Past Still Haunts Bulgaria’s Disabled Children by Maria Milkova

Source: www.balkaninsight.com

By Maria Milkova

Milkova_1 
Tsonka and Tenyo Tenevi with their daughter Teodora, six years after they were reunited under a programme to move disabled children out of isolated state institutions. Photo: Maria Milkova.

The residential home was new, the rooms clean and airy. But the lift to the second-floor bedrooms had not been working for months, so the children spent nights sleeping in their wheelchairs or on the sofa.

There were toys, too, but it was the television on the wall that captivated the children, while at the table, an elderly carer briefly, clumsily, held a child by the hair to keep her head steady as she fed her.

The carer was not rough or abusive. But there it was, in her untrained hand, in the broken elevator and the boredom, a reminder of the recent past, a period Bulgaria is trying to leave behind.

The house, in the Benkovski suburb of the capital Sofia, was one of almost 150 built in Bulgaria over the past six years to house up to 12 disabled children each, replacing the isolated, over-crowded and under-funded state institutions where such children were once held far from the wary eye of society.

Continue reading.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. It’s heartbreaking, though it is good that things are moving in the right direction. Without sufficient resources – both human and financial – time will run out for children as they lose the possibility of significant developmental gains the older they become without the necessary stimulation, therapy, and loving care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: