"Future and Hope" Project - Halfway Houses for Youth without Parental Care, Leaving Social Institution

One of the most difficult moments in the lives of the young people, abandoned by their parents in early childhood, is leaving the social institution after they turn 18 and making their first steps in independent living. In order to support their social integration, in 2006, we started a Halfway House for girls 18+ and in 2010 - for boys 18+. During their stay (12 to 24 months) in the House, the young people are trained in the acquisition and development of life and social skills - shopping, cooking, paying bills, budgeting; communication skills; conducting lessons and practical xercises to increase the level of literacy; receiving emotional support; assisting them to find work and achieve work sustainability. Where applicable, young people with learning and speech difficulties receive support by a teacher and speech therapist. Another focus of the project is our support in the acquisition of high school education for the Special Needs School graduates, as well as supporting those who continue studying in college or university. To promote this project, in 2010 the youth in our halfway houses started making greeting cards with which Star of Hope participates in charity bazaars.

In November 2013, "Future and Hope" Project was included in the "Choose to Help" donation campaign of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria. Thank you to all who were involved and supported our cause.

By October 2014, through "Future and Hope" Project we have helped 28 girls and 15 boys without parental care.

Our halfway houses have been a training base for students from the Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

At the end of October 2014, we reduced the capacity of the project by closing down the halfway house for boys.

In the summer of 2013 and 2014, Star of Hope held two camps in Troyan Region for underprivileged young people, currently or formerly living in our halfway houses. In the camps we had volunteers from Bulgaria helping our team. The program included: discussions on moral values, walk to the Troyan Monastery, visit to a crafts exhibition in Oreshak village, visit to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Cherni Osam village, sports and recreational games and more. As a creative activity, the young people had the opportunity to gather materials from the environment / leaves, flowers, grasses, etc. /, with which they made bracelets and cards with moral messages. These summer camps left unforgettable experiences in all of the participants – young people, staff and volunteers. The camps played an important role in the adaptation of the new people coming to our halfway houses, providing them with the opportunity to create new friendships and social contacts. We are glad that we managed to keep in touch with some of the young people, who have left Star of Hope’s Halfway House care. We want to continue being their friends whom they can rely on, and will help and support them.

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On November 20th 2014 we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Star of Hope. The charity concert had classical and folklore music, and the performers were: “Nusha” Vocal Studio, “Tsvetnitsa” Orchestra, Slava and Elena Athanassovi, Nadejda Rahova, Mila Pavlova and Stefan Samardjiev, Martina Dimova, “Silhouettes” Quartette. The beauty of the sound and dance brought delight to all who were present. The proceeds raised were used for our “Future & Hope” Programme.

For Christmas, we visited the underprivileged children and adults, supported by Star of Hope: The Orphanage and The Disabled People’s Home in Dolno Draglishte; The Orphanage in Roman; The Home for Women with Mental Health Problems in Razdol. During the Christmas party for underprivileged children from Strumyani and Sandanski, we had a quiz, games, dances and gifts. The faces of both children and adults were shining with joy and gratitude.