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Protecting vulnerable families in Bulgaria

Family Voices

Protecting vulnerable families in Bulgaria

Through your donations and support from our partners like the UBS Optimus Foundation we have been able to help families like Isus and Dima.

Isus lives with severe intellectual and physical disabilities and receives full-time care from his loving foster mother, Dima. The story of how Dima and Lumos fought to save Isus from Bulgaria’s Krushari institution was featured in HBO’s documentary Finding the Way Home.

Things were going well for Isus and Dima, but their situation changed when the coronavirus crisis escalated. Food became scarce. For a child with complex health conditions like Isus, even the simple task of shopping became a real risk. Isus’s meals had always been prepared in a specialist kitchen, but it was one of the first things to close. Then Dima’s landlord ended their contract and Isus developed dental problems that needed immediate care.

As part of our pandemic response, our team in Bulgaria identified that Dima needed urgent support to keep her family safe. We were able to deliver food and arrange for dental advice and medication for Isus. We supported Dima’s move into a new property provided by the government, so they had somewhere safe to live. And we also helped her buy some specialist equipment for their new home.

Now Dima has the vital tools she needs to get through the pandemic. 

“During the emergency, the hardest thing was to find food. Thanks to Lumos, who bought ready meals, I didn’t have to go out everyday shopping. I have to take Isus with me and this would have put him at risk. We have to be very careful, since his level of disability makes it highly unlikely that he would survive COVID-19.”

Pictured above: Dima, Isus’s foster parent,took him in after he spent years in Bulgaria’s notorious Krushari institution. We’ve been providing extra support to the family through the pandemic.

© HBO / Brendan Bannon