A new born baby has been left in hospital shortly after a mother gave birth. The mother is thought to be Eastern European and maybe Romanian. Having been out to an orphanage in Bulgaria and meeting a local mother I was told that this is quitre a common practise out there. InÂ fact she went on to tell me that after the birth of her third child, the lady in the bed next to her at the hospital simply got up and left her new baby.
This is a very sad state of affairs, in Bulgaria a child abandonned like this will be placed in an orphanage unless they are claimed back. The reason for this is that they can’t afford to keep them, when they get older they parents receive some kind of grant so will ‘collect them’ maybe when they are four or five.
Unfortunately the damage has been done by then growing up in a cold and uncompromising environment where little or no affection is known or recieved. They become part of an institution and often fail to thrive. It is very sad they barely have toys and the staff often treat them appaulingly.
In the ophanage we visited the children were palynig outside and had some large pieces of equipment to play on but when we were allowed inside we discovered not one single toy. I enquired “do they have toys?’ the carer replied they only have toys in winter when thechildren can’t go outside. Staff told me they had to save them in boxes to keep them from getting broken, can you imagine a British child having no toys for a day let alone a whole winter!
What does this do to them psychologically growing up in suchÂ a hostile and uncaring place? It means they find it difficult to have emotional attachments in later life, they find it hard to communicate and are often retarded because speech has not been taught at the earliest opportunity. Some children will be stronger than others and others will simply withdraw or show behavioural challenges andÂ there is no-one to help with their education.
The other thing I noticed was there were no books either or pictures on the walls, there really was no form of stimulation on the walls at all. If a child fell over there was no comfort not even a cuddly toy. Their beds were very close to each other however they were not facing each other, so they felt alone and many wet the bed each night. This really incensed their carers, it was so sad to witness.
I came home and made sure I collected some toys and maade a point of going back with my arms full, so those poor children could have a small peice of joy. I will never forget when I picked one of the boys up, I quickly realised as I put him down that he thought and hoped that I had come to take him away from this tragic place.
What are your thoughts on orphanges and abandoned children and what can we do to improve things?