New, state-supported service of Caritas Ruse, launched in Belene

The Caritas Center for Rehabilitation and Integration for Children, Young People and Elderly People with Disabilities in the town of Belene started operating as a state-delegated activity since April this year. This is the second state-delegated activity in Belene Municipality. The Center has capacity of 25 people with disabilities from the settlements in the municipality, as well as from Nikopol Municipality.

The service launch was possible after a competition held by the municipality and a management contract signed between Mayor of Belene Municipality – Mr. Milen Dulev and Executive Director of Caritas Ruse – Mr. Stefan Markov. The Caritas center headed by Mrs. Darina Dobrancheva is housed in a municipal building in downtown and the team of specialists helping people with disabilities includes: a speech therapist, a psychologist, a rehabilitator, a pedagogue, a social worker. Caritas’ service is also mobile – some of the activities are carried out at the homes of the needy.

The Center rooms available to people with physical and mental illnesses are well-equipped by Caritas with the necessary appliances and office furniture for the necessary therapies and only in March the Center has been visited by 55 children, young people and elderly people with various problems attended by the team of specialists.

The good dialogue between the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration and the other service of the diocese Caritas Ruse in Belene, helping the elderly (aged 65+) – the Home Care Center, as well as the Caritas Belene parish and the municipality, is suggifience to guarantee the required and well-functioning social service.

In fact, the Caritas Center for Disabled People in Belene has its background. It was created three years ago by Caritas Ruse under a project under the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Program. After the project completion, Caritas Ruse, with the personal support of Nikopol Bishop Mons. Petko Hristov, managed to continue the functioning of the Center and the Municipality of Belene invested great efforts to convince the state, represented by the Social Assistance Agency that it is imperative that this social service be financed by the state budget. This will ensure its stability and sustainability and three years of work to support people with disabilities have demonstrated the need for such a type of social service within the municipality.

In 2017, Caritas Ruse celebrates 25 years since its inception, and the start of the year with a new service is a good sign that shows that the organization is trying to stay close to Pope Francis’s command: “Let’s look at the other as a gift for us and to show that charity that Our Lord has shown to us!”