In 2009 the Bulgarian government initiated the closure of all institutions for children without parental care. Despite these political efforts there are over 3000 children who live in 106 institutions. At the same time 400 out of 2000 foster families still have no one to take care of. Each year more than 1000 infants are abandoned by their mothers in the hospitals and are put in new institutions. Furthermore, there is an unfavorable ratio of staff to children – usually one social worker takes care of minimum 10 children. As a result those children do not have the chance to receive the individual attention, emotional and educational support they need.
In order to address these issues, since 2015 VEDAMO supports teenagers and young people without parental care from institutions in remote areas through additional online sessions in various school subjects, led by qualified distant teachers.
The impact of the program is impressive – after one year in the programme, some of the participating teenagers have graduated from high school with a high success rate in the final exams and have left their institution with a better chance to study at university or find a decent job.