ZOV Christmas Appeal 2017:  Christmas can be a hard time at the orphanage, and it only takes a small amount to give the children a fantastic day. Celebrations are filled with love, happiness, dancing and lots of food, but at the top of every child’s list is presents! This Christmas we have around 130 children to provide presents for, and we need your help to make sure every child gets a gift and a party.  So please give a child a gift and a Christmas to remember. To donate just go to the following website: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/ChristmasBulgaria2017.   You can now also Text BUWR43 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 (JustTextGiving by Vodafone).Or email charlotte charlotte@zov.org.uk

Thank you to everyone for attending our wind tasting event on the 23rd November, which helped raise money to keep our projects going helping over 180 disadvantaged children in Bulgaria.  A big thank you to Vaskovino www.vaskovino.co.uk   who supported the event.  If you quote ZOV in the order of any bottle purchased on their website a donation will be made to the charity.

We have expanded our outreach and mentoring project to work in a childrens home in Vratsa Northern Bulgaria.  We are working with Students from the local university and members of the Child Protection Agency to provide educational and individual support to the children.

Nine children participated in paid work experience, three of which were offered temporary or permanent positions.

ZOV organised for over 163 children to attend trips this summer, many of the children went on at least a one week trip to the Bulgarian countryside.

A beautiful garden has been built this summer at a Crisis Centre for Girls.  The Girls, staff at the centre, ZOV and members of the local community built a garden which grows vegetables and flowers some of which the girls use in the cooking and art sessions run by ZOV.

Charlotte, Lucy and Emily from ZOV undertook a training course in April presenting games for children to enhance self esteem, team work and promote good behaviour. ZOV prepared a book translating the games into Bulgarian which can be used by volunteers and teachers on a regular basis to help the children.

Thanks to the sports sessions ZOV organises as part of the Childrens Club, children from four centres won a national football competition organised by Manchester United for children in care.

Children from all ten centres we work with have been making Martenitsi (bracelets) to celebrate the coming of Spring. Many have made gifts and pictures to sell at local bazaars.

Children have been learning to ice skate in the winter months as part of the sports sessions ZOV runs.


ZOV has been awarded the highest recognition by the Bulgarian Ministry of Social Support for our innovative approach to social service and working with children, our outstanding results, our use of volunteers and efficiency as an organisation.  The award is given annually and is the highest award in Bulgaria for innovation. We were nominated for this award by the Veliko Turnovo municipality who recently acknowledged ZOV as their best partner for the provision of care and support for children in need.

11 children this year won a Communitas Award as part of the 1000 Stipendii program. This is the best result to date for the competition which ZOV helps administer every year.

Eight children participated in paid work experience placements, which include working in cafes, offices and in hairdressers. Four of the children were offered part time  jobs as a result of this project.

At the end of September ZOV delivered a training course on working with girls who are victims of abuse, as well as an introduction to ‘Hero Book’ training – a technique used with great success in South Africa to help disadvantaged children. We also trained staff on self-care techniques in order to ensure staff well-being is as high as possible.

This year six children will participate in paid work experience placements, which include working in cafes, offices and in hairdressers. “I want to become a serious adult with a job, education, house and a family. I want to learn English and I really want to succeed!!”16 years old Sevalina

A big thank you to Friends of Bulgaria and Cavendish School for making sure 135 children from homes could have a summer holiday.

Six children are leaving the home this year, because of our educational sessions and projects 50% will go onto further education and the other 50% have already found jobs thanks to the paid work experience we provide.

A trip was organised for all the children and mentors at the end of our Outreach and Mentoring Project. The two day trip included, sports, dance, canoeing, climbing and a number of outdoor sessions.

A PHD research exercise has shown a measurable increase in the childrens motivation, teamwork, independence, self esteem and communication skills as part of the Outreach Programme