Assenovets Orphanage – “Maria Rosa”


Our interest in this orphanage originates with the 14 children who were transferred here from the closed Sara Filaretov orphanage which we assisted some years ago. Recently (March, 2009), OHB president Deborah Dushku Brailsford visited this orphanage and the children to make assessments. While she found the children to be probably the most pleasant and kind 7-19 year old orphans she had ever met, she also found the facility in which they lived to be one of the most disgusting and very cold. She has taken a personal interest in improving this orphanage and the lives of the children who live there through our programs. Barbara Dunn, one of our assistants, lives very close to this orphanage and has also taken it under her wing as she helps oversee projects and expenditures.

About the Orphanage

Assenovets orphanage was built in 1960 and is in very poor condition. The Nova Zagora Municipality plans on making renovations but renovations are half the battle. The children need better food and nutrition, bedding, medical care,  recreational programs and education on personal hygiene. The orphanage is located 4 miles from the city of Nova Zagora and our organization has a very cordial relationship with the Vice Mayor of Nova Zagora who sent a municipality representative with our directors to visit the orphanage early in 2008. They were given a very complete tour and were able to discuss all issues concerning the home.

The director is Nikolai Mangarov and the home currently has a staff of 23, including 11 caregivers. Currently, there are 29 girls and 40 boys. Nikolai Gavazov, our field director, reports that the children are very well behaved which perhaps is a result of a caring staff.