Shelter for homeless children “Teofano Popova”, Stara Zagora
Success can only bring happiness when others get involved as well.
From the beginning of 2013 we appointed a speech therapist. A large number of children had troubles with their speech. As time went by, these children made great progress and that really overjoyed us. We will continue our efforts in that direction and we hope that we will meet other sponsors and partners.
The home for children deprived of parental care “Teofano Popova” is located in the city of Stara Zagora and is situated around 5 km away from the center of the city, north of the Ayazmoto and south of the “Zagorka” brewery lake
The children there have access to a well-developed network of specialized medical services and a variety of experts
The history… throughout the years
The home’s building with its yard are public municipal property. In the first year of the 20th century, the Stara Zagora revivalist Teofano Popova donated the lot to the “Dobrii Samaryanin” association which was, again, founded by herself. Her wish was to have a foster home built there. On her deathbed in January 1929 she composed a will in which she declared that the donated lands and structures must forever be used to provide shelter to children deprived of parental care. Despite the turmoil in her homeland after the 9th of September 1944, the donor’s bidding had been fulfilled. Teofano Popova had left the home 350 decares of land
The home was in dire need of renovation of one of its wings and of its facade. More than once, the home’s principal Rilka Ivanova addressed the building’s proprietor, Municipality Stara Zagora regarding the issue, but her pleas fell on deaf years. In 2008, she turned to the “Tavita Bulgaria” foundation based in Sofia which has years of experience with western European charities that donate to homes for children without parents. The timely response of the foundation was astounding. As early as Christmas, the home welcomed some 15 dutch engineers. Before the end of January, the entirety of the home’s second floor sported new window frames.
HISTORY OF THE HOME
(excerpt form the Historic transcript for youth home “Teofano Popova”, city of Stara Zagora)
In 1899 in Stara Zagora, the “Dobrii Samaryanin” association was founded.
The association’s agenda was to support, indiscriminately to religion and nationality, those poor locals of the city of Stara Zagora and the region which had fallen into a state misery and moral decay.
The compassion of the association’s members was directed towards “the two polar opposites in life: childhood and old age which are both subject to compassion” -as reads a report in 1905 by the chairman of the association Teofano Popova.
In that same report, she had also written that more attention was paid to the “first polarity of suffering – the heartbreaking, deprived of fathers and mothers orphans representing fountains of power, of youth, of a life full of hope.”
That is why as soon as the association was founded, a foster home built – named:
The Stara Zagora regional foster home “Dobriy Samaryanin”.
The foster home had its own school capable of issuing graduation certificates.
The school was most probably founded in 1907 judging by the financial report of the association for that year which states “that Mrs. Dishpini and Mr. Atanas Angelov take up the obligation to provide for a teacher for the foster children until the rest of their lives.
Other accounts acknowledge the fact that the in-house school spared the children from the trouble of attending schools in the city which were at a considerable distance from the home’s building. It had been located on the very same spot on which the present building stands today.