Caritas Bulgaria

Established in 1993 as The National Catholic Federation, Caritas Bulgaria supports its three member diocesan organisations; Caritas Plovdiv, Caritas Ruse and Caritas Sofia in their efforts to fight poverty and social exclusion, support spiritual and organisational development and provide emergency relief for victims of natural disasters. Caritas Bulgaria maintains community support networks and provides day care services for children and youth with disabilities and for single mothers, education and after-school activities for children and youth at risk, home care for the elderly and the sick, integration activities for asylum seekers and refugees, anti-trafficking campaigns and advocacy work.

Since its foundation, Caritas Bulgaria disaster and emergency response efforts provides food, clothing, shelter, hygiene packages to victims of natural disasters, such as floods, massive wildfires and hail destroying agricultural crops. In 2012, when Bulgaria was scorched by 210 wildfires, destroying over 2,500 acres of crops and hundreds of homes, Caritas Bulgaria responded by providing the basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter to thousands of people.

Moreover, Caritas Bulgaria diligent and tireless work to improving Bulgaria’s social services and health has led to six “Home Care” centres that provide comprehensive care to more than 400 elderly, sick and lonely people.

Caritas Bulgaria implements programmes that support the reception and integration of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Bulgaria. In 2012, Caritas Bulgaria activities provided specialised medical and psychological assistance to asylum seekers and refugees. Their advocacy campaigns and lobbying work to protect their fundamental human rights have improved access to health care.

In 2000 Caritas Bulgaria opened the “Annunciation” centre to offer a range of professional social services for educational and rehabilitation needs for children and youth with disabilities. The supportive, more accepting environment stimulates the development of children both socially and personally.

The Secretariat of Caritas Bulgaria is in Sofia and has approximately 120 staff and 300-500 volunteers. Caritas Bulgaria is a member and currently is presiding the informal coalition of Bulgarian NGOs and is one of the founders and Board member of the Bulgarian Refugee Council.

Caritas Bulgaria is a member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Europe.

Caritas Updates from Bulgaria