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.