Bulgaria's Abandoned Children

Bulgaria's Abandoned ChildrenThe Social Care Home - where 75 unwanted children are growing up - is the main employer in the small village of Mogilino. Few of the children can talk, not necessarily because they are unable but rather because no one has ever taught them how.

Kate meets the children in this tragic, silent world, such as Milan, the gentle giant who spends his days doing chores and watching over the others, and mildly autistic 18-year-old Didi, who is able to talk, and has plenty to say, but no one to speak to. The children that surround them suffer a variety of problems, many are blind or deaf and some are unable to leave their beds, many are literally wasting away.

Abandoned into the hands of the staff at Mogilino these children inhabit a bleak uncaring world, so devoid of normal everyday stimulus that many have taken to rocking slowly and constantly in their chairs just for something to do.

Bulgaria has more institutionalised mentally and physically disabled children than anywhere else in Europe. This film is a heart-rending and eye-opening look into the life of one such institution.

Watch the full documentary now

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96 Comments / User Reviews

  1. jamie

    I am going to open with an apology as I am about to say some things that may offend some, but, it has to be said.

    What kind of animal does it take to treat a child like this? These effin fat, lazy and foul females (who have the audacity to call themselves "Caretakers" Ha!!)starve these beautiful people to death while waddling the halls of this death house.
    Their fat arses plumped with lard contrast wildly against the bones of the babies. Heinous, hideous wretches they are! To hell with them and the satanic horse they rode in on to this planet!

    There is no doubt in my mind that they are doing more than starving and neglecting these souls to an early grave. May "God" have mercy on their putrid souls because I surely cannot muster any for them.

  2. lucidliar

    horrifying.

  3. McAa

    "One drop of water raises the sea." Do your part.
    In a perfect world, you could take your vacation time, pull out your savings and settle into the village. Live like Mother Theresa - go hug the babies and play with the litte ones, and take the teens out into the sun every day for your whole vacation... then pass it off to the next one who comes.
    How many vacations of ordinary citizens from around the world, (NZ, India, China, US, Belgium, Brazil, Ghana) with their own money would it take to cover a year of daily loving physical contact for 75 children. How many of us would shell out the money to help someone go for two weeks? Yes, a millionaire (or 40) could help but so could an avalanche of us "peons" showing them a better way. Where is the UN with food or did it already get stolen off the dock like in Somalia? That director and the carers didn't look like they missed any meals - and I bet their children look just like ours.
    Sadly, it would probably get stopped by the government as "interference" and by the director as "disruptive." That's why it exists in the first place. This is not a perfect world ~

  4. Theri

    This was so sad. I feel so sorry for these children, they are all so innocent and yet they have to suffer like this? What a touching documentary. Poor kids...

  5. lm3000

    This is sickening. And Jamie, I am behind you 100% You don't have to apologise for anything you said.

  6. beate

    This is another example of passing the buck!!! No one will take ownership for something like this--the consequences are far too great!! I couldn't believe the director--trying to assert that she was doing a good job!!! Oh the ignorance!!!

    Yes--the women who take care of the children are doing the bare minimal--if you ask me, they've simply become desensitized to their surroundings---it would be easy to place blame on the people who are in direct contact with these children--but if you were to ask me---some of the fault lies on the women who gave up their children in the first place. It is the structure of the social institutions in Bulgaria that allows this type of abuse to continue to happen. The women working in this institutions cannot change the structure---in this instance, I truly believe the government, whether regional or federal has failed its citizens, but above all, failed the children having to live in these social conditions.

    At the end of the day, its all bullshit---I mean look at what the government did in response to this documentary--which blantanly revealed the abuse going on in such intstitutions---they did nothing!! Things will change if people are held accountable and if we ensure that there are consequences to such abuse--and not just at the working level--but rather, at an institutional and national level.

  7. A Bulgarian

    Hi, everybody. Although a Bulgarian I have to say that I was shocked and stunned and (I have no words to express my feelings) when I saw for the first time this movie about a year ago. And so were most of the Bulgarian when finally, thanks to BBC it became clear a little part of the situation with the care homes in Bulgaria. What I need to say, however, is that in spite of all the obstacles created by the ministers and social institutions and beaurocracy there were steps undertaken to save the children and to change the system. A year ago a special concert was organised to gather money. The concert was organised by representatives of UNICEF and about 1 million euros were gathered. All the money were used to build new homes for the children and to hire professional and caring people to take care pf them. Unfortunately I cannot find any article in English to post here so that you can read. Yet what is done is not enough because this is not the only such social care home in Bulgaria and there is a lot of work to do and a long way to go. But hopefully there are people trying to change the things...

  8. Pieno

    I'm going to get sick. How can they do this?

  9. benado

    I frankly have nothing positive to say about Eastern Europe as a whole.

  10. Bodd

    To think that occurrences like these are only happening in eastern Europe is bullocks! This kind of treatment and far worse is being carried out everyday in every country no matter what mask that particular country attempts to place on it. I would suggest that everyone watch the Doc "Welcome to North Korea" if you want to see what kind of travesties countries can impose. Enjoy!

  11. olympia

    My heart broke for Didi. She is such a beautiful and intelligent girl, starving for an expressive outlet in which she can bond with others and learn. It is so devastating and almost unbelievable to see how a child with such potential for a normal happy life is abandoned and left to rot with all the other forgotten children. More people need to watch this documentary. It will change them.

  12. BridgetteB

    This is by far, the saddest documentary I've ever seen...and I've seen many, such as "born into brothels", "abandoned children", "sold into slavery". But this one surpasses them all. To abandon a healthy child is a sin in itself, but to abandon a child in need should be a crime. All these women who keep on having children and abandoning them should be killed! And no, I do not feel bad for saying that...I, myself am a woman, and would NOT have a child that I knew I couldnt care for. When will all these women start thinking for their actions? It's amazing to think how far as a world we've come with technological advances, yet we still do not have anything in place that teaches people how to notput themselves into these situations. My heart goes out to DiDi...I cried for her...words cannot describe the saddnedd I feel for her.

  13. Laura

    I don't understand this! They say they don't know why they don't walk anymore, where is there for them to walk? I dont see any toys! The staff seems lazy, the tv is on shows they like! Why is there not cartoons on or something for the children, as if there lives are not bad enough. This film made me full of anexity, The person stated they said they are here because they can not learn, I am sorry we have many disabled children in the USA they grow up to do fine, So saying they can't learn is just a easy way out for this place its bull! This whole thing just sickens me, I cant even explain how my heart hurts so much for Dee Dee its unreal that this is aloud, there is NO stimulation for them this is why they don't grow or learn talk or walk...
    And to the comment to the person above who said this goes on in every country is full of it, Come to America our children in homes are taken care of, the ones that were like this are shut down and have been for many many many years@ So until you know about EVERY country really you should say nothing, I am watching this sickening video on these poor kids, it not only hurts it angers me....

  14. louiseiiid

    I just want to adopt Stoyan and poor little Vasky. I can't stop crying. I feel so badly for Didi, poor girl, but who knows why her mother is so apparently evil?

    It is tempting to judge all those responsible, but no one fails to respond to these children unless they are themselves very damaged on a deep level.

    Having said that, I'd quite like to slap that Director and I'd probably really enjoy punching Osman the abuser. Sorry - not very progressive of me.

  15. Maya

    @BridgetteB I get that you're upset. Who wouldn't be, watching this? But you're so full of it. "These women, these women, these women" Really now? THE WOMEN are the only ones making the kids are they? There are no men involved in a making a baby? As a woman you're so quick to judge other women who, you say "should be killed" because of this. As if you were ever in the types of situations they had to face. When will "these women start thinking about their actions?" Well I don't know. When will "those men" start? Disgusting.

  16. MK

    The only people who have any right to judge are the one who have actually done something about it! You dare to criticize the caretaker, but have you done anything? Have you ever dealt with sick children?? Do you think donating a dollar once will help these children? This is so incredibly hypocritical! These children need love and parents!!! They need professional care.They need to be integrated in the real world. The poor old lady who is taking care of them is not enough. You should respect her for trying! She is actually there!She is dealing with it every day..and there are 75 children! And where are you??? Where are you hiding? In the comfort of your own home! And what difference does it make where it happens , since you are not doing anything about it! Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine...absolutely no difference. You aren't better! Even worse! You are hypocrites! Posting negative comments here, means you know about it, you know about these children and what have you done about it? Really, what?

    People are just looking for someone to blame. The mother, the caretaker, the father, the doctor, the government, the European union, the teachers. Can you tell me how is this helpful? Blaming it on someone is like throwing a stone in the sea. We all know it is going to sink! And good luck finding it again!!!!

    Everyone is responsible for these children. They have to be integrated in the society, not just put in shiny beautiful houses and given more food. This means nothing..these children will never be happy like that. They will exist. No doubt they need this to survive! But how would you feel being closed in nice room and fed, but without having anyone to care about you?? One of the most important conditions for children to develop properly is loving and safe environment! They need stimulation to get better. They need to communicate with healthy children. However, every time a sick child appears in the classroom his or her classmates verbally abuse them, so they stop going school, kindergarten or nursery, their symptoms worsen and it usually ends tragically. And here is the place to say that this is not a fault of the children who bully the sick kids. It is a fault of the society who does nothing about it. When "worried" parents call at school threatening, because there is mentally challenged kid near their precious child, teacher take the side of the parents, since they have no choice. This is where the major problem comes from. Separating these unfortunate children from the rest. Canada is a great example of a country, which provides a lot of support for disabled children. It may not be perfect, and obviously not every kid can be helped but it works. It works for the majority.

    The children in this institution are robbed. From love, care and help. Help them! DON'T JUDGE! HELP! BE A HUMAN BEING AND HELP! ADOPT A CHILD, SPONSOR SPECIFIC INSTITUTION, USE YOUR EDUCATION TO PROVIDE THEM WITH SPECIAL CARE, FIND DOCTORS,TEACHERS...OR IF YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT...VISIT.

    P.S I am perusing a degree in neurology and i believe science is the way to cease this misery, combined simply with compassion and care for those who are not as fortunate as we are.

  17. MK

    Just listen to the director...She is insane!

  18. Fi-licious. ;)

    I haven't cried so much like I have with this film. I had to watch it in sections because I was shaken to my core at the mistreatment of these children in this institution.

    Last night, when I stopped because I couldn't take it anymore, I cried until my head hurt. I've just finished it now and I sit here wondering... what now? Now that I've witnessed this type of horrendous human behavior, do I simply wipe my tears on my sleeve...feel 'sorry' for the children and the sh*tty lives they have lead thus far, think upon my life as it is and how f*cking great I have it and that's it??

    I can't. I can't do that. To now see and know that this IS happening...maybe even in our own backyards, I can't just let others deal with this.

    Maybe I'll barely make a ripple in this vast holy hell, but if one Vasky or Milan or Didi or the little wee boy at the end who leaped in the filmmakers arms because he/she felt a loving touch for a fleeting moment... if ONE of these CHILDREN have a better way of life because of my actions, then it will have been worth it.

    And here I 'thought' I'd seen it all... unfortunately not. ;( Not even close. ;(

  19. Shashikiran Srinivasa

    I think this is the other side i.e. dark side of Europe. Very sad...

  20. Robin

    Just to think that Bulgaria has become part of the European Union makes me hate the European Union where I live in more than ever before. Poor kids. We should never have accepted Bulgaria as a member state as long as human rights conditions are not respected there. But that's the EU, it's all about big money, nothing else. I feel ashamed.

  21. Canadian

    Why is the director so proud of purchasing an umbrella for a pool when none of the children go outside? Just asking.

    The World Health Organization clearly states what the needs of a human being are and it is sad that these children like so many others are not receiving those basic rights.

    And just one more thing because I am ticked off, just because a disease is the cause of a broken bone does not make it hurt any less and should therefore be treated properly no matter what the cause.

  22. tridant

    My god you wouldnt treat an animal like these poor souls are treated.Children who should not have a care in the world and should be looking forward to life,i feel like crying.How can this happen in this day and age?All the wealth in the world.How can parents just abandon their children?My lilttle girls are my everything,without them life would be empty and meaningless.Shame on those who are looking after them,guess the soaps on tv are more important to them than the well being of a child.I have been looking for some charity that can use me as an electrician(work for free)but any i find need you to pay all your own expenses.If you know of any that dont require you to dig deep into your own pocket maybe you could post here as sadly i am not a wealthy guy.Thanks

  23. NANY

    Weird film.

  24. Collette

    These is deeply touching. Disturbing. To those who say ''Eastern Europe'' I ask what do you mean by that. So, in Czech Republique we should also expect these things. It is part of the problem in the low developpment of the coutry in different sectors. It doesn't mean England couldn't be this way. People are people. They are not moore mean or less mean in certan places by nature. It is just something very social here. Needs time. But things can b pushed. By showing and pressing the otorities not only of Bulgaria but EU too, since Bugaria is a memeber. And for sure I wouldn't put te blame on the nurse more than on the parents who abandon theirchildren just o they live easier lives. Egocentrism, and that is what we live everywhere, not only in Bulgaria.

  25. Wolf

    I think most of the people commenting here are being to harsh on the staff. I don't think they (with the exception of the man that was beating children) meant to do them any harm.

    They seemed desensitized and very ignorant when it came to the conditions the children were in. I believe they were unaware that there were other alternatives. They had probably seen children come, deteriorate and die their entire careers. Most likely being told continuously that it's normal, and that there is nothing they can do.

    That being said, I was shocked that the children were in such horrible shape. Even basic care, such as feeding and tending to injuries, was not adequately provided. I hope, for the sake of these kids, that things will improve for them. Especially for the ones like Didi, that are completely aware of the conditions in which they are forced to live.

  26. Sarah

    I am a 23 year old Canadian woman. For the past year, I have worked as a Care Worker for children with mental disabilities.

    To see the conditions these children are forced to live in, the laughable "care" they receive, and malnutrition and sickness that result, just absolutely breaks my heart.

    I can't help compare our "modern" Canadian facilities - where I work, children are housed in small groups, in a house, with trained, caring staff.

    I'm not someone who cries easily, but this documentary and the children in it brought me to tears many times.

    I'm glad these are people like this documentary crew that are able to capture and share the situation to a broad spectrum.

  27. Sun

    This documentary was one of the most difficult to ever finish to the end. I had to watch it in increments of about 20 minutes before I had to take a break due to the fact that I was so saddened by what these innocent children had to endure. I was happy to see that in the second part "Bulgaria's Abandoned Children: Revisited", these children were moved on to much better circumstances because of this journalist and UNICEF. It's so important that you donate money to important organizations like this so that compassionate people in this world can save lives and dramatically increase their quality of life. Love one another.

  28. Nick_kcin

    I've been meaning to watch this one for a while now, I almost wish I didnt.
    that Milen dude seemed pretty on to it for a mute, I felt sorry for him more than anyone because he was always smiling and trying to help out

  29. Sadie the Celt

    I followed you (Nick_kcin) to watch this documentary - I could not watch it all at once, I was crying too much to see. It took 5 attempts to see it through. Its harrowing, mind numbing - I can't think straight.
    I carelessly thought that it would be about Romania - and the Chescekaou (sp) regime, which I was familiar with.
    What I have learned however, is much much worse. I thank Vlatko for bringing this to our attention, I would never have known such atrocity is happening in Bulgaria if it wasn't for this Documentary, despite having BBC at my fingertips (so to speak) I guess I have been ignorant.
    This Documentary has shattered me, I dont think I will ever forget it, and I am not able to 'sum this up' in one blog.
    Its totally wrecked my day, but hey, I am one of the lucky ones! - I would willingly have my life wrecked if I thought I could make a difference to these kids & adults.
    I need to think.

  30. Sadie the Celt

    @ Fi-licious

    Thank you for posting info about a follow up, I will need to watch it, and Im grateful for your positive news.
    I just want to have a think before i start looking for 'Band-Aids'! respect! sadie

  31. Randy

    The thing about these kids... I mean... first of all, do NOT say anything about Eastern Europeans... I love them...

    However, why can we not just grind up these kids for food?

    What is the deal? I certainly would have loved to have missed all the horror that I have experienced in this life.

    Why is it wrong to take these suffering children out of the world. Perhaps to use their flesh to feed others...

    I'm just sayin'

  32. Sadie the Celt

    @ Randy

    who said this?

    ......"We despise in others, that which we most fear in ourselves".......

    SOMEBODY said it - I couldn't have made that up could I?

  33. Randy

    @Sadie

    Why is it wrong to eat human flesh?

    Why is that taboo?

  34. Sadie the Celt

    @ Randy

    RandyRandyRandy!
    I sometimes think of you as a very inquisitive cheeky little boy! - you make me smile, I only hope everybody else smiles too! - Ive never ever considered eating human flesh! I cannot get passed the idea of eating my Daughter - that abhorrs me so much that I am almost afraid and ashamed to put this into a blog!
    Im very embarassed now - but thats what I feel.
    Would you eat my Daughter Randy? would you eat your Wife?

  35. Randy

    No, of course, you wouldn't eat your daughter. She is your genetic material. You would have a tribal obligation to protect her.

    But, I am just axin' If you needed to eat and there was another tribe of humans available...

    Why not? What is the reason that we reject this idea?

  36. Sadie the Celt

    @ Randy

    Im so grateful you said that! but would you eat your Wife?
    Im axing cos you MARRIED your Wife - so she is not a genetic link, (in fact she would be 'anybody' or 'nobody' to you perhaps if you had not married her)
    would you eat your Wife, Randy? (if you were very very hungry)? or as per 'The Custom of the Sea'?

    im off to the pub now with my mate Petra - and todays Guest Ale is "Thornbridge Jaipur India Pale Ale" - its 5.9% (Razor!) its gonna be a 'blinder'!!
    stay right where you are Dr - Im NOT running away from this discussion - but you have driven me to drink!

  37. Sarah

    Just ignore Randy. His immature comments are obviously just to get a rise out of people. Some people just don't have anything better to do than to prove their stupidy on public forums.

  38. Sadie the Celt

    @ Sarah

    I try hard not to let him get a rise out of me! but he always does! -
    Have you watched this documentary? Ive been thinking about it all day today, and Ive decided that I would come back and watch the follow-up that fi-licity posted above. Because she said it was 'positive' - and I would like to get this image of those kids (esp Milan & Didi) in a kinder & better place.
    thanks Sarah! from sadie

  39. Sarah

    @ Sadie

    Yes I have watched this doc, twice in fact, as well as the follow-up. If you scroll up you can read my comment after I watched it the first time. I work as a caretaker for people with mental disabilities, so to see the neglect and starvation they suffer is particularily disturbing to me. Watching the follow-up though, it's very encouraging to see the changes that have been made in these childrens' lives, but it's hard to forget that even though they have been helped, there are countless others that suffer the same fate.

  40. Randy

    @Sarh

    My questions are not immature. In fact, they have serious evolutionary, philisophical and historical precedence.

    @Sadie

    Very interesting point! But, my wife is my biological/sexual mate. She also requires my protection. However, would I kill and eat another human being for her welfare? (feed her the flesh...)

    Would you do so for your daughter?

    I would. In a New York minute... my wife is all important.

    Is there anything your life so important?

  41. Sarah

    Well played Randy, by asking a question at the end of your comment, you keep the pointless discussion going. But again I say, no one cares or is shocked by your cannabilistic statements. Despite what you claim, they have no relevance to the documentary.

  42. Randy

    @Sarah

    I see. Well, Sadie might enjoy my comments. I was talking to her after all...

    And not you.

    And as far as the doumentary goes... *shrug* what about are you gonna do?

    I'm I right?

  43. Sadie the Celt

    @ Sarah

    Yes I have just read your posts - (sorry I didnt before) im nowhere near as experienced as you nor have I seen as much - I just dont know how you do it. I am ashamed to say I would not last 5 minutes, it would totally break me.
    Thank goodness for people like you - undervalued and overworked - you have my utmost respect. Sadie

    @ Randy

    Randy - i really dont know. If my daughter was ever starving, I would hope I could chop my leg off for her to eat! (but I know she wouldn't/couldn't eat that!) so I would have to make it into meatballs and hide it in pasta....
    oh hang on....pasta? that means we are not starving, phew!

  44. Jonathan

    Without a shadow of a doubt the most depressing documentary I've seen. Ranks right up there with the death camps in terms of sick individuals.

    This documentary opens the eyes to a lot of things... I knew that the policy in the former Soviet countries was one that commonly removed its invalids so that society would not be burdened with seeing them in daily life. Bulgaria is consistent with other countries on this topic. The fact that the journalist relates to Bulgaria as being a modern EU country is not entirely fair, though. There are areas of Bulgaria that are well built up, but the vast majority of the country, outside its urban regions, is ravished with poverty.

    Nevertheless, these kinds of documentaries serve a very worthwhile purpose. In response to one of the Bulgarians that posted earlier... The journalist is helping by uncovering the standards of these places. Without recognition, a problem cannot be identified. Knowing that you are part of the EU now, the outset for improvement will surely increase, especially considering this is a sensative and well promoted topic in the rest of Europe. It is also warming to know that beneficial concerts and the likes are taking place to improve standards.

    The hardest part of watching this documentary, in my opinion, was watching a mildly-retarded Didi enter the home. Knowing that she will only mentally deteriorate is crushing. Both the director and the personnel are disgraceful s hitbags that should be hospitalised, themselves.

    However, in response to anyone that pops off with the s tupid "Eastern Europe is a hellhole" kind of rubbish, you probably shouldn't be watching these kind of documentaries. It would be far more valuable to learn more about a country than its most negative points, first. There are about 2450294875 problems with the US, UK, France, Germany etc, as well.

  45. Lucianne

    wow... it's horrible to think things like this are so common in the world today, we think we're helping people and in the modern world, problems like this don't even exist any more, but even if this orphanage has since been closed or improved, there are many others with similar conditions that we are just not aware of.

    We were shown the first part of this documentary in school, and I can honestly say it's the only time I have ever seen a whole class plus the teacher crying but sitting in silence afterwards. This is the most shocking documentary I have ever seen, but thank God it's been shown as only now can we know that a problem exists and help those poor children, in our society, most of them would be considered fairly normal, but here they'll just get worse like poor Didi. Why do we let this happen to people?

  46. Tux

    Milan...he breaks my heart. That boy could have learned to speak, learned to be self-sufficient. What a waste. Don't even get me started on DiDi...

  47. Hanna

    Take Didi out of there now! I'm mildly autistic too and I have a job, my own apartment and I live my life!

  48. Viktor

    This one was really really strong.

  49. Temirova

    This is actually the worse thing I have ever seen. I saw it a few years back and it has stuck with me since. What a shame for them, but also a shame for all children(and adults) in the world who aren't getting love, aren't getting what they need or are having their lives ruined by war and poverty.

  50. Louise

    This made me sick to my stomach, It is scary that there are people out there able and willing to treat children this badly, its disgusting!
    As a care worker myself I could not begin to imagine what goes through these peoples heads, how are they getting away with such behaviour?
    It is scary to think that people have such little compassion towards others.

    Truly disturbing film, someone needs to do something

  51. Micah

    These poor babies! Why is this happening?? This tears me up inside and angers me so bad.

  52. Francesca

    Watching this has made me feel completely helpless. I don't like to see people - especially young people such as this is such a devastating way.

    The way they are feeding these children, they practially cram the whole "dog bowl" of food into their mouths - in a sense of rushing. After looking after young children since I was a child myself, even I knew then - and obviously know now that children need patience and time.

    I can't believe no-one has taken the time to take the children out into all that space surrounding the building. The majority aren't even children anymore, they're young adults and should not be in the state that they can't even communicate. Everything has just been completely stripped away from them to the point they are left with nothing at all. The staff themselves don't have any interest or morals themselves, so what chance do the people they're supposed to be caring for have. 2 people in 4 months dying? And the authorities are just looking past this? And the hospital didn't even notice how malnourished the child was? An absolute disgrace - the team, the hospitals and the authorities have a lot of blood on their hands.

    I don't have any care experience but I could do a damn right job better than this. My sister has a disability and I wouldn't even dream of neglecting her needs like they have here. Disgraceful.

  53. mitsy

    I an a professional that has worked many years with severely handicapped children in institutions.

    The biggest factor that stands out here to my eyes is that the director is probably a political appointee.
    She does not blame the government nor accept any blame herself.

    Yet the care staff are simple women living in a rural peasant village. They know only what they have been taught - by the director.

    I have not yet watched the follow-up video - thank you Fi-licious - but I can still say that the real blame here is on the director and whoever appointed/supervises her.

    It is not the blame of the care-staff nor of the parents. In Didi's cans I have to presume (considering her situation) that she had probably begun to act out sexually and her mother probably believed that she was protecting Didi by placing her in an institution.

    Reading the comments, I am looking forward to better news from the follow-up videos.

  54. tridant

    Dear god mitsy,i hope you are not a parent,if you think putting a child in a place like that is protecting them.It worries me with your attitude that your are allowed to work with handicapped children.Our health system must be in nearly as bad a state as theirs.Didi was a normal girl going in there but being surrounded by children who chances were just as normal as any child went slowly mad due to lack of love,care and attention.No toys,no love and nothing to feed their young absorbing minds.Sad sad sad,shame on us all for allowing this to happen ANYWHERE.

  55. mitsy

    @trident

    I fear that you misunderstood me. I am a parent, a grandparent and a professional working with severely handicapped children.

    Least important - "our" system. You don't say what country you are from, nor do you know what country I live in, so there is no "our" system. Yours and mine may be the same but the likelihood of that is very small.

    Now then.
    Putting a child in a closed institution at adolescence because that child is acting out sexually is more common than you might believe. The best parent in the world (and here it is a mother alone that is mentioned) wants only to protect that child. If they fear that they cannot, they look for help. If help is not available - and in most countries of the world it is not - then they look for other solutions.

    Didi was not a normal girl. She has autism. Not very high on the scale, I agree, but sufficiently so that she could not cope with so-called 'normal' life situations. Her mother was in need of help. This apparently appeared to the mother as the best solution available. She was wrong, but she couldn't know that in advance. Later, as we see in the follow-up video she did reestablish contact with her daughter.

    I agree with you absolutely that this institution was unacceptable. The proof is in the pudding - it has been closed. My only worry now is that the director with her political connections doesn't get another similar post.

  56. onuoha1

    I am shocked that the director placed more value on computers, the building, swimming pool umbrellas and office furniture over the lives and well being of the children she was supposed to be providing care for. I am an African that has seen and been through the wilderness of poverty and deprivation, coming from an environment of high infant mortality and short life expectancy. Yet the warehousing and ill treatment of the handicapped is not common in our society.
    Someone from Bulgaria should not give me any lectures about civilization if what I have seen in this documentary represents the norm in the Bulgarian society. They might as well have sent the children to the gas chamber. his is nothing but a codemnation of the children to a slow, painful and miserable death.

  57. pippaadell

    This is absolutely disgraceful..It is straight out child abuse..

  58. mushuhund

    Thise heartless women, hwo take care of thise children should be thrown in jail for life!!! They are psychopaths!

  59. beverleyf

    This is a horror film. Please everybody who watches this, please write to the Bulgarian government to express your disgust and dismay. Remember, for evil to thrive, it is sufficient that good men (and women) do nothing.

  60. Christie Walker

    when was this filmed? I cant remember the date?

  61. Lee Pei Chen Huda

    I am a special education teacher from Singapore and this is just truly heartbreaking:'(

  62. brett

    i am fuckin outraged do them a favor and put them to sleep like the animals they are treated as! this is ashame! If I had the means i would nuke that place! (Not as hate but as a huge favor) I would go take deedee to the us with me and care for if i could. This is so sad i do not even feel the right to live myself.

  63. shabber hasan

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm for comments we need permissions from your f***ing channel , where is the mass of destruction weapons in Iraq ,

    What a f***ing news , f*** Britain f*** that dirty queen ,

  64. Epicurus

    when you put swear words in your comment then it goes to moderation. then i have to go through all your stupid posts and change the swear words manually...so i dont appreciate you swearing 100 times in your posts...also you are using the swear words wrong. i know english is not your first language so maybe you should be more cautious when using it.

    also, there are PLENTY of documentaries about Iraq...Maybe you should be more compassionate for OTHER people in the world and not just your own people.

    next time you leave a POINTLESS comment full of swear words i will just delete it. try to act like an adult.

  65. Bernadette Salem

    That's a lot more than an economic problem due to a lack of funding, it's abuse--and it is intentional.

  66. Naiomi KauKau

    i have a 17yr old daughter on autism spectrum who is barely verbal, seeing Didi broke my heart.

  67. Shannon Elizabeth Staley

    Very good. Hard to watch the inhumanity.

  68. ShelleyELM

    that was extreamley disturbing.....i wish these children an early death so they can quickly enter the presense of the Lord Jesus and his glorious kingdom where they will have perfect immortal bodies and minds and love like they have never experienced before.

  69. yurushi

    The difference between a concentration camp and a mental institution are the gaz chambers. I find utterly hypocritical to make a documentary of what happens to abandonned children in eastern Europe when every other capitalist government just won't allow any journalist investigation in their own country. In France, in USA and i am absolutly convinced it is the same in England, abandonned handicaped children are abused as well.
    Want to help? Open and clean up your own backyard.
    Other documentaries that will enlighten :
    "Her name is Sabine"
    "Cropsey"
    "Neil Feinberg attachment therapy"

  70. Haylee Schroder

    This film has really moved me! I will never forget these poor children. The men & woman who called themselves "care takers" are nothing but complete jokes! There are so many factors that I have to point out about the institute! 1. How dare they treat these children with such disgust! They are innocent children that needed the help of caring people because they were unable to care for themselves! 2. The children were put in such disgusting surroundings e.g. left on the toilet for hours! Bed ridden 24/7 with sores all over their bodies. The children were never given fresh food and the care workers would feed these poor blind children and not even give them a chance to bloody swallow the food! Just shoved it down their throats. I have never seen children so thin it is utterly heartbreaking to see how thin they were. 3. The children were beaten by these people who were meant to be taking care of them! but instead they were beating them and ignoring the fact that these children needed high standard care! 4. How dare they allow a man care taker watch the girls shower and take them naked to the shower room that was so filthy! The institute should have had a woman taking care of the girls at every shower time and dressing them! 5. The children were never given the chance to learn, or laugh and were never shown affection! My heart broke when that little boy hugged the reporter! How can the government allow such things happen to poor mentally ill children! or to any human at that! Why was there no inspections to the children why wasn't there propper help? where were the funds for schooling and to help them with their physical needs in learning how to walk and talk! The Director of the school was nothing but a pathetic piece of shit that deserves nothing! AND to the fat piece of shit nurses you deserve NOTHING! you are filthy humanbeings that shouldn't be allowed to breathe. My heart goes out to those poor children and I hope you are all in a better place. - Haylee. S

  71. Estefania Delgado Hernandez

    At least they are trying to do something with the childrens.. it looks like if they were bad care takers. and of course probably some of them, they are.. But at least they are in contact with the childrens.. no like us, just sitting here looking the video instead of go to the close orphanage and do something .. right now.
    You will see how difficult is to help this beautiful childrens.. once you are there.. because you need a lot of patience a lot of more people to help you.. stop crying about this children and go to help the ones that are close in your country! ... Trust me you will find the same kind of childrens blind .. and insane... the difference is that they will understand your language and you can help them... Seriously stop.. crying and complain about what other need to do or not.. At least thats what i am going to do...
    Almost all the comments are so stupid !! i am sure that neither half of the people that have comment have been in an orphanage.. or in a hospital helping a children...
    Seriously dond cry and judge others.. if you are not going to do nothing..! and good for you if you are helping the childrens.. This childrens are beautiful.. i would love to help them.. but i know that i can help a lot of more childrens here... i love when Didi.. said. something like this..: That it doesnt matter if her mom answear or not.. she writes to her.. Because then her Mom is going to know exactly what she want.. (Doesnt matter if she will help her or not, she just want to communicate) And thats the only thing that this children or all the childrens that are suffering in the world need .. at least a little attention.. come on! go to help the closest children..

  72. Hellevart van Aken

    Um? No, Didi's mother never contact her in any of the documentals, and It's stated very clearly that once she had her admitted in the institution she said she didn't want to have contact with her ever again so what are you talking about? that woman that is talking about to didi about her hais was a caretaker, maybe learn to read subtitles? jesus..

  73. Hellevart van Aken

    I agree the caretakers are not to blame, the director and possibly the government is, except the staff who was clearly beating up the kids. the other women working there seem nice enough, of course if they have to attend 70 kids they can't spend a lot of time with each child.

  74. xxsaxahxx

    Absolute disgrace i can't say anything else but just a disgrace !

  75. Aaylsworth

    Possibly the most horrific doc I have watched so far.... heartbreaking, disgusting and really sad.

  76. Billy Mastro

    cant anyone do something start a charity kids r dying does no one care its the directors fault she bought umbrelas they cant even use them they cant move buy food not mush hart breaking simply discrasful

  77. Hayley Ahearn

    I couldn't bare watching those little malnourished stick bodies and the absolute tragedy of the abuse some of the older kids were receiving. It is heart breaking to see vulnerable children grow up without any affection or tenderness. To me it looked like a concentration camp for children and I just felt so much emotion and so helpless not knowing how one individual like myself could help change any of this. It is good to be informed but it is also hard to know the sadness of some peoples lives! I didn't see the programme from the beginning but turned on part way through so ultimately I don't really know who I feel is to blame. I just know that if I was involved in an organisation of this kind I don't know how I could live with myself if I couldn't improve these lives in some way. I could not work there and just witness the incredible tragedies of young souls in torture.

  78. Mkd22

    the director should be sacked and never ever ever be allowed to work anywhere, what a disgusting, disgraceful human she is! caring more about getting a computer and umbrellas for the pool rather than getting more food, comfortable beds, carers, education (etc) for those poor helpless children who clearly need assistance. AND Blaming the carers for not doing a good job - i still cannot believe those words came out of her mouth - i am still just so disgusted.

    poor, poor children to be abandoned by their parents and then locked up at night probably without any food or water/drinks. good on the care takers who were actually looking after them - and for those that werent doing a good job 2 things 1) God is watching and 2) karma bites you back on the arse twice as hard.

    for me one of the most touching moment of the documentary was when the man towards the end said all hat he wanted was a mum.... a different mum.... made me really sad.

  79. sbelle353

    i can not believe what i have just seen :( i have no words for the sheer anger i feel towards this disgusting display of so called help...watching those horridly fat women stuffing slop into those poor starved childrens mouths just made me sick. what the hell is that woman who runs this place thinking??? a friend of mine insisted i watch this that it will change ny life and i believe it has?? i hope with all my heart someone involved in human rights is looking into this revolting place and those revolting women running it!! i am going to do to my many other friends and family what my friend did to me and insist they watch in the hope that word gets around and someone does something about this..... i am so horrified i cant think and cant get enough words out to discribe my feelings about this.

  80. Anee Malp

    Bulgaria was and still is very much a poor and underdeveloped country economically and socially. Most of it's young and educated people are forced to leave and find jobs elsewhere and contribute their resources to other more Westernised countries. The people that work there are just happy to have a job and probably earn a pittence and probably do exactly what is expected of them because they are not trained or taught to think or hope that these children stand a chance to support themselves independently in society. This is not England where benefits and carers are appointed to individuals. And DON'T emphasize the fact that Bulgaria has had 20 years to recover from communism because it is exactly the greed and pure prostitution perpetuated by capitalism which has sold out the Bulgarian people, their beautful land, beaches and resources. Years of Turkish invasions and rape of the nation has left a deep routed scar on the internal bulgarian mentality, self belief and confidence and ability to identify itself strongly as a nation. These children deserve fair and nurturing care and by God I hope they and the ones that come after them will get it, this is all I think this documentary has acheived. I hope the good doctors, psychologists and scientists whom Bulgaria has produced will one day return or contribute to their mother land because if the mentality doesn't change , it will always be survival of the fittest. It is so every where else in the world, not just Bulgaria.

  81. Anee Malp

    Thank you so much for writing this! you are completely right. I am bulgarian too and I watched this with a broken heart for many reasons.

  82. Craig/American ContractorC

    This is an excelent somewhat undercover documentary of a subject that should be seen by everyone. What people are realy seeing here is the absence of empathy. Empathy,as we have learned, occurs in the prefrontal cortex, which is the most recent development in the human brain. Many of these children suffer from severe metal toxicity in addition to malnourishment. The problem is further exasperated by metal toxicity, because metal particulates will block the intestinal tract from absorbing nutrients, therefore, they do not become noursihed, regardless of how fast you shovel food down their throats. On television, when you watch histrionic personalities and narcissistic personalities gobble up all of the attention of the world around them, and still want more, you have have to ask yourself, "Where could have some of that attention gone to?" Here is a perfect example. In ADHD, autism, OCD, and histrionic and narcissitic personality disorder, empathy, introspective and retrospective perceptions, are near absent. Aluminum, lead, mercury are the three most common metal particulates responsible for neuromuscular degeneration, abnormal spinal chord development, deformities, behavorial develpment, etc.. This is already learned with warehouses of documented information supporting the knowledge. We just do not have enough people sharing it and asserting it. Kate Blewet did an excellent job in presenting this, and the documentary reveals a lot about people, in all countries, and should be seen by everyone. The one thing that people in all countries have in common, is the brain, and/or it's lack of development. What needs to happen in response to this documentary is action, not talk. We have plenty of people of people talking on the television and radio, and frankly, most of them, are full of crap.

  83. Craig/American ContractorC

    You make some good points.

  84. Jennifer ByeByeBelly

    Unfortunately it takes a lot of money and resources to help people with severe disabilities get the care they need and reach their full potential. I'm a disability support worker in Australia and work in houses where people's needs are met and they are treated as regular people. Its sad not everyone can have that. But it's the same with everything in the world.. I'm sitting here on a laptop in my cosy home while people are starving, being raped, murdered, living in poverty, while billions of animals are kept in factory farms and killed every day. The world is a sad place, it's unfortunate that the world can't be fair for all.

  85. Fiona Harris

    People live their lives so superficially from day to day and don't even think about the big picture of what life is really all about. It's not about getting the best job, earning the most money, the latest clothes, where to holiday, what you drive, getting your nails done, what play toys you own, retouching up your root regrowth, what to cook for a dinner party, designer furniture, social outings all the time, hitting the town, getting the latest gadgets, rush rush rush. Take out beer is $6, spirit drink $7,meal out $30+, McDonalds $10, Subway $8, KFC $10, Pizza $15, Wine $20+, Movies $15, Smokes $23, Coffee $4 can't you miss one of these just once?

    Isn't humanity about caring for one another, helping, supporting people less fortunate, fighting for equality and not closing your eyes and playing ignorant to others pain and suffering? If your not going to get up and make a difference physically then open your wallet and give where it can help.

    WHY NOT...Sponsor me to go to Bulgaria for 6 months to volunteer or donate towards the adoption of an overseas disabled child! Do something for the good of another.

    As i have always said humanity is so inhumane and wisdom can only be heard by the wise!

  86. Eliza

    This is by far heart breaking, I'm a 25 year old girl with a almost 2 year old son and these children will be forever in my thoughts. I'm a nurse and the so called care they were receiving was horrid. I thank you for bin this documentry to my attention. The government should be ashamed of the treatment of these children and adults. We are all human, we all deserve love. These so called carer's need to be jailed. I feel for everyone un the facility but feel for the little boy blinde and stops frozen if no one helps him. I am now very interested adoption. How can I help?

  87. Nadia Rose Abbadi

    Hi Eliza,I hope you go to youtube and watch the second part of this documentary and see that the children were sent to better homes after massive public attention and helped ,that particular home was shut down "the second part is called "Bulgaria's abandoned children revisited"...it broke many hearts but at least they are somewhat ok now. nadia xxx

  88. lpen7

    Painfully heart wrenching! I watched this a few days ago and I can't wrap my head around it anymore than I can figure out what I can do to help. I can point out, again, how they shoveled gruel at the children or the appalling shower routine or the ignored broken leg horror or the toileting as a care substitute or the. ..... It does them no good & I feel helpless. Awareness is clearly the first step & this another "bell that can't be un-rung". On to find step two.....

  89. Geronimo

    I wish I hadn't watched that. It's heartbreaking.

  90. Tracy

    This home was closed down a couple of years ago, this is a very old story

  91. Mel

    Such a cold and emotional story. These children need love, attention, education, nourishment, and interaction. Why are they not receiving it? My heart aches for them.

    Workers ask them how they can help the child, but do not stop to listen for an answer. Because its is not in common language does not mean they are not reacting.

  92. riskyy

    watched it a few years ago, cried the whole way through it! worth the watch though!

  93. Mrs D

    80% of these children were gipsies; it's because they are a minority in
    Bulgaria which absolutely refuses to integrate in the society; Instead
    what they do is as many children as they can so that they can hopefully
    live off from child benefits. Within their minority incest happens all
    the time - very likely the reason why these children have disabilities
    and are abandoned.

    Bulgaria struggles economically, it's the
    poorest EU country and still there is this minority who doesn't want to
    follow the social rules - it's not hard to see why this children
    wouldn't get the best care.

  94. JohnC

    Isn't this documentary evidence that gypsies are an inferior race? Did the producers not realise that their documentary could be used to prove the racial inferiority of the gypsies?

  95. anne rector

    Too much blame is being leveled at the staff. These women have far too many small, sick, helpless, children to take care of. They cannot possibly spend time with each one, as the needs are so very great with each child. I believe they do the best they can. It doesn't seem that the staff members are harming the children, other than the man who beat them in the laundry, but there is no way these women can hold and nurture each of these extreme cases. I also think the Nazis had the right idea, that those who are incapable of being integrated into society should be exterminated. All the infants in this film should be put to quick death, not left to starve. There is a very absurd statement at the end of the film saying that the babies have their whole lives in front of them. They certainly do not. They are forever incapable of learning, growing, loving, integrating. They are as good as dead in their present state. They all need to be killed.

  96. odile stanberger

    This documentary made my heart bleed. Please tell me what I can do. I am rather ancient, do not speak Bulgarian - I would LOVE to be a granny to some of these children. Can't stop thinking about the little blind boy crawling on he floor feeling his way to a door - and no one picked him up!

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