Our partner charity in Bulgaria, the Door of Hope works with some of the most marginalised and rejected, ethnic people. They mainly work in the village of Chirpan in Eastern Bulgaria. We send shoeboxes to them each year. Many of these ‘homes have no electricity connection. They have no income to pay for it. A low level of education joined to an inability to speak the Bulgarian language, causes many of the youth to drop out of school. Employment is scarce. Over 90% of village folk have no work. Sometime temporary work is found picking strawberries and potatoes in the fields. They are paid £6.00 a day! Running water and free medicine would be a luxury for this community.
There is some great work happening in Bulgaria. We have been working with Bobby & Oggy Todorov in the village of Chirpan in Eastern Bulgaria. We have delivered shoeboxes to the 2,000 people that live there and from there have gone on to support projects as well. One of these is to establish a ‘college’ where training can take place on education and work skills.
Literacy Course: Chirpan is a ghetto and there are many people that do not leave the village. They have little, to no literacy so are unable to find work and move on with their lives. Add to this that Chirpan is a Turkish village then this is doubly hard. These lessons and training include reading passages and discussing the words and their meaning, vocabulary and how phrases are put together. They are given texts for homework. The people are very eager to learn enough literacy to gain even a simple job in the future.
Plumbing Course: People learn all about the importance of water for our human existence. They also learn about measurement, orientation, pipes, materials and dimensions as well as putting a water system together. Lessons are also given on minimising leaks and being economical with water while using it. If you live hand to mouth you are not interested in where water comes from, but we train the students to know the water comes from the mountains, and how the dirty water is led away through drains, and cleaned after its usage. Some of the students do not know left from right so the instructions may have to be as simple as, how to compare it to the clock- wise and counter-clockwise directions on a clock. The course is not only about plumbing but also using the opportunity to give the students more knowledge of the world around them and to learn other disciplines along the way.
Cooking Course: Baking a cake is the first lesson we teach them. However like the plumbing course it is more than just baking. Students learn about weights and measurements, temperatures, correct proportions, timings and how to follow simple instructions. It is also very positive for them to achieve something that they can be praised for. That way confidence can be built upon in the subsequent lessons.