Monday, December 17, 2012

Further Details of Court Proceedings against Former Pleven Director

This post was taken in its entirety from More to the Story at the Blessing of Verity:

Dear blog readers,
Before you go on to read the further explanation, which was carefully stated by a good friend of mine who has the authority and knowledge to speak on the matter, it is vital that you understand two things.
1.  There is a lot more to the story than should be told here, for the sake of legal strategy.  I won’t be able to answer the questions that will most likely be raised in your mind.
2.  Legal strategies are being and will be pursued.  I hate like anything to sound so patronizingly school-marmish, but this time, because of what’s at stake, I urge you to refrain from publicly suggesting any possible legal strategies, either here or in other public forums.  There are many eyes reading this blog now, and not all of them are friendly.  This was our only hesitation in publishing further details about the situation.
The reason we are providing this explanation is to prevent you from thinking that all the progress that has been made so far has been pointless.
God is on His throne, and our hope is in Him and in Him alone!

“The former director was dismissed by the now-former minister of health in December 2011. The stated motives for her dismissal were to a large degree formal – and only the tip of the iceberg! – 1. That she had not appointed a general practitioner to each child in the institution; 2. That the children had not undergone annual dental check ups; and 3. That the children did not have individualized activity plans for their development and treatment. From the three stated violations, the court upheld only the second one and acknowledged that the institution did indeed not have a dentist appointed on its staff.
The position which a local non-governmental organization, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, sent to the minister of healthcare, the chair of the State Child Protection Agency and the media stated the non-governmental organization’s concern that the motives for which the former director was dismissed in December 2011 were “inadequate,” and reiterated the findings of the state agencies that had established a large number of deaths, gross neglect, and undernourishment. It stressed that that the situation of the children was not due to their ‘disabilities’, as we have been told too many times, but due to lack of proper care, and the growth spurts that the children experienced during the first months after finding their families is proof of that.
The statement further reiterated the findings of the non-governmental organization and Toni Vladimirova’s signal to the authorities from January 2012 with findings of feeding the children with beer bottles with huge openings leading to frequent chokings, the bad quality food they received, the feeding in the cribs, lack of rehabilitation, etc. etc. It also reiterated the findings of the child protection agency that gave the first push for the director’s dismissal back in December 2011.  Finally, the statement appeals to the authorities that should the director be reinstated, they should reconsider the possibility for her to continue to hold her position, as her return would constitute a serious risk for the health and life of the children placed there.
As Toni said, the relevant governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations are on board and acting.
Please pray that the prosecution finds enough evidence to bring those responsible for the deaths of the children in the institution to justice. That is the only way that they can be held responsible for their acts and not have children entrusted to their care ever again.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tokuda Hospital Partner for 2012

From Toni Vladimoriva, our attorney in Bulgaria, and Shelley Bedford our social worker in the states...

On 12.12.2012 Tokuda Hospital in Sofia, where children sponsored by Pleven Fund have been treated, gave the award below. All children at Pleven have been having treatments at Tokuda, orthopedic surgeries performed, cataract surgeries carried out and lenses implanted, shunts for Hydrocephalus placed, tested profoundly, CT scans and MRI's have been performed, medicines and orthopedic devices have be
en purchased and the list can go on. This was all possible because of YOU, dear contributors and donors. But it was also the utter dedication of Shelley Bedford and Eli Fund.
Therefore, I am dedicating this award to my wonderful, dear, tireless and resolved friend, Shelley Bedford. The award is in Bulgarian but it reads:

"Tokuda Hospital gives this award, a "Partner for 2012", for the integral contribution, for providing and financing the medical treatment of children deprived of parental care, and for demonstrated spirit of good will for co-operation with Tokuda Hospital.
12.12.2012, Sofia
Dr. Yavor Drenski,
Executive Director
of Tokuda Hospital, Sofia"
Huge "Thank you" also to all of you who donated to Pleven Fund! Your contribution made possible to have the children taken a good care of after the long years of starvation and neglect by the old director.
 God Bless You All,
Toni Vladimirova, with Shelley Bedford

As a parent whose child has benefited from the donations to the Pleven Fund, 'Thank you for caring unselfishly and being a contributor for change!'  Donations to the Pleven Fund can be made through the Eli  Fund.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Former Director found to be Illegally Dismissed

The former director at Gemma's orphanage was found to be illegally dismissed and is to be reinstated.  This is very tragic and we are very upset  and worried by this finding.   

Toni, our Bulgarian attorney, has made the following statement:

“I think right now things are under control and all governmental and non-governmental institutions are on board and acting: Bulgaria Helsinki Committee, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, State Agency for Child Protection, etc. I further want to tell you that their involvement very early on, were critical and very timely and beneficial.
There’s still one month for appeal to the High Court of Appeals of Bulgaria in Sofia. However, how politics and administrations’ reactions will work out together, will be very important too.
I am sorry it sounds so fragmentary and confused but that’s how it is right now.”

Prayers are all we give right now.  Prayers for the government officials to seek justice and seek protection for the children, prayers for the children waiting, and prayers for the current director to remain in place and to not be discouraged by the court's decision.

 Google translation of Bulgarian article:

 Reinstatement infamous director of an orphanage?

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) concerned to learn that the former director of Home for Medical and Social Care for Children (0-3) in Pleven Jiri Kostova to be reinstated, reports BHC official position on the topic sent to the Minister of Health Desislava Atanasova and Chairperson of the SACP Kalin Kamenov."This happened after the Pleven District Court of December 7, 2012, which announced the dismissal illegal and quashed it. Believe that the court's decision comes due to inadequate grounds for Ms. Kostova was dismissed in December 2011 - such as the fact that children had no choice doctor that they are advised by a dentist that did not have a program plan for treatment, "said the position of the BHC."We remind you that during the reign of Jiri Kostova home in Pleven were conducted numerous inspections, including the State Agency for Child Protection, which reveals a very disturbing low care facility. During the last inspection, it is ordered by the Ministry of Health, it was found that in the house for a year and a half, 18 children died. were found huge lack of care, severe neglect, malnourishment. This home has a child skeletons - eg C, which weighs in at 11 under 5.6 kg P and that of 16 years weighs 8.6 kg. condition of these children is not such because of their disabilities, we used to hear, but because of lack of adequate care, and the jump in development that they do in the first months after by finding families to prove it, "said the opinion."During the reign of Jiri Kostova, as stated BHC lawyer. Antonia Vladimirova, children with disabilities in Pleven orphanage, regardless of age, fed with old green beer bottles, a bottle whose opening is almost the size of an adult fingernail, causing frequent gagging when eating. signals in your state regarding the home attorney. Vladimirova also signaled that no one attempted to spoon feed children over the age of three, children are fed a liquid-like in appearance, smell and taste of toasted flour mixed with water, children eat lying down on his back as they insert the nipple in the mouth, the liquid begins to flow into their throats and run around their heads, leading to drowning, diaper change once, at most twice a day, all the children spend their time lying in bed, trying not to move, to play with them, communicate with them, to be taught the simple, age-appropriate, skills and knowledge. During his inspection in September 2011 found SACP cases where children have been systematically kept in bed, the head stained with urine and feces. was found that in all examined deaths in the home in the period 2005 to 2011 was a "hypotrophy" (malnutrition) in varying degrees, "cachexia" (pathological emaciation). SACP notes and cases of death due to aspiration of gastric contents caused by mechanical asphyxia and that no evidence of risk to children was introduced a special diet to prevent disease and death. SACP audit found that children living in one of the wards for children with disabilities to hypotrophy cachexia and severe contractures of the limbs, "recalled BHC."The decision of Pleven District Court may be appealed to the Supreme Court within one month. Where Kostova still be reinstated as director of the orphanage in Pleven, demand immediate review by the Ministry of the possibility it will continue to manage this establishment. believe that the above findings, the return of former director of work represents a serious risk to the health and lives of children in the orphanage in Pleven, "is the conclusion in the opinion of the BHC.Editor: E. Gigova
The Bulgarian Abandoned Children's Trust website: