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TV show in Bulgaria raises more than a million dollars for disabled children

The proceeds will benefit children whose grim lives in a children’s institution were revealed in a television documentary shown internationally.

Sofia, February 28 2008 – A television fund-raising appeal in Bulgaria has raised $1.35 million for children with disabilities whose lives in an institution were featured in a television documentary.
The money raised will help set up family and community-care services for the 65 children living in Mogilino children’s institution, in Bulgaria.

UNICEF Bulgaria Representative, Octavian Bivol, said: "To all those who took part, your time, efforts, dedication and love have been incredible. Through your support we will be able to help all the children from Mogilino. I am really proud and delighted you have joined UNICEF and have become part of our team."   

A fund-raising campaign that last two months, entitled “The Magnificent Six”, was set up by the Bulgarian national TV station, bTV, and UNICEF. It culminated on Thursday, February 21, with a two-hours long live broadcast of a concert. This was attended by the Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, who backed the fund-raising campaign.

The ‘finale’ of the TV campaign was hosted by the UNCEF Goodwill Ambassador Ani Salich. The funds raised will be invested in training for specialists who will work in family-type houses where the children will be cared for in the future. Their care and safety will involve specialised medical and rehabilitation facilities.

Six famous Bulgarian singers performed duets with six well known personalities during a one-hour television show every Monday and Thursday, between January 14 and February 21. The event brought together Bulgarian personalities from the political, business, artistic, and sports spheres who sang the duets and supported the cause. Everyone who worked on the project; participants, the Global TV production team and bTV worked pro bono during the charity project.    

This fund-raising effort helped to raise public awareness of the problem of institualisation of children in Bulgaria and the care of disabled children in particular. It was prompted by a BBC documentary which depicted the intolerable situation in an institution, in Mogilino.

Background information:
In November 2007, following the broadcast of the Mogilino television documentary, UNICEF renewed calls for accelerated efforts to improve the child welfare system in Bulgaria, particularly the reliance on placing children without parental care in institutions. UNICEF supports the Government of Bulgaria to undertake major reforms particularly to prevent the entry of children into institutions and to improve assistance to children without parental care. Key reforms are still needed to convert existing residential institutions into a system of community based services, thus protecting the right of the child to live in a family environment. UNICEF will continue to assist the Government of Bulgaria to further expand family support services for prevention of abandonment and help local municipalities in designing appropriate interventions and channelling adequate financial resources for deinstitutionalisation of children.


For more information contact UNICEF Bulgaria Communication Officer Tsvetelina Bonova on +359 2 969 6207




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