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    'Bulgaria's Abondoned Children' BBC2 on now

    This programme is on right now and finishes in half an hour, it is absolutely shocking and heart breaking. I can't belive these people are getting away with what they are doing to these poor kids - is anyone else watching?
    :-( :-(

    They cut a little boys thumb off because he sucked it. Oh my god, what a horrible world for these little ones.

    Here's a link for anyone that would like more info:
    bbc.co.uk/bbc…tml

    24 Comments

    Watching it now, but not half as bad as the scene from Serbia on the TV the other day, the way they had grown men and women as well as younger people in COTS as they had some form of disability or other and could not deal with them.

    One of the few reasons why I am glad I am living in the UK.

    Admin

    It was really shocking. It's disgusting that they're allowed to continue to treat human beings so terribly, Bulgaria is part of the EU and is becoming a popular tourist destination ....and yet they treat their disabled worse than animals. :x

    [SIZE=2]This has been on previously, I still sat and watched it and sobbed again. Many of them started off with just learning problems but because they have never been allowed to walk or kept in cots, they have BECOME disabled as well. Their muscles just waste away due to lack of use. The autistic girl who was reading magazines when first admitted...and ended up the same as them, just tragic. Brave journalism[/SIZE]

    I far too emmotional for these kind of things. Bloody outrageous this is allowed to go on in europe. The kids that were most disabled and obviously could not fend for themselves were totally neglected. Their bodies were like those of concentration camp victims. Totally horrific. Never slept all night with horrific images running through my head and plans to combat world poverty and child abuse. Anyway came up with the idea of collecting boxes of toys ect, hiring (or borrowing van from hubbies work;)) and driving over. Hubby seems to think I could 'post' the stuff but he thought it not such a good idea to take the stuff myself ... then he said the fat nurses would steal it all anyway. Anyway had a hissy fit until I allowed to go

    Anyone coming?

    yea i'll go. when u going?!

    Admin

    I doubt I would be able to come Gaia but I'll donate some toys and things.

    I think a petition should be started to discourage major tour operators from promoting Bulgaria until something positive is done by their government.

    Simon_G

    Watching it now, but not half as bad as the scene from Serbia on the TV … Watching it now, but not half as bad as the scene from Serbia on the TV the other day, the way they had grown men and women as well as younger people in COTS as they had some form of disability or other and could not deal with them.



    I agree, seeing that on the news was quite distressing. I watched this programme last night too though and was speechless and furious at the government and particularly the Director's attitude.

    juliet_bravo

    I doubt I would be able to come Gaia but I'll donate some toys and … I doubt I would be able to come Gaia but I'll donate some toys and things. I think a petition should be started to discourage major tour operators from promoting Bulgaria until something positive is done by their government.




    yup

    i couldnt go but would gladly donate some bits :-D

    Admin

    Here's the letter that Bulgaria's embassy in London published in response to the programme and the outcry it created.


    [SIZE="1"]

    Dear Mrs Blewett,

    Thank you for your letter of 30 August. I would like to forward the answer which the Embassy received from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Bulgaria.

    The main priority in Bulgaria today concerning child protection policy is ensuring each child a right to live in a family environment. Deinstitutionalization of children stays high on our agenda and we are making a lot of efforts in that respect. It is useful to remind that in the beginning of our transition Bulgaria appeared to be a country with one of the highest number of children placed in institutes in Europe. This problem has been always our greatest concern and we have undertaken specific steps, including establishing a proper legislative framework and envisaging adequate financial resources to reverse that trend. All these actions have been initiated following the relevant practice of the other well developed European countries. We realize that this is a beginning of a very difficult and continuous process but we are committed to achieve high standards of child protection in Bulgaria in a long term.

    Our strategic goal is to reduce the number of children in the specialised institutions. Therefore we have set up and developed a functioning system for child protection in accordance with the EU requirements and recommendations. We insist on the priority implementation of the protection measures in family environment- prevention, reintegration, placing the child at families of relatives, friends or foster family and adoption. Placing the child in a specialised institute is considered only as an extreme measure for protection and is being undertaken always as a last resort after all other possibilities for child support in a family environment have been exhausted.

    Our observations point out that in the end of 2006 the number of children, placed in specialized institutions is 8,653 which is 31,4 per cent less if we compare with 2001. With an amendment of the Child Protection Act we have envisaged the status of the "professional foster family" which also helps to have less children in specialised institutes. A significant progress has been made in the development of the social services for children and families in Bulgaria. The alternative forms of social services ensure an independent and fulfilled life in an environment, very similar to the family. As to 31.07. 2007 the total number of social services in the communities is 197 and a large part of them concern children with disabilities.

    1. The degree to which responsibility for conditions in such Institutions lies with the individual Directors, or with the relevant government departments

    Social services in Bulgaria have been decentralised since 2003. Municipal mayors are in charge of them as they are also employers of the social workers. The municipalities are entitled to initiate new social services structures depending on the needs of the population in their respective region. This enables the local authorities to shape and implement an efficient local policy, which takes into consideration the specific requirements and meets to a maximum the local community needs of different types of social services for children.

    The municipalities which supply the services must comply with the Ordinance for Criteria and Standards of Social Services for Children, thus guaranteeing observance of the standards for social services for children in special care institutions. The Directors, on the other hand, are heads of teams and must supervise the staff performance and the care delivered.

    2. The lack of any form of rehabilitation, education or other intellectual or physical stimulation

    The assessments of the institutions made in 2004 and 2006 demonstrated a considerable progress in meeting the needs of the children in the disabled children institutions of general health care, specialised medical services, and education. Children are guaranteed general health, specialised medical and dental care, rehabilitation and specific therapies. Most of the institutions have at their disposal well equipped rehabilitation premises with medical staff specialising in different medical conditions.

    In addition to the specialised institutions, the disabled children are entitled to using the services of the existing day care centres, centres for social rehabilitation and integration of disabled children, social support centres, etc.

    To meet the children's educational needs, special action is applied to implement the policy of guaranteed access to quality education and integrated training of disabled children. In this, too, progress has been evident in comparison to 2004. According to the assessment, the needs of the children of education and training are well met in 12 institutions for children with disabilities; in another 12 the results are satisfactory and as a result of the assessment conducted in those institutions 59 children receive integrated education in comprehensive schools; 192 children attend specialised (mostly auxiliary) schools, while 113 children study, with the support of qualified teachers, in auxiliary school classes outside the institutions. A number of children from the homes for disabled children and young people follow tailor-made programmes for corrective, compensatory and educational activities and development of their social skills.

    These programmes aim at assessing the children not from the point of view of their disabilities but from the point of view of making use of their specific potential. The modern trends of pedagogical, corrective and compensatory education demand new approaches in the work with disabled children. Models for work with children with an average level of learning disabilities are applied in the social services institutions. The main purpose is to stimulate the abilities of the children to express themselves and to shape their communication skills. Most of the disabled children in the institutions also receive vocational training in the existing 9 social institutions for education and vocational training for disabled children which gives them a real chance to participate in the life of the society.

    3. The policies the government has to prevent child abuse in such institutions

    The UN Convention for the Rights of the Child and the Bulgarian legislation (The Child Protection Act) guarantee the compliance of the institutions with the requirements to observe the rights of the children and regulate the state commitment to guarantee the children's ultimate interests, inclusive of delivering of high quality care. The Ordinance for Criteria and Standards of Social Services for Children formulates clearly the measures which have to be taken by any specialised institution in order not to allow abuse of the children in it. The compliance with all standards relates to the guaranteed existence of policies and institutional procedures, material assets, sufficient number of qualified staff of both sexes to work with the children, suitable initial and ongoing training of the staff, guaranteed methodological support and supervision of the staff directly working with children.

    The State Agency for the Protection of the Child controls the implementation of the Ordinance for Criteria and Standards of Social Services for Children through two major levers, licensing of service suppliers and supervising compliance with the standards. It is also its obligation to monitor the implementation of the recommendations formulated during the supervision, and, if need be, to provide methodological assistance. In many cases, it monitors directly the changes taking place according to the recommendations. The Agency also works continuously on prevention of violence through providing methodological tools for the professionals in the institutions, and through organising, on its own or in partnership with other state, municipal or civil organisations, of regional meetings, round table discussions and training of professionals from the different partner organisations on a local level working with disabled children, such as institutional staff teams, departments for child protection, medical experts, teachers etc.

    4. The policy with respect to re-examination

    Compared to the assessment of the specialised institutions for disabled children of 2004, the assessment of 2006 found a considerable improvement in the quality of the general health, and specialised medical care for the children. In nearly 70 per cent (18) of the institutions the general health and specialised medical care situation is on a high level. Children have personal physicians, medical documentation is faultless, medical check ups, rehabilitation and prevention measures and immunisations take place on a regular basis. In those Institutions there is full time medical staff working in well equipped surgeries. Chronically ill children have full access to hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. In 8 Institutions (31 per cent) general health and specialised medical care are assessed as satisfactory. Not a single Institution has received a bad or unsatisfactory assessment for the health services they provide.

    In conclusion, I should like to assure you that the Bulgarian government will continue to work for the deinstitutionalisation of the disabled children. We appreciate extremely highly the support of the UK NGOs and Charities, and the communities in the UK in this field.

    It is my sincere hope that the position of the Bulgarian government will be reflected in your documentary.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr Lachezar Matev
    Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United Kingdom
    [/SIZE]

    My cousins wife is from bulgaria and regularly goes back over to visit family - she always takes stuff back with her

    juliet_bravo

    I doubt I would be able to come Gaia but I'll donate some toys and … I doubt I would be able to come Gaia but I'll donate some toys and things. I think a petition should be started to discourage major tour operators from promoting Bulgaria until something positive is done by their government.



    I to think that the Mayor (as the government just want to pass the buck) and the governer should live in these conditions for a week to see what its like. How humiliating all walking naked to have a shower and the girls being showered by men. We wouldnt treet animals in this way!!! These poor children. These youngsters are there future and this is how they are treated. I work with special needs pupils at a school in this country as a 1 to 1 interveener with a boy with no verbal communication and is also in a wheelchair as he has Cerebral Palsy. I just can not think of him being born in another country and left to starve. The support( huhh call them support) said that it was an illness and they would get worse. Hello these kids did not have degenerative diseases. One of the lads was just born death.
    Yes lets start a petition and help these poor less abled children of the world

    Admin

    There is a petition here to sign- I'm going to start a new thread with the link in

    ]http//pe…ng/

    well done juliet at letting us know about petition.

    just to sad for words, and yes like a lot of you have said, why oh why!

    just filled in my details juliet_bravo, i think it is tragic how children suffer in other countries, here we are most of us talking on the other thread about the lady deciding on having a baby, we are all giving out our experiences and how motherhood is so great and then you think about those poor poor children in all the other countries suffering etc, it makes you want to cry just thinking about it. more needs to be done, these children of defenceless and have no one to help them.

    Before we start a big rant against bulgaria and place a HOTUKDEALS ban on travvelling there just think about it. the main problem is money. Bulgaria until about 20 years ago was a soviet state and thus very poor. if you stop what is now one of bulgarias major money makers (tourism) these kids will suffer even more. as i said the problem in money same as in serbia. Unfortunately these countries dont have it all great as you do here in england and thats life. Please remember these countries were also greatly affected by the world wars and thus their economy has been shot to ****. yes its sad and yes i have nothing against people sending some toys over to these kids, but remmeber unfortunately cuts have to be made in a realistic world and i would argue it is less the governments fault and more the families. for instance the girl with the purse was abandoned by her mother, not the state. Good luck with everything but just bear this all in mind aswell as the fact you have probably seen one of the worser off homes in bulgaria and serbia.

    Gaia

    I far too emmotional for these kind of things. Bloody outrageous this is … I far too emmotional for these kind of things. Bloody outrageous this is allowed to go on in europe. The kids that were most disabled and obviously could not fend for themselves were totally neglected. Their bodies were like those of concentration camp victims. Totally horrific. Never slept all night with horrific images running through my head and plans to combat world poverty and child abuse. Anyway came up with the idea of collecting boxes of toys ect, hiring (or borrowing van from hubbies work;)) and driving over. Hubby seems to think I could 'post' the stuff but he thought it not such a good idea to take the stuff myself ... then he said the fat nurses would steal it all anyway. Anyway had a hissy fit until I allowed to go :)Anyone coming?




    I can't come but would be willing to donate lots of toys and clothing :thumbsup:

    Mclovin

    Before we start a big rant against bulgaria and place a HOTUKDEALS ban on … Before we start a big rant against bulgaria and place a HOTUKDEALS ban on travvelling there just think about it. the main problem is money. Bulgaria until about 20 years ago was a soviet state and thus very poor. if you stop what is now one of bulgarias major money makers (tourism) these kids will suffer even more. as i said the problem in money same as in serbia. Unfortunately these countries dont have it all great as you do here in england and thats life. Please remember these countries were also greatly affected by the world wars and thus their economy has been shot to ****. yes its sad and yes i have nothing against people sending some toys over to these kids, but remmeber unfortunately cuts have to be made in a realistic world and i would argue it is less the governments fault and more the families. for instance the girl with the purse was abandoned by her mother, not the state. Good luck with everything but just bear this all in mind aswell as the fact you have probably seen one of the worser off homes in bulgaria and serbia.



    point taken. Government cutbacks. The money must come from somewhere. The carers didnt look as though they suffered with malnutrition. The governer didnt look as though she was underfed or or wearing rags. And of course she must be thinking of the residents as the thing that she needed most was a computer. And she had ordered 3 sun umberellas for the swimming pool for the summer...... There was no compasion, no stimulation in fact there was nothing. It doesnt cost anything to give these people dignity. Why march them down to the showers naked? there are so many whys in these places

    juliet_bravo

    There is a petition here to sign- I'm going to start a new thread with … There is a petition here to sign- I'm going to start a new thread with the link in]http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Children-Dying/


    Signed Thanks:thumbsup:

    Admin

    Well said Geri..

    Plus, the Bulgarian government have recently invested heavily in the enormous building spree taking place on the Black Coast. Hotels are built so quickly that skilled workers can not be trained quickly enough and the hotels are doomed to fail.

    If they can afford to plough millions into new resorts which, ultimately, have no infrastructure, then why can't they spend more on carers, and somewhere safe for the abandoned children to grow up?

    They could fund relocation packages and offer incentives for foster carers, pay higher wages to encourage people to get the training and experience needed to take proper care of them.

    As Geri said, it doesn't cost a lot to show some dignity and compassion to these poor, innocent children. They're being treated like prisoners of war whilst high rise hotels, bars, clubs, villas, restaurants and infinity swimming pools pop up all over the country.

    The Bulgarian government must have blinkers on if they can't see what's happening, and they should be utterly ashamed of the poor financial choices they've made.

    juliet_bravo

    Well said Geri..Plus, the Bulgarian government have recently invested … Well said Geri..Plus, the Bulgarian government have recently invested heavily in the enormous building spree taking place on the Black Coast. Hotels are built so quickly that skilled workers can not be trained quickly enough and the hotels are doomed to fail.If they can afford to plough millions into new resorts which, ultimately, have no infrastructure, then why can't they spend more on carers, and somewhere safe for the abandoned children to grow up? They could fund relocation packages and offer incentives for foster carers, pay higher wages to encourage people to get the training and experience needed to take proper care of them. As Geri said, it doesn't cost a lot to show some dignity and compassion to these poor, innocent children. They're being treated like prisoners of war whilst high rise hotels, bars, clubs, villas, restaurants and infinity swimming pools pop up all over the country. The Bulgarian government must have blinkers on if they can't see what's happening, and they should be utterly ashamed of the poor financial choices they've made.



    Here here....:thumbsup:

    Taken from bbc.co.uk/bbc…tml

    Some changes have taken place since the first showing of this film on BBC … Some changes have taken place since the first showing of this film on BBC Four in September 2007. A team of Non Government Organisations (NGOs) is working with the government to bring about changes to the lives of disabled children growing up in the state institutes in Bulgaria. This NGO alliance is made up of teams who have been working on the ground in Bulgaria for years.The children in the home in Mogilino have recently been assessed by a medical team, and rehabilitation plans are being put together for each child. Specialists like speech therapists and physiotherapists are being assigned to Mogilino to work with the children. In the long term the plan is to either build purpose-built small group care homes for the disabled - or to relocate the children to better environments with Day Care Centres and potential schooling.



    At least SOMETHING is being done.

    MOGILINO SOCIAL CARE HOME FOR DISABLED CHILDREN TO BE CLOSED AFTER BBC DOCUMENTARY AIRED

    sofiaecho.com/art…_66

    juliet_bravo

    Well said Geri..Plus, the Bulgarian government have recently invested … Well said Geri..Plus, the Bulgarian government have recently invested heavily in the enormous building spree taking place on the Black Coast. Hotels are built so quickly that skilled workers can not be trained quickly enough and the hotels are doomed to fail.If they can afford to plough millions into new resorts which, ultimately, have no infrastructure, then why can't they spend more on carers, and somewhere safe for the abandoned children to grow up? They could fund relocation packages and offer incentives for foster carers, pay higher wages to encourage people to get the training and experience needed to take proper care of them. As Geri said, it doesn't cost a lot to show some dignity and compassion to these poor, innocent children. They're being treated like prisoners of war whilst high rise hotels, bars, clubs, villas, restaurants and infinity swimming pools pop up all over the country. The Bulgarian government must have blinkers on if they can't see what's happening, and they should be utterly ashamed of the poor financial choices they've made.




    like i said earlier one of their main trades is tourism and its a quick fix.
    in reply to geri i fully take what you are saying and im saying basically the same thing that it is mainly down to the Director and pretty ****** staff.

    Mclovin

    like i said earlier one of their main trades is tourism and its a quick … like i said earlier one of their main trades is tourism and its a quick fix.in reply to geri i fully take what you are saying and im saying basically the same thing that it is mainly down to the Director and pretty ****** staff.



    It is NOT soley down to the Director and the staff. It is down to the government to ensure that institutes they run for disabled people are properly run. It is down to the doctors that have seen children from such institutes and have patched them up and sent them back to die. In my eyes the main problem was not money it was neglect. If an institute like that was run by someone that actually cared about children then it could be a much better place without any funding. It is up to the government to kick the current hard nosed cruella out and find someone else. There is so much potential which would cost next to nothing. Like a vegetable garden that the children could mind.

    Was half joking about rushing off with my shoe boxes although it did seem a perfectly logical plan at 4am. Currently cause great distress to baby when I pop out to the shops.:oops:
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