In 2010, the Bulgarian Government adopted a national strategy for deinstitutionalisation. The aim was to close all its 137 large institutions for children by 2025. There has been considerable progress towards reform in Bulgaria, however a number of challenges still remain.
OUR POSITIVE IMPACT IN BULGARIA
97% reduction in children within Varna institutions
Varna is the third-largest city in Bulgaria.
100% decrease in children in Dobrich institutions
Dobrich is the 9th most populated city in Bulgaria.
97% reduction in national admissions to orphanages
All children deserve to grow up in a safe and loving family.
LUMOS IN BULGARIA
Bulgaria is one of the poorest members of the European Union. In recent years, it has also proved a politically unstable environment.
Sustaining political will has been a challenge, yet progress has been significant. However a number of challenges still remain regarding lack of foster care for children with multiple disabilities and complex needs, and the quality of functioning of new build small group homes. Nevertheless, childcare systems in Bulgaria are on the right track supporting more and more families to take care of their children.
We opened our Bulgarian office in 2010. Lumos was asked to provide expertise and technical support to help implement Bulgaria’s national strategy and we supported the government to develop its National Action Plan for 2016-2020 to reform children's services. This ensured a commitment to the continuation of reforms undertaken since 2010.
We decided to start with the most vulnerable children – young babies and children with multiple complex disabilities. We created two demonstration regions – Dobrich and Varna, where collaborative working with the authorities began to generate positive results.
Progress in Bulgaria has been dramatic and rapid, thanks to a joined up approach of government, NGOs and the European Commission as a funder.
In accordance with the new strategy, Lumos has closed its programs in Bulgaria in 2021. The former Country Manager Bisser Spirov continues to work to achieve the mission of Lumos on a global scale as Senior Technical Advisor. He will continue to monitor the process of transformation of the child care system in Bulgaria and advocate for the right of every child to grow up in a safe and stable family environment.
Working with Lumos as a Professional Young Spokesperson.
Ability Days 2017 and 2018 were an advocacy initiative of BCNL, BAPID, Lumos and many other NGOs aimed to promote the rights for persons with disabilities. 7,000 people in Bulgaria are denied the right to have a job, get married, or make decisions about their lives - simply because they have a disability.
Watch videos documenting Lumos' work in Bulgaria, and meet some of the children we've helped.
LUMOS IN BULGARIA: HOW WE'VE WORKED TO TRANSFORM CARE
HOW YOUR DONATION SUPPORTS CHILDREN
Achieved a 97% decrease
In the number of children in Bulgarian institutions since Lumos began working in the region—from 5,695 in 2010 to 201 in 2021. Help us continue to place children back into families.Donate today