Bulgaria Press Release

May 24, 2022

Expansion of Non-Profit into Bulgaria will lead to greater care for Orphans

May 12, 2022 Orem, Utah

A Child’s Hope Foundation has recently announced their partnership with the non-profit organization, One Heart Bulgaria. Bulgaria remains one of the poorest countries in Europe and has the highest rate of child poverty. It is estimated¹ that less than 50% of the orphan population will live to see their 20th birthdays. Of those that survive their 20th birthdays, 50% will end up in organized crime, doing drugs, or engaging in prostitution.

Although the number of orphanages in Bulgaria has been steadily declining over the past ten years, thanks in part to an increase in foster care and the growing insistence that children remain with their families when possible, most children in Bulgarian orphanages have simply been moved to “Family Type Care Centers” (FTCCS).

These FTCCs are just smaller orphanages, where the children are cared for in a situation that more closely resembles living in a traditional home. While this is a step in the right direction, the situation in many FTCCs remains dire— children often lack basic necessities and adequate emotional support and attention.

Bulgaria also has a relatively high number of medically fragile children who are institutionalized in orphanages, FTCCs, hospitals, or other medical facilities. Statistics² show that the percentage of children with disabilities and health problems in Bulgarian institutions is between 40 and 50%. Some of these children are also not true orphans, since they often have families who cannot care for them, given their medical diagnoses. Many of them are adoptable, but because of the severity of their medical conditions, are not adopted. For simplicity’s sake, both FTCCs and medical institutions are usually referred to by One Heart as “orphanages”.

A Child’s Hope Foundation desires to help orphaned children in Bulgaria starting with the orphanages’ leadership and the results of the Thrive Assessment³. Then, trained persons will help the leadership create an Orphanage Improvement Roadmap, which is a prioritized plan outlining the steps a home can take to make improvements. This Roadmap is intended to be utilized with a variety of partners.

With additional resources, One Heart Bulgaria will be able to provide psychological therapeutic support for all the children, provide care and mentor more children, implement the Thrive Assessment and Orphanage Improvement Roadmap with all supported homes, and eventually, even more homes throughout Bulgaria.

The need is apparent, and so are the possibilities. In partnership with One Heart Bulgaria, A Child’s Hope Foundation believes Bulgaria has the potential to lead the way in improving the quality of care for children in orphanages in Eastern Europe. This is an opportunity to give every child a chance to succeed.

  1. The Orphan Foundation, https://theorphanfoundation.org/resources/The_Orphan_Crisis.pdf

  2. Hope International, https://hopeadoption.org/humanitarian-aid/

  3. The Thrive Assessment has questions based on the 15 Rights of a Child codified by the United Nations that are ranked on a 0-4 scale that helps the orphanage better understand where they excel and where they can improve in providing a good environment for the children to succeed.