From Ruse with love

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

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Flag of Bulgaria  , Ruse,
Friday, December 9, 2011

As we pulled up outside a remote orphanage this morning I was struck by how bleak life is for these children. It is literally as if they have been forgotten, and as if hiding them away will solve the problem. As we spoke to the director it seems that things are starting to change in Bulgaria's state care system, but it'll be too late for most of the children we met today. To be able to give these children presents is such a joy - not just for them but for us too. I asked one little girl called Raina, 11, what she liked most in her box, she just smiled and said 'everything'.

At another orphanage in the afternoon we met Elief, 7, who has been there for 3 months, this will be her first Christmas away from home. Her parents couldn't afford to keep her and when she was taken into care they had to throw away her clothes because they were so filthy and they cut off her hair because it was so infested with lice. Elief loved her box. She took out each item and showed me what you do with it, even kissing the small bat and ball she found. For her, this little box showed someone cared and she now has small items to call her own.

We also gave out boxes at another orphanage and a day centre for children with severe learning difficulties, many of whom were rescued from the infamous Mogilino Orphanage featured in the BBC's 'Bulgaria's Abandoned Children' expose. Young people from our House of Opportunity in Ruse joined us for this. Over supper someone asked Krassi, 21, if he wanted to talk about giving out boxes at the special needs centre, he said he couldn't or he might cry. I think this sums it up. The plight of Bulgaria's abandoned children is real and distressing. Many have received very little love and care. These Christmas Boxes prove that someone has thought about them and each box is cherished.

Video here.
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Su on

it brings tears to the eyes even from this distance, especially when we saw our box we made on todays video

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