Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children

The Social Care Home – where 75 unwanted children are growing up – is the main employer in the small village of Mogilino. Few of the children can talk, not necessarily because they are unable but rather because no one has ever taught them how.

Kate meets the children in this tragic, silent world, such as Milan, the gentle giant who spends his days doing chores and watching over the others, and mildly autistic 18-year-old Didi, who is able to talk, and has plenty to say, but no one to speak to. The children that surround them suffer a variety of problems, many are blind or deaf and some are unable to leave their beds, many are literally wasting away.

Abandoned into the hands of the staff at Mogilino these children inhabit a bleak uncaring world, so devoid of normal everyday stimulus that many have taken to rocking slowly and constantly in their chairs just for something to do.

Bulgaria has more institutionalised mentally and physically disabled children than anywhere else in Europe. This film is a heart-rending and eye-opening look into the life of one such institution.

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  1. this is a crime against humanity period
    the so called workers are heartless

  2. Mogilino is a village in Ruse Province, northern Bulgaria. It became well known internationally after several reports about the institution for children with physical and mental disabilities. In 2007, the BBC showed the film “Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children”. The British public were deeply disturbed and started a petition to the Prime Minister to intervene and put pressure on EU institutions and the Bulgarian government to solve the problem. Many British, Bulgarian and international charities intensified their work effort to solve the problem with abandoned children in the country. The case of Mogilino resembles the campaign publicising the conditions in the Romanian orphanages in the early 1990s. Bulgaria has been criticised for having one of the highest numbers of children in state institutional care in the EU.

    On January 30, 2008, Bulgarian National Television presented its answer to the BBC documentary in the form of a documentary called Dom (House or Home). “It is not right that the whole of Europe be antagonised against Bulgaria because of a well-manipulated and skilfully edited documentary on a home being prepared to close down, such as Mogilino,” the makers said.

    On the same day, Bulgarian Members of the European Parliament signed a declaration in which they called for “a common European policy on the upbringing and education of underprivileged children.”

    On February 22, 2008, Labour and Social Policy Minister Emilia Maslarova repeated a promise that the Mogilino home, along with six similar homes, would be closed .

    At the initiative of Irish member of the European Parliament Kathy Sinnott, Kate Blewett’s documentary was screened in the European Parliament on March 4, 2008.

    On June 27, 2008, The Sofia Echo reported that some of the children from the Mogilino home had been relocated to other homes around Bulgaria, and that the Agency for Social Assistance and UNICEF were working, ultimately, to close the home.

    The Mogilino children’s institution finally closed on October 1, 2009 following further pressure from the BBC and EU.

  3. This is appalling. I’m speechless…

  4. I have never seen anything like this before in my life… Completely devastated by this doc. Something needs to be done!

  5. Disturbing how all the ‘carers’ are obviously well fed themselves.

  6. This truly broke my heart.

  7. Jesus…Can’t get those kids out of my head. Unbelievable.

  8. Jesus…Can’t get those kids out of my head. Unbelievable.

  9. Fuckin’ hell Bulgaria…get your shit together…

  10. Fuckin’ hell Bulgaria…get your shit together…

  11. Glad to see capitalism and freedom is doing such wonderful things for these poor countries. I bet this would never happen when they were under Communism.

  12. This is so touching. I started to cry as hell when i saw this. So many children in the world who has so much to live for and cant be able to understand all things, cant do the same things as we can do. I have a brother who has the same problem. I have allways been there for him and allways be. Those who leave their children are nothing for more that unrespected and awful people, they shall be ashamed. If i could,i would give them a better life, i would do <3 But for my situation now, im poor and have to take care of my self, if i ever get a very good job or anything, i will donate so much i can… I hope people of the rich can take some matters and start to help and change the world. WE must help these people to have a better day, a better future. Where they can laugh, where they can do the things they like to do.

    Thank you who made this Video..

  13. its eye opening cause its not something you think about every day…kids in other countrys that have the same afflictions get handled so differently…this is an extreme case of the opposite of care most country’s give…its an extreme case of survival of the fittest and what happens when there is noone to care for those whom are disabled

  14. To Whom it may concern,

    You know that we all are complicit in the neglect of these beautiful children. When we ignore and let a child
    go hungry or abused by parents, society or the state, when we do nothing or say nothing, what are we going to say
    when we come to the Final Judgement? It scares me and most people that I talk to say it is not their problem.

    I say We are our Brother,s Keeper. This is in the Bible and if you do not believe it, you are condemned.

    • Rather than going around condemning people, why don’t you tell me what YOU’RE doing about it.
      You know what else is in the Bible? Instructions on how to beat your slave: (Luke 12:47-48 NLT), instructions to beat your child, (Proverbs 23, 13 NIV) infanticide (Hosea 13:16)…then there’s all the rape, murder, molestation, genocide, slavery, torture… Keep your filthy murderous ‘god’ to yourself- he clearly isn’t helping these children and neither are you.