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Star of Hope Foundation Star of Hope Foundation
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Star of Hope registered as a Bulgarian non-profit, NGO charity in 1999 with the mission of granting social services in the community to people in risk, young and old.


Star of Hope Foundation is:

  • licensed by the State Agency of Child Protection for working with underprivileged children

  • registered with the Ministry of Labour and Social policy for providing social services to underprivileged people

 

Friends of Bulgaria’s partnership with Star of Hope exists from c.2000 assisting the outreach work of the Sofia-based foundation addressing the diverse needs of the time:

  • regional orphanages and children’s homes in Bobov Dol and Roman,

  • special needs schools and homes in Dolno Draglishte, Blagoevgrad and Gotze Delchev

  • prisoners’ family support at the Central Prison Sofia

 

Friends of Bulgaria’s sponsorship of Star of Hope Summer Camps since 2004 provides annual respite for residents of HalfwayHouse and former residents and staff and formative experiences of negotiating new environments in rural locations and new personal relationships enhancing personal self-awareness. 

 

The funds Friends of Bulgaria advanced to Star of Hope for the Future and Hope project launched in 2005 financed the HalfwayHouse supported accommodation for adolescents without parental care entering adult life.  Since opening in 2006, the HalfwayHouse with capacity for five residents plays an important role in the help given to 33 girls and 15 boys under the Future and Hope project preparing them for independent life.

 

Over the course of 1-2 years, residents are given guidance for

  • shopping and cooking

  • paying bills, accounting and budgeting

  • communication skills: language and IT

  • creative craft skills

  • further education

  • employment applications

  • individual counselling, behaviour therapy and emotional support

  • therapy for medical disability

leading to many securing part-time work and preparing for study at the Kliment Ohridski Sofia University and the Filaretova Medical College, Sofia.

 

Support at the HalfwayHouse is provided by 

  • a social worker

  • steering residents in personal administration concerned with hospital treatments and social services

  • counselling in personal relationships, behaviour and emotional difficulties.

  • a House Mother guiding residents in domestic routines: shopping, housework and laundry.


Personal Stories of recent HalfwayHouse residents


Vesselka graduated from college in pharmacy and now works as assistant pharmacist.

 



Veronika graduated from college and works now as laboratory analyst at First City Hospital, Sofia


Nadya
’s  progress with special needs to overcome mental retardation has achieved her part-time work in administrative and clerical tasks under constructive supervision at an Event organizing company.

Lora coming to HalfwayHouse last year, Lora is studying Biology at Sofia University, supporting herself by working part-time at BILLA Supermarket.

 

Aksinia arrived at HalfwayHouse  this summer from the Roman Orphanage; she is enrolled at Sofia University to study Slavic Languages, now making the first steps in the Ukranian language, and supports her studies with weekend work at KFC. 



Star of Hope Newsletter 2011         


Director Emilia Manolova's writes


"Our Halfway House programme has been going very well. Currently, the capacity of both apartments is full – we have 5 girls and 4 boys on the programme. I am pleased to inform you that as of September 2011, Vessy and Veronika from the Halfway House for Girls have started their studies in the Filaretova Medical College in Sofia. Vessy is studying “Assistant Pharmacist”, and Veronika – “Laboratory Worker”.  Their first lessons seem to be very difficult for them and they need help in Biology and Chemistry.  Out of all girls, only Veronika does not have a job yet. Roza and Tcetcka work in a restaurant, washing dishes and helping the cook respectively; Vessy works in a supermarket, and Nadya is a cleaner in the orphanage where she used to live.
 
In the Halfway House for Boys, our newest resident is Pavlin. He is a multi-talented person – tailoring, drawing, composing music and writing poems. He was abandoned and had a very rough life before joining our programme. His desire is to study in the Musical University.
Out of the 4 boys, 3 are studying in an Evening High School. The reason is that the Special Needs Vocational Training School which they finished this summer, does not give a diploma for high school education.

Sia, our speech therapist, is currently busy in both halfway houses. She conducts lessons, based on the individual needs, with Roza, Tcetcka, Mitko and Bobby. She is doing a very good job.

I would like to thank you and everyone else from Friends of Bulgaria for your help to Star of Hope for our Halfway House programme. Very sincerely and openly, I can assure you that our Halfway House Programme is very successful and lives are being changed there! Thank you!"

Star of Hope Summer Camps



Friends of Bulgaria has sponsored Summer Camps organised by Star of Hope since 2004.


These summer-time excursions bring together groups of up to twenty current residents of the HalfwayHouse with former beneficiaries of the Future and Hope project and supervisors leading group activities, designed to explore new environments in rural locations and new personal relationships.  



In 2013 – 2016 Star of Hope Summer Camp has returned to the Troyan region with activities including:


  • Visiting a crafts exhibition in Oreshak, the Wildlife Museum in Cherni Osam

  • Creative  arts and crafts: making greeting cards with dried flowers

  • Walking the pilgrim track to the Troyan Monastery

  • Sports and recreational games. 

  • Expeditions in the countryside, engaging with the natural world, collecting flowers


Star of Hope Newsletter 2015 - OUR SUMMER CAMPS


In July 2015, we had two very successful summer camps – one for underprivileged teenagers and one for young people without parental care. We all enjoyed the climb to a mountain waterfall with the teenagers, which is 1950 metres above sea level. By the way, the climbing was not very pleasant on some steep points for some of us, but when we reached our final destination, everyone agreed that it was worth making all the effort. The view was breath-taking!

 

Most of the teenagers who came to our camp have not enjoyed enough attention and care by their parents, so they appreciated every activity and every moment we spent together with them. We had time for fun, and time for serious talks as well. We presented to them the theme of human trafficking. After the talk, it was interesting to see how both girls and boys opened up to share with the camp leaders their personal experiences and to seek our advice.



Mitko's story

One of the participants in our camp for young people without parental care was Mitko. He is now 21 years old and most of you would know his story. Star of Hope met him for the first time in the Roman orphanage 10 years ago. Due to Cerebral Palsy, Mitko had clubbed foot and could hardly walk when he was a little child. In 2007-2008, Star of Hope organized two surgeries for him and postoperative orthopedic treatment. As a result of the operations and rehabilitation, Mitko started to walk and run like the other kids. Today Mitko lives in a Halfway House in Dryanovo. It was great to have him at our youth camp this summer. He is very fit physically. Also, his faith is an inspiration for many. Examples like Mitko motivate us to continue helping and serving these underprivileged young people, in spite of the challenges.


Other Star of Hope Projects supported by Friends of Bulgaria

 

2003

  • Supplying winter clothing for the Special Needs School, Dolno Draglishte

  • Christmas reunion of families and prisoners, Bobov Dol

  • Children's homes in Blagoevgrad region (funds raised by Northamptonshire Christmas Card Recycling)

  • Central Prison, Sofia: Christmas gifts from Northamptonshire parishes distributed to prisoner’s children

 

2004

  • Summer Camp, Special Needs School, Roman

  • Supplying IT equipment for the Special Needs School, Gotze Delchev

 

2005

  • Summer Camp at Baba Stana, near Troyan

  • Winter clothing, Special Needs Schools Dolno Draglishte

 

2006

  • Special Needs Vocational Training School, Sofia: Christmas party