Razlog Day Center 2022

We at Radiant Encounter believe that everyone has a God-given destiny and has the right to grow to the fullness of their potential.

Prior to the institutions closing, many of the children with a disability were put in them. Some went in with a disability like blindness and ended up being left in a cot and underfed, leaving them malnourished and disfigured. When the finally got out of the cots, they found themselves stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. The institutions only began closing at the beginning of this decade, when Bulgaria started to see that people with additional needs can be a part of society.

Only in 2015 did Bulgaria pass the Pre-School and School Education Act. This act established the conditions for the inclusion of about 32,000 children with disabilities into the mainstream education system. In just 2018, Bulgaria passed the Persons with Disabilities Act. This act made it law that an employer cannot deny a person work based on their disability alone. It has opened the working world to those with disabilities. Now an employer with 50+ workers must have at least 1 worker with a disability.

Although Bulgaria is making an effort, still those with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups of people in society. In Bulgaria, 90% of all children in infant homes and 50% of the children in families type residential facilities are children with disabilities. Also, data shows that many of the people with disabilities aged 15-24 years are not in employment, education or training.

Some of the beautiful people at Blyan Day Center.
Singing along to the songs at Blyan Day Center.
The joy of dancing at Blyan Day Center.

The pictures above, are of Blyan Day Center, which is an incredibly unique place in Bulgaria. There are only a few facilities like this center. They were one of the first places to open when the institutions started to close. Before places like Blyan Day Center opened, people with different additional needs were locked away in the institutions; uncared for and neglected until the institutions started closing at the beginning of this decade. These included people with blindness, right through to people with severe autism with behavioral problems Places like Blyan Day Center made it possible for the institutions to close, and for people with additional needs to start being recognized as people that can be part of daily society.

Blyan Day Center has many different customers coming in daily. They are of all ages and types of disabilities. Some of these disabilities are autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, learning disabilities and many more. Blyan Day Center provides many support services, such as art therapy, language and speech therapy, psychological support from a specialist psychologist, kinesitherapy, occupational therapy, educational training from a special teacher (pedagogue), and fun activities like outdoor games, going on field trips to the forests/parks, or train rides. These fun activities are to help teach and start to integrate the customers back into society, as a few of the adults would have been those who were abandoned in the horrors of the institutions.

Blyan Day Center’s goal is to achieve independence in everyday life for most of the customers. They can only do this if they have access to good equipment, and right now they have a few broken items that need replacing. That is why we are fundraising for this and projects like these. Back in 2014, God did a massive miracle when we first visited Blyan Day Center. They were in dire need of fourteen new beds for the customers to rest during the day. We did not have anywhere near the money needed for the beds, so we asked God and trusted him for it. As always, our amazing God did not let us down, and all the money we needed came through right on time. Now here we are again. We do not have the funds for this project, but we are fully trusting God. Please join us in prayer for the funds to come in, and if you feel led to give, please do. You can give by donating to our fundraiser or by going to our donate page. If you are giving via our donate page, please make sure that you write in the reference box “ Blyan Day Center”

(2014) Before
(2014) After

Some of the information stated is from https://www.unicef.org/bulgaria/en/data-children-disabilities-bulgaria-and-around-world

Some of the information stated is from https://www.tmf-group.com/en/news-insights/articles/2019/march/bulgaria-new-people-with-disabilities-act/