The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the plight of the socially weakest in our country, with many people finding it difficult to buy even vital food supplies.
One of these is Simeon: a single father who takes care of both his two-year-old son and his grandmother. Simeon is a single parent (Mitko’s mother having decided it was too difficult to take care of the child), and according to social workers has been doing a good job.
When the casino where Simeon had been working as a croupier closed because of the Corona virus, the staff were laid off. Simeon registered with the Labor Office and started a two-month course for construction workers, but, without an income coming in, the family was in crisis.
The NGO Hope and Homes for Children, Bulgaria worked with Simeon to support family, providing diapers, and occasionally food. Thanks to the Iris Programme, the organisation was later able to provide the family with additional help, covering the bills for electricity and water. Social workers also helped with preparing Mitko to go to nursery, bringing pajamas, slippers and coloring materials and helping Simeon with the necessary medical examinations.
Simeon says, “It’s good that you help with that as well: electricity, water, materials. I can’t even imagine how we were supposed to manage as now I am unemployed and on my own. My grandmother has just her pension and there is no way for us to cope. Today we did the medical tests with Mitko, tomorrow the results will be ready and on Monday we’ll go to the nursery. Now when he is in the nursery, I will start working somewhere during the day. He doesn’t weigh on me at all, I’m used to the child. I love him. He is part of us, he is my son, after all.”
This project was funded by the Iris Programme, which was set up to provide assistance to vulnerable children (and their families) affected by Covid-19. The Programme sprang out of an initiative by the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum, the National Network for Children and the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation. It is managed by the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, and the main donor is Tanya’s Dream Fund.