The House of Opportunity in Lyulin district, Sofia, celebrated its fourth birthday earlier this year. Young people currently in the House of Opportunity Programme were joined by ex-residents, representatives of local government and NGOs, and FSCI staff and volunteers to celebrate the positive impact that the House has had on dozens of young care leavers since it opened its doors.
Over food and drink prepared by the young people, guests were able to reflect on the last four years of work at the House. “It’s really good to recognise the impact this House has had on those who have been part of the programme,” says Boryana Madzhova, House of Opportunity Coordinator for Bulgaria. “We’re very glad to be able to help these young people when they are faced with a critical moment in their lives. For them to make the change from depending on the state, to living by and looking after themselves is very difficult, impossible to do successfully, really. So the House here gives them the opportunity to make that change safely and with the support of a team of people who really care, and this makes all the difference”.
Stoyan Stoyanov, manager of the Lyulin House shared about the results from the past twelve months and the goals that the team have set for the future, while the ex-residents, who now live independently, shared their experience of life in, and after, the House. “Since we started, 15 young people have passed through HOP Lyulin (not counting our current residents),” Stoyan told us. “There is no greater privilege for me and for us as a team than to have the opportunity help these young people who have not been very lucky in their life. Without a doubt, this privilege leads to a number of consequences and challenges. I am grateful for the trust of FSCI and I very much hope that each of the young people that we have and are working with will be able to cope with the challenges of life. The birthday of HOP Lyulin was an exciting event, filled with many pleasant memories and a feeling of satisfaction for what we’ve achieved.”