Caritas Bulgaria is a non-profit organisation performing social work to support vulnerable people in society. Established in 1993 by decision of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria, Caritas Bulgaria follows its mission to create a more humane and just society in which all people, especially the very poor and the oppressed, find hope and strength and feel as being a full part of the world.
In pursuance of this, Caritas Bulgaria supports its member organisations to implement social activities through their local structures.
The main areas on which Caritas Bulgaria concentrates its activities are:
- Providing social, health and educational care and services;
- Respond to emergency situations;
- Advocacy activities before the Bulgarian government to develop and implement long-term and effective social policies that lead to sustainable improvement of the quality of life of the poor and vulnerable people.
The social, health and educational care and services provided by Caritas Bulgaria through its member organisations are in support of:
• Elderly people. Caritas implements a Home Care Programme for the elderly. There are 8 Caritas Home Care Centres in Sofia, Ruse, Belene, Burgas, Plovdiv, Rakovsky, Malko Tarnovo and Zhitnitsa. They provide, through the Caritas mobile teams, complex social services and health care at the homes of the needy elderly people. In Burgas and Pokrovan operate Day Care Centers for lonely elderly people.
• Children and young people at risk. Caritas runs a variaty of activities supporting the education and organising the leisure time of children and young people at risk. In Kuklen and Banya (Nova Zagora) there are centers for after-school interests. In Rouse and in Malko Tarnovo work Social Support Centres which provide social and educational care for children living in poverty, representatives of vulnerable groups. Various activities are carried out with children and adolescents for prevention of addiction and human trafficking.
• Children and young people with disabilities. The network counts with three functioning Caritas Centres - in Ruse, Sofia and in the village Veselinovo. They provide complex social services – kinesitherapy, work-therapy, psychotherapy, speech therapy, art therapy and other specialized activities.
• People dependent on psycho-active substances. Caritas offers a pre-treatment programme Mobile care in Sofia, which provides primary medical aid, anonymous testing for blood-transmitted infections, consultations about the opportunities and ways for treatment, consultations of parents and friends, free medical examinations.
• Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Caritas' Migration Service provides social consultations, humanitarian assistance and specialised services.
• Single mothers. The social Caritas Centre in Sofia delivers professional care, counseling and services to single mothers raising their children alone.
• Homeless people. A Mobile Caritas Care for homeless exists in Burgas and a shelter for homeless in Russe. Both services provide homeless people with food, clothing, essential medicines, social counseling, legal and psychological assistance.
• Victims of natural disasters. Caritas is always ready to act whenever an emergency hits and urgent humanitarian support and rehabilitation needs are required.
Caritas Bulgaria is a member of:
- Caritas Internationalis.
- Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants.
- Bulgarian Platform for International Development.
- National Council on Social Inclusion Issues at the Council of Ministers
- Christian Organisations Against Trafficking Network (COATNET)
- European Reintegration Support Organisations (ERSO).
Bishop Petko Hristov