Our name may not be on a list but we are coming in
Trip Start Dec 09, 2010
16Trip End Dec 22, 2010
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Where I stayed
We hop back in the van and drive to Sliven Women’s Prison where we have arranged to drop off presents and also to visit the baby unit for babies of women who are sentenced whilst they are pregnant. Despite having arranged this visit with the big cheese of Bulgarian prisons, on arrival we are met with blank looks and frowns a plenty... Miryana is having none of this. After a minor debacle, several phonecalls and a fierce look from Miryana, we are allowed to visit the baby unit and give presents to the mum’s with their little ones. Once you walk into the baby unit you can almost forget you’re in a prison, the room is bright and cheery and a stark contrast to the rest of the building. We meet four mothers and babies and hear that several of them are nearing the end of their sentences.
Our initial persistence in wanting to come in pays off when we discover that the prison budget does not stretch to looking after the babies and that the nurse in charge struggles to get donations, clothes and food for the babies
Then we pile back into the vans for a two hour trip to Gabrovo on the twistiest mountain pass in Bulgaria – cue lots of fun on the slippery roads! Once in Gabrovo we hooked up with Rumen and Jenni Popov who head up our new House of Opportunity project in the city. It is really good to hear of the positive start this project has had since opening in November; all the young people are in work and it was great to meet Dani who had moved from the House of Joshua in Skravena to start work in a clothing warehouse here in Gabrovo. He is really happy with his work and has joined the local athletics club too. It is encouraging to see young people who have been marginalised in this society for so long flourish when given the opportunity.