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About us

The St. Panteleimon HCJMR in the village of Vidrare is a social care establishment which provides care outside the habitual domestic environment. The Home accommodates on a year-round basis some 95 children with moderate, severe and profound mental retardation as a last resort protection measure.
The home’s two-storey building is situated in the outskirts of the village at about 300 metres from its centre. Adjacent to it is the community health centre and the office of the general practitioner who is also assigned to take care of the children. As ascertained by the medical documentation most of the residents have multiple malformations and somatic disorders as well as accompanying mental diagnoses such as epilepsy, mental syndrome – depressive neurosis, affective psychosis. Twenty children are on supporting therapy, and another twenty- eight are partially or permanently bed-ridden. Most of the residents’ physical and mental development does not correspond to their actual calendar age. There are Declarations of Relinquishment of Parental Rights for fifty-two residents. Forty-two children officially have parents, however, only ten maintain relations with their families. Eleven children attend the local school where they are offered an individual curriculum and the tutorship of two specially-appointed “resource teachers”.
The Home has well-equipped rehabilitation and work therapy rooms and a multi-sensory room. A very serious problem concerns the accommodation of residents after they reach the age of 18 years of whom there are thirty at the moment. Our plans for the future are to re-locate at least some of them to a Sheltered Home not far from us so as to create for them a living environment as close as possible to the domestic one and to help them in their social integration in the local community. In the meantime we will continue to educate and train them for a more independent life, the mastering of skills and habits as well as an occupation and taking jobs at the Home itself. The plan is difficult to implement since our only possible source of funding – the PHARE projects - do not entitle us to funds for new construction but only for repairs and upgrading of existing facilities. There is no suitable building in the village that could be converted to a Sheltered Dwelling, therefore we plan to open an Account and thus, with aid coming from donors and sponsors to build such a facility on the grounds of the Home. The account will be in the name of a foundation with which we have been working closely over recent years.

Our budget for 2006 is 182 000 levs (equal approx. to 90 000 euros). This includes heating, electricity, water, food, medicines, health insurance, clothes, cleaning and anti-bacterial materials, maintenance and repair works expenses – i.e. everything with the exception of the staff’s salaries. The 2007 budget was the same, not taking into account the inflation and, moreover, the rise in fuel prices of over 35%. Things are further made worse by the fact that the heating system uses diesel due to which last year over 60% of our budget was spent for heating and hot water. Great merit for having ensured warm accommodation for the children goes to the Greek company Eco Elda, which donated us 25 000 litres of diesel fuel, soon after the visit to our Home of Mrs. Papoulia, wife of the President of the Hellenic Republic accompanied by Mrs. Parvanova, wife of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. The visit was the result of many years of charity activities by the Greek Embassy in particular as sponsor of our Home. Not accidentally when we took on the patronage of St.Panteleimon it was H.E. Mr. Prokopios Matzouranis, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to Bulgaria, who became Godfather of the Home.

The number of staff positions is 60: social worker, psychologist, educators, rehabilitation, work and speech therapists, nurses, orderlies and a number of technical and auxiliary staff. In 2003 all woodwork - old and worn-out doors and windows - were replaced by new double-glazing PVC ones with funding from the German Red Cross. 2006 saw the successful completion of the project financed by the embassy of the Greek Republic for replacing the heating boilers and burners with new ones at the cost of over 42 000 levs which significantly reduced fuel expenses. What remains to be done is the replacement of radiators, pipes and the outer insulation of the building. Another urgent need is the repair of the obsolete water mains and the water capture facility, as well as a thorough repair and upgrading of the main building – both inside and the facade, replacement of some of the equipment, inner and outer renovation of the building, change of the equipment, especially the laundry.

A qualification course “Care for children and persons with mental disabilities” was organised for the medical nurses and the educators. The Home participates in a two- year project of the “Child and Space” association providing training for all the staff. In December 2006 members of our staff were included in a specialised training under the project “Support for children with reduced mobility and accommodated in establishments for children with disabilities”, which is financed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy’s fund “Social Assistance”.

Home for Children and Juveniles with Mental Retardation 'st. Panteleimon', village of Vidrare, Bulgaria