Bulgaria’s first day-care center for children of Ukrainian refugees opens in Plovdiv

Bulgaria‘s first day center for children of Ukrainian refugees has opened in Plovdiv, the country’s second largest city, Bulgarian national television reported on May 28.

The opening comes as the end of the hotel accommodation scheme for Ukrainians enjoying temporary protection in Bulgaria draws near, followed by a scheme whereby those who want accommodation are accommodated in government facilities and hotels paying a smaller sum for accommodation Ukrainians receive.

The day-care center is located in a room in a former kindergarten that the municipality of Plovdiv made available for a peppercorn rental.

The center has been renovated and fully furnished with the help of donors and volunteers.

18 Ukrainian refugee children live in the center and are cared for by two educators from Ukraine.

The parents of the children who attend the day-care center have already found work. But some mothers will remain at the center for the first few days, the report said.

Natalia Ellis, from the supporting foundation, told BNT: “There are children who are very scared after the flight, after these sirens, after everything that happened in Ukraine, so we allow mothers to stay as long as possible for a few days to stay with the children for a week or two so that they get used to the situation”.

In addition to learning the language, the children also have to get used to the Bulgarian cuisine.

“We signed a catering contract and they will get the same food as other children in kindergartens, and so we will gradually include them in the process of integration into the Bulgarian community and culture,” Ellis said.

Retired teachers from Plovdiv will help learn the language so that Ukrainian children can safely attend city kindergartens after catching up on vaccinations.

In a few days another day children’s center will be opened in Plovdiv.

The renovation of the former pulmonary hospital, which is set to become a temporary shelter for refugees, is nearing completion, the report said. There will be 53 rooms with three beds each.

(Screenshots via BNT)

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