can spend time happily burying YT members in the sand and drinking sun-tan lotion.

The afternoon sees the start off our arts and crafts sessions and the Christian teaching too. The theme of this week is courage and today we focused on the story of Noah; we did themed crafts with the kids, painting thier faces and helping them make masks. We then told a dramatised story of Noah, sung songs and played games. This theme is essential for the kids becuase courage is something they need so readily in their home environments, especially drawing on strength from God.

It has been really good to see the children coming out of thier shells as they get to know us a little more. An example of this is shown in a little boy named Nikki. Nikki is from Botevgrad Roma Community and he came to SC shy and reserved. We were told he was both deaf and had very limited speech. Although it has only been two days Nikki has really shown to be a loving and lively little boy; he poses for the camera, gives hugs and sreeches and laughs with the team. The translaters say also that he has been saying names and speaking in short sentences. This is really exciting for us to see because we feel that this is just the sort of thing we have travelled here to witness.

Mimi and Rich spent the afternoon with Betty Cornet of Cornet Ministries. Betty is amazing lady from Georgia, USA who has worked with her husband Tim in Bulgaria for over 20 years. They both have a passion for helping vulnerable children and are still working hard at a time whem most people are enjoying retirement. They have an amazing building 10 minutes from Kranevo that amongst other things they use to host childrens camps during the summer. The building seems to be in an odd spot until you hear the story of th elocal community. The village where Cornet Ministires are based is split in two with the Bulgarians living in one half and the Roma peopla living in the other. Betty tells us that due to the high levels of "sex tourism" here on the coast many children from this village suffer abuse at the hands of high paying foreigners here to exploit the poverty of these communites. For a $1000 a young child child can be bought here, no questions asked. The Cornets are committed to tackling the issues of the sex trade here and trafficking in general and share many of their values with The Trussell Trust. We hope and pray that the Trust and Cornet Ministries may be able to work together in the future.

If we can work together with other groups then the Trust's vision fr the House of Opportunity Programme to help young state care leavers will form just one front on thr fight against the traffickers and criminals who abuse and exploit the children of Bulgaria.

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