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"Reaching people for Christ: Helping people out of poverty into a sustainable future."


Bulgaria Page

Why we work here

Bulgaria experienced significant political instability during the 1990s, but unlike most countries where we work, it did join the EU in 2007. Even so, Bulgaria is poorest EU country and has serious issues with organised crime and corruption in the country. The EU has repeatedly raised concerns about crime and corruption, even suspending aid to Bulgaria but it has continued to struggle to overcome these challenges. This has also significantly impacted on investment in Bulgaria and its capacity to stabilize the economy. Our team in Bulgaria works particularly with marginalised Roma and Turkish minorities and vulnerable groups such as those who are homeless, offenders and older people.


Key facts

The average age children go to school until is 14 years

21% of the population lives below the poverty line

Unemployment stands at 6%


The difference we make - Securing employment for women

In Dabnitsa, a village in the Rhodope Mountains in South West Bulgaria, unemployment is high and opportunities few. Getting a job is a dream for many Bulgarian women. Despite high unemployment in villages likes Dabnitsa in the Garmen region, there are several textile factories servicing the country's tailoring industry that offer good pay.


MWB provides a training course for women who want to learn how to sew and use industry standard machinery that will help them secure employment and support their families. We use a local hall, provide women with a sewing machine they can keep and hire a specialist to deliver the training.

Tutor, Nadezhda Topuzova, says: "Starting something new can be daunting, and at first many of the women on the course struggle with their confidence. But as they learn new skills like making table cloths, curtains and bed sheets, their self-esteem increases and the women take great pride in producing items for their homes. It is so wonderful to see how much they grow in such a short space of time."


Antoaneta, who's completed the training said:  "When I was given the sewing machine, I was very happy - I have three girls and a boy and there are always clothes to be repaired. Until now I did all repair work by hand, but now I can do the repairs professionally and no longer will my children be ashamed to wear their clothes."


Two other women who completed the training course, Kaimetka and Lidia, secured employment as seamstresses. They say "Without this course we would not have been confident enough to go for the interview. Knowing that we had been trained by a professional made us feel that we were able to demonstrate our skills and we were not daunted by the practical tasks - MWB believed in us and told us we could do it - and we did!"