I remember an experiment from school physics classes. You serve glass to the flame of a lighted candle and the smoke sticks to the glass. Then we raised the smoky glass to the sky and the bright daylight did not irritate our eyes. So our childhood curiosity went on a journey to the nearest star – the Sun. Today, on a hot autumn day, our team, together with our partners from CEZ, are heading to one of the suburbs of Sofia. The streets are lively, the grass in the parks is straw-colored, and the playgrounds are deserted. It seems that children do not play on them. There is no such pleasant noise from children’s voices and laughter of enthusiastic parents. We go to a panel block, which can be seen in every Bulgarian city. A door opens in front of us and Maria and Galin greet us from the small apartment. They are from those families in which they both look for and find work, but they never have enough money. They do everything possible to provide funds for their day and this is at the cost of spending some time with their children.
The team of “Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria” met this family four years ago, when their second child was born – Petko. The end of the pregnancy was marked by the separation of both parents, family scandals and a lot of emotions. The mother has nowhere to go after the birth and they stay on the street with the child. Talks begin with relatives, acceptable solutions are sought so as not to separate the mother and child. The mother’s aunt shelters them, but the lack of funds begins to pose new obstacles. Petko grows up with the love of his mother and, with our help, he lacks almost nothing. Maria and Galin normalize their relationship and gather to live in a one-room apartment. For every child to be with both parents is the greatest happiness. He goes to kindergarten, learns new things, likes to watch TV and go for walks. His parents, like many families in Bulgaria, from time to time fall into the abyss of penury and follow scandals, but again periods of good times. And it seems to support the family. It is important for them that the child is healthy, fed, life itself will teach him the most important things.
If we look around, we will see how many such families we know. They do not stand out, seek help and support only as a last resort, and have no ambition for their children to rule the world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Maria lost her job. Galin has no construction orders and no savings. Savings on food, electricity, water and household services are paying off, but there are no funds. Our campaign with CEZ “Together we can do everything” gave them a chance to endure this crisis. Together we went through the preservation of this family and they have already started working in new places. They have the means, they feel stable and they can handle any difficulty. And, as in that school experiment, Maria, Galin and Petko can see the sun through the smoky glass. The light will not burn their eyes, and the Sun is probably not interested in them.
When we support families with CEZ, we are like a candle flame – small, bright and enabling them to continue on their own once we leave.
Smoke is just a way to see the light.
You can support us in Action “Kangaroo”