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In order to retain the link with those communities, and garner their support, the charity felt that it would be far better if people were actually involved themselves too. To that end, it was decided that the events would we those which are perhaps the most popular amongst those communities, the bicycle ride, golf, rugby, cricket with a couple of quiz nights thrown in for fun.

We have now held 4 annual bike rides, 3 annual golf days, and last year held our first annual rugby and cricket tournaments.

What help have we given?

We have helped the following:

Infectious Diseases Hospital

Infectious Diseases Hospital

As we work with extremely sick children we are sometimes barred from any form of physical contact, which was certainly the case at the National Hospital for Infectious Diseases, here in Sofia. The children are suffering from all sorts of different diseases so are even unable to interact with each other, as are their parents. We managed to do the following:

– Help renovation of the wards
– Provide 90 new beds, mattresses and bedding
– Repair a significant part of the roof
– Provide some minor furniture and equipment items

We always ensure that we make the Bulgarian public aware of what we do, and insist on press coverage. The Government have now awarded the hospital 1.3 million leva (approx 460,000 sterling) to finish the work.

Panagyurishte Orphanage

Panagyurishte Orphanage

Money has been spent on the orphanage at Panagyurishte to buy desperately needed bathroom equipment, furniture and bedding.

Panagyurishte houses boys and girls up to the age of 18 years, some of which are extremely talented. In fact, the children in Pangyurishte painted a set of pictures which our charity had turned into Christmas cards and we sold them to the general public. We are hoping to do the same this year but on a wider distribution. It gave the children a tremendous sense of achievement knowing that their designs were being sent by people who bought them to friends and relative all over the world.

The money goes towards improving the surrounding. So, when you see a member of the charity selling Christmas cards from Panagyurishte orphanage just remember that they are the work of the kids there and are worth every lev you spend on them

The plan for the future is to try and improve the outside sports ground which they have by providing them with an all-weather sports court (basketball, football etc).

Varna Hospital aid

Varna Hospital aid

Funding allocated to buy the following for the Children’s Oncology Ward in Varna Hospital:

2 mobile adjustable beds
2 static adjustable beds
17 static normal beds
1 mobile stretcher
1 surgery table
2 service trolleys
2 secure medicine cabinets
21 mobile adjustable bedside cabinets with table attachments
A quantity of Sheets, pillow cases, pillows
A quantity of disposable medical supplies, such as syringes, bandages and the like.

As well as buying such equipment, we have assisted in the renovation of the bathrooms of the ward.

We visited the hospital just before Christmas in 2007 to look at the progress, but more importantly to give the children Christmas presents. It was a truly great day.

Pleven orphanage aid

Pleven orphanage aid

What would you say if you walked into a hospital and saw 250 sick children lying in bed. Imagine how we all felt when the hospital at Pleven was bought to our attention and we saw at first hand what things were like there. The Tabitha Foundation is a charity which looks after sick and orphaned children. The foundation were doing what they could at Pleven hospital but they desperately needed help asked if One Life Charity were able to offer any.

Having been on our initial visit we could see the level of support which was needed. Some examples of those areas are below:

– The kitchens are in need of complete overhaul
– The equipment in the washing rooms is in need of replacement or repair
– The bedrooms of the children are in need of renovation
– The cots and beds of the children are in need of replacement
– Some of the technical equipment is old or obsolete
– Half of the incubators do not work
– The scales and children’s changing stations are old and need replacement
– The children are drinking tea out of old beer bottles
– They have insufficient nappies and rubber pants
– The bedding is old and needs replacing

Luckily for us, our Chairman has been approached by the management of Grundfos, an Austrian company, who wanted to assist in charitable projects. Almost immediately they were taken to Pleven and shown the state of the hospital. From that point the ball was in motion. Grundfos pledged to renovate the kitchens and we hope to see some results soon.

By far the biggest involvement we have attracted for this and other projects is through the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA). CWUHA and our chairman were in contact for some time discussing possible ways of assisting Pleven. Two of their members came to Bulgaria on a scoping visit and were shown around Pleven. It was no surprise that the Board of Trustees of CWUHA decided positively to come back to Bulgaria in September to provide a massive amount of aid.

We have also had the help of individuals and one notable contact was from Peter Their. Peter had just celebrated his birthday and instead of his friends buying him a present Peter requested that they give a donation. This donation, of 1065 Euro, Peter sent to One Life Bulgaria for us to put to good use at the Pleven hospital. Peter’s money went towards a one year contract of a Baba and the purchase of nappies and rubber pants, all of which the children so desperately needed.

The Baba’s are elderly ladies who go into the hospital on a daily basis, for 4 hours, to assist with the children. They do such things as change them, feed them and give them something which they would otherwise rarely get, a hug!!

There are 19 Baba’s currently employed at the hospital. One doesn’t need to be a mathematician to see that each child gets very time with a Baba each week.

We need more for sure. See our donations page to see how you can help.

What are our aims for the future?

Our overall aim for the future is simple; to continue to help those children in Bulgarian society who need it most, and cannot help themselves.

Whilst we cannot, and have no desire to, take the place of the Bulgarian Health Ministry, we will continue to assist them wherever we can by improving the conditions and assisting in providing the basic needs to the causes we take on.

In addition, we shall continue to make people aware of the needs of these poor unfortunate children, who are all too often forgotten, or hidden away.

As a long-term goal the charity has in mind the establishment of its own hospice where individual children who need of rest and recuperation, can stay for a couple of weeks. Of course is it understood that this will take some time to achieve, however, the charity members are committed individuals, are very passionate about the role they have taken on and will do their utmost to ensure that the “One Life Charity Hospice” becomes reality.