Tonight I watched a BBC documentary that was originally aired in November 2007 called Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children on SBS. The documentary is about the treatment and care (or the lack thereof) received by handicapped children in a state-own children institution in Mogilino, Bulgaria. It is a heartbreaking account on how the children were ill-treated and malnourished. They were bathed and clothed, but that was basically it – they were not stimulated or loved. From the documentary I learn that when children are not stimulated sufficiently for a long time, they end up rocking their body – something to comfort them through the lack of love and attention. There were children in the documentary with broken bones that were left in bed and not cared for – there was a girl who sucked her thumb so much that her thumb was amputated. She didn’t receive any proper treatment at all.
The documentary is ended with an interview with the director of the facility – she defended her action and said that she had done the best for the facility and that it was only the staff that disappointed her. She mentioned that people should feel sorry for the building, for the things that she bought for the facility like pool umbrellas and TV and cassette recorder, and that people should also feel sorry for her. I was pretty angry when I read her translated comments – what a load of bollocks.
During ad breaks, I had a look at the internet whether this documentary was widely discussed – and certainly it had caused a lot of reactions in the UK. Apparently the facility has been closed and that the children receive better care now. However, a website that I visited mentioned that progress was still very slow and that they still needed a lot of help and support.
It’s so heartbreaking when you see abandoned and unloved children – for them to start they life feeling worthless. *sigh*.