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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 7 Winter 2008

The orphans of Veliko Turnovo

A big thank you to everyone who so kindly contributed to ZOV UK, our charity working with this Bulgarian orphanage you have made a big difference.The orphans of Veliko Turnovo Tailoring our projects to the childrens needs, we hold a weekly club where they can get help with homework, learn English and traditional Bulgarian songs. This summer we ran a project for twelve children, aged 10 to 19, to encourage a positive attitude towards work, using fun activities, such as bowling and films, as well as career sessions with the local university.

How you have helped

Nenka, a 14 year old girl, rarely smiles and was reluctant to interview students about their university experience. With some encouragement, she clocked up four interviews and declared that she wanted to be a journalist when she grew up. From that time she began to smile more.

Stefano, aged 18, was at first a little intimidating and acted cool. He spent much of his time with younger children, comforting them when they were upset, and always passed the football to them rather than claiming the glory of scoring a goal himself. Asked what hed choose as a career, he replied, "I want to be a social worker and work with children from orphanages."

Mitkos is a happy boy, always smiling and loves music. He is blind, but can play the piano beautifully. Just before his transfer to a special school for blind children, we asked him if he had one wish what would it be. "An MP3 player", he said, "so I can listen to music." We secretly bought one for 20 and asked him to close his eyes and turn around. We placed it into his tiny hands. He cried. We all cried.

Children not only need a roof over their heads, but need to feel valued and listened to. The children of Veliko Turnovo instinctively feel safe with workers who share their pain and joys.

If you would like to help, please send a cheque made out to ZOV UK to Charlotte Healey at 7A Burkitt Road, Woodbridge IP12 4JJ. For further information, see www.zovuk.org.uk or e-mail charlottehealey@yahoo.co.uk.