Krushari was the most notorious and largest state institution in Bulgaria for children with severe and complex disabilities.
In December 2015, we worked in partnership with the Bulgarian government to close Krushari, an institution where many children with disabilities had lived – and died. Life expectancy there was just 11 years old.
See how people like you helped us to close this terrible institution for good.
This short film shows the impact that closing Krushari had on the lives of the young people living within its walls.
Temenuzhka Stancheva, Project Worker, Lumos:
'The only thing that kept me going was the belief that one day Krushari would be closed. This is a very significant achievement because in previous years no-one believed it would be possible. It was said that if the Krushari Institution could be closed then anything is possible.'
Snezhana Vankova, Team Leader Dobrich, Lumos:
'We worked with partners at a local municipality level, and with government authorities like the State Agency for Child Protection. Lumos provided the expertise and the good care practices, especially with preparing the children to leave and make a smooth transition to their new homes. All the children and young people who lived here have moved to locations closer to their families. They are now living in sheltered housing or small group homes where the environment is much better than the life they had in Krushari.'
Katya Lazarova, Director, Small Group Home:
'The new services provide proper lives for children. There is enough time to pay attention to each child individually. The individual needs of all the children are respected. Here they go to other services and day centres. They are meeting and socialising with people. Our doors are open, and they are no longer locked away.'
Nusha visits the children and young adults from Krushari now living in a small group home.
Eva Jecheva, Head, State Agency for Child Protection 2013-2016:
'The input of Lumos in the closure of Krushari not only changed the lives of the children – they have provided us with a new environment, a new and better way of working.'
In December 2015 the last young person left the institution and Krushari was closed for good.