The Blue House Care Centre was birthed in 2003. The vision was to provide a range of community welfare services to the people of Sliven from a caring Christian centre. Our good friend Genka Ivanova is the director and driving force behind the project.
Today, three nurses work tirelessly at the Centre and in the community helping many patients with rehabilitation from strokes, and other disabilities. A small contribution is requested where possible for these services, which normally would be out of reach for many. The nurses are often referred to as “visiting angels” by the people they help!
Some of the patients have life-limiting illnesses, and in recent times our UK volunteers have trained the team in the treatment of post-operative cancer patients with Lymphodema.
The centre also provides a safe place for daily visits by groups of mainly young people with both physical and mental disabilities, some of whom are residents in nearby sheltered accommodation. A varied program of activities and support is available
The Blue House provides a welcome respite from isolation. Support from the team, combined with friendships that develop, and the variety of activities offered, all help improve the quality of life for those in need. In a very real way, the love of God is demonstrated through the work of the Blue House.
During 2011, the final work on the small annex building has been completed thanks to the efforts of our teams. Shortly the authorities will issue the legalisation certificate to allow it to be used as a public building, so that the range of services can be increased. The annex includes a new medical and day room, together with two art & craft workshops stocked with many resources
The Blue House puts a smile on the faces of many people whose lives otherwise would remain bleak, difficult and unsupported. The daily social adaptation and rehabilitation group meeting at the Blue House continues to be in huge demand. Here the Director, Genka Ivanova, tells the story of one such young woman …
Maya has a mixed personality disorder combined with slight learning disability and significant disturbance in her social adaptation. Maya has limited abilities for independent life and is dependent to a great extent on external assistance and a supportive environment. Until November 2012 Maya had lived with her ill and elderly father, her mother having died some time before.
Very often there were conflicts between them caused by the rude attitude of her father towards her. He was not able to sustain the highly structured environment necessary to give Maya a quality life. Everyday life was a series of crises; impulsive behaviour, destructive relationships, outbursts of anger, restlessness, crying, despair and fear. She was afraid of everything. Although her father had been a teacher, most probably he had greatly declined in his capacity to compensate for Maya’s behavioural, intellectual and personality deficits. There were some attempts to start a job but without success and she would not get involved in any work at home.
Maya has attended our Centre since the end of 2012, at which time she was left on her own because her father had died. She was placed with us at the request of Sliven Municipality. She is not entitled to a pension and receives only social allowance – 60 leva (£25) per month. We arranged for her to eat at a social kitchen.
At the moment Maya feels good and gets involved in various activities like cooking and reading. She even began to cook for herself at home and to clean. She no longer wanders on the streets all the time and accepts the Blue House as her ‘home.’ She shares everything with us and often smiles. The picture shows Maya taking part in a recent cooking morning.