Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children

90 minutes 7.1/10 based on 4 votes

Director Kate Blewett visits a children’s care home in Bulgaria and investigates the conditions in which the children live.

Following the completion of the film, the production team offered the Bulgarian Embassy in London the opportunity to comment on the findings made in the course of filming the documentary: 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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  • ME!!!

    how can these supposed carers care so little for another human life??!! this is amazing! i am studying to be a nursery school teacher (from 0 – 6) and the lack of everything amazes me!!! these poor children will never know the feeling of being loved by someone, i propose tht we all go over there and care for these kids properly!! how can people watch these children and ignore them, just because they have some form of disability!!! it really made me cry!!

    While we are caring for the kids, lets say we treat the staff how the kids are being treated now, see how they like it!!! Especially the director!!

    i just cant describe my total disbelief at this situation!

  • MItko

    Rubbish documentary. I am from Bulgaria and I can tell you that this lady who is presenting the documentary is very biased and one sided
    in the story that she is presented. She has not considered many factors such as background and also most importantly money. She keeps on talking talking and talking about ho the workers are not taking good care of those children. Let me tell you these workers are most likely being paid next to nothing and for nothing how can you expect something? She wouldn’t even be doing this documentary if she was not receiving money from it.

    The place where these kids are is very remote and also in one of the poorest areas of the country. Another fact is that most of these children ( as it is obvious to me) are from gypsy origin. Gypsy families usually have as many as 5-6 children and are often very poor families as they refuse the public education which is offered to them for FREE which often leads them to living in poverty or resorting to crime. Just from this alone i can tell you those parents may not even be paying for their kids to be there. So then tell me who is paying for the expenses?

    Obviously this place is not a proper care institution. It is more of a place where these kids can be under supervision and not be dieing on the streets. For the money that this institution is receiving even the care that they are receiving is probably a lot. Most of these children’s parents are probably single parents such as Milan;s and therefore they would have to be at work all day trying to make ends meet, leaving no one to take care of the kids anyway. and since all of these kids (apart from maybe Didi) cannot do anything on their own I would say that it is much better where they are now than it would be if they were alone at home.

    Kate Blewett is a really uneducated person to really be able to have any sort of say in this situation. I don’t see how someone let her make a documentary. What’s worse is that it is for BBC. Obviously BBC has fallen to a lower level than its former world class status.

    • krista

      It sickens me that your gonna blame the mistreatment of these CHILDREN on money affairs. Iv seen people treat dogs better. Do you have morals? Cause even if those people are being paid next to nothing doesnt excuse this!! It doesnt shock me at all that your from this place as you have the same mentality as the people working with those children. I think Kate Blewett did an amazing job showing how inhuman people from YOUR country can be. You should be proud….

    • Vexxa

      I about to blow my top! I’ll try to keep it brief and only pick one area that stands out amongst many in your comment. You said, regarding gypsy families, that they “are often very poor families as they refuse the public education……………….”. See, in my country, the U.S., you can’t just refuse to get a basic education (unless maybe you live in the backwoods with the Deliverance family). So because of the “gypsies” refusal to give a shit about evolving for the betterment of their region, they inevitably will be dumb, then poor, then freeloading and sponging, criminally. All the while popping out unwanted kid after kid. There’s so many crimes being committed, morally and otherwise. Why is it tolerated?

  • Carrie

    The conditions these kids are in is unimaginable!! VERY DISTURBING. Something from a nightmare,those poor innocent children,,If that was in the US? It would be shut down and more than 1 person would be facing charges!! Think Willowbrook,,,but 20x worse!

  • Sirramar

    I would honestly be curious as to how many places like this there are in Bulgaria. I’m sure places like this aren’t common there. And if they are, it because of lack of funding. It does seem one-sided on the part of Kate Blewitt because she hardly talk to anyone but the audience. Besides, I’m sure even England has places like this tucked away in the country side.

    I’m not condoning the practices here. I’m just saying that there are places like this in every country and something needs to be done by individual governments to correct underfunded and understaffed facilities for children and adults.

  • poppins

    Amazing documentary well done Kate! I plan to donate to the charity as these images will never leave my heart or my mind. I have never wanted to reach children as much as these and tell them they are loved and hug them. The resources were pitiful and the lack of care shocking. Add abuse and its no wander these children die often. Some of the staff’s attitude was inhumane ” doesn’t look sick to me.” Really? I guess malnourishment and broken limbs going unnoticed is part of the daily routine. All the diseases the children had were not specified, often made me feel they acquired new problems the longer they were there. Poor Didi left there to go insane being lied to Heartbreaking awaiting her mummy’s return. I work with children mainstream and children with additional needs and I couldn’t imagine ever treating any of them like this.
    If parents are unable for Whatever reason to care for their children then the state becomes responsible I wouldn’t want to be failed by my parents and then failed by my government the very people who should change lives for the better. I certainly would not want any child to go to a home especially when there is no love kisses hugs or even smiles from the carers. Outraged and very sad.

    Mltko I think you are taking this a little personally we are not criticising your country as a whole but a crime has been exposed it happens to be in Bulgaria. There are many institutes all over the world and despite cultural or social economic issues they are not appropriate places for children. It damages their cognitive and emotional development leaving another problem in its wake…. mentally ill adults ( if they survive ) If not then on to the adult hell home.
    Orphanages and institutes are not a place for children to live they are places for them to die (certainly in this home) Or just to fade away into a silent insane body

    • carol

      It makes me so sad to see such children so much in need of being held and loved. It looks like the staff know what a healthy meal looks like. Wish they would share some of their nourishing food with the children. When I see men working with naked girls it is humiliating for the girls. They said there wasn’t enough staff for a woman to be available at bathing time for the girls but there was a woman available when the boys were bathing. Such a disgrace for a director she looks healthy enough why are the children not feed a proper healthy diet? What is wrong with their government and the director not fighting the government on behalf of the children for a healthy diet for them.

  • dlsparks

    My mom used to work at Eldridge, Sonoma State Hospital, and took care of kids who were disabled. That was a good place for them clean, and caring. They have a zoo, and a fishing pond. It wouldn’t be hard for the kids in this documentary to take care of animals, and learn to farm, and do other things if the Government just cared about them a little.

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