Chirpan Social Projects

Chirpan, Bulgaria
Chirpan Children

Chipran village exists outside the main town of Chirpan.  It is predominately a Roma community and therefore amongst some of the poorest communities we have come across. Mihail Kirov lives in the village of Chirpan and he and his family have dedicated themselves to helping the people of Chirpan Roma Community.  A trusted advocate, Mihail is often called upon to help the local council with integration of the community into wider society and to help with education and social care.  Mihail has managed to build a small childrens centre next to his house which doubles up as a church and place to study for the children.  Link to Hope visited recently and saw the great need and have pledged to do what we can to support the work there.

As an example of what people are going through, in this village we came across one family with 8 children under the age of 12.  Their mother had left suddenly and the grandmother now has to look after all the children.  This is very sad, however it has become worse because the authorities will not recognise the grandmother as the guardian and therefore won’t support them financially in any way. The children don’t have permission to go to school, can’t afford the uniform or money for lunch time.  They desperately need to track down the mother so she can sign responsibility over to the grandmother but the only way to do that is to employ a lawyer which is financially, completely beyond them.  They are in a catch 22 situation with no-where to turn to.  Thanks to our supporters we have been able to raise the initial funds to pay for them to start the legal process which we hope will be successful in tracing the mother and getting her to return to the family.

Childrens Centre

The Childrens centre is small building that the children know they can come and be safe and have fun in.  Most days after school (those that attend) they come and sing, draw, do group activities and are inspired by the local volunteers who want to see them grow.  The rest of the time the children play in the dirt regardless of weather or with a battered football.  They have such potential but they need even more support to get them to realise there is a whole life outside the village.  Unfortunately when they do leave and go to the main town of Chirpan they are chased away or prevented from using play equipment or playing in the parks.  So they return to their village and their bleak lives.  Mihail is determined to show them more and to this end wants to take away for a summer camp.  As many of these children sleep with their entire families in one room sometimes on the floor this is a huge undertaking and Link to Hope is aiming to help them

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