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WER is working in partnership with Door of Hope Bulgaria to help children from marginalized Turkic and Roma communities gain access to mainstream education. 160 children from four different communities across Bulgaria are directly benefiting from this work.

WER supports four Door of Hope projects in Bulgaria – one in the town of Chirpan and also in the villages of Partisan, Ihtiman and Trilistnik.

Children attending the Door of Hope project in their community are taught basic reading and writing skills. Given that children in Bulgaria are required to pass a test before entering the state school system, this project is providing the first steps for many children, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to study, to gain access to mainstream education. Many children from the pre-school class have now started state school thanks to the extra support that they had received from Door of Hope and some of the children have gone on to study at a local state secondary school.

During the school day the children receive a snack and are also taught about personal hygiene, including the importance of washing their hands before handling food.

An additional component to this project is free dental care and children are driven to Sofia to visit the dentist. For many of these children, not only is it the first time that they have received dental care but it is also the first time for them to leave their village. In this way, the drive to Sofia enables them to gain access to health care whilst also broadening their experience of Bulgarian society.

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