To help the personal development of the children we provide extra educational programs and professional training. During the projects the children learn social skills to facilitate their social inclusion. We also organize psychological training and individual sessions. Their mental, emotional and physical status have strengthenеd. The projects have provided extra schooling for over 250 children and scholarships for university students.
Thanks to its donors Tabitha Bulgaria Foundation has improved the living conditions of many orphanages and social homes in the last 15 years. Most of the institutions were in dire straits, miserable old buildings with roof leakages, broken windows which did not close properly or lacked glasses, shabby flooring and no heating. The children slept in enormous dormitories, which we turned into smaller comfortable bedrooms with more personal space. We have renovated entirely the social insitutions in Roman, Gorski Senovets, Vratsa, Stara Zagora and partly the homes in Pleven, Doganovo, Dren and other places. The bright and cosy atmosphere which we created, the many small group apartmets we set up, the homely ambience have made the children look happier, proud of their homes and more self-confident.
Tabitha Bulgaria Foundation regularly organizes volunteers’ groups helping the orphanages we support. The first group of 25 volunteers we received was from Putten (NL) to the orphanage in Roman was in 2000. It was a scary attempt because the temperature was over 40 degrees; the orphanage had just one WC and bathroom, big dormitories and broken beds. Since then we have had groups of volunteers to Roman organized by “Help Tabitha” from Putten every summer. They turned the institution into a real home, struck long lasting relationships with the kids and helped many of them have a better life.
As a group of enthusiastic volunteers we started receiving and distributing humanitarian aid long before we set up Tabitha Foundation. In the last 17-18 years we have supported more than 30 – 40 orphanages and social institutions with food, medical supplies, clothes, shoes, furniture and bed linen. We have provided for more than 1000 children and old people through the whole country. We distributed tones of milks (22 t every 6 month), wood for old people for the winter, computers and presents. Tabitha sewing workshop, which trains girls, made hundreds of sets of bed linen for the social homes.
The population of Bulgaria is rapidly aging. More than half of the old people live below the expected standards. The minimal wage for the country is 157.44 BGN (about 80 EURO), the social pension is 115.50BGN (less than 60 EURO), the highest pension is 910 BGN (467 EURO) but very few get it. The younger people have moved to the cities in search for work and the old people have been socially neglected. The social services for them are not well developed and it is hard for the elderly to manage on their own. Most of the old people in the country live in dire straits and they can hardly make it if they do not grow their own vegetables and fruit or raise domestic animals. Few of them have running water or WC at home.