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“The First 25 Years of Karin Dom” – a Book About How a Dream Came True. Shared Thoughts of Yovka Yovcheva – Journalist at Darik Radio

6 April 2022

We would like to thank cordially to the journalist Yovka Yovcheva for sharing her thoughts about the book “The First 25 Years of Karin Dom”, for the personal memories and thoughts about a period of profound changes for people and children in Bulgaria!

The book authored by Daniel Penev can be ordered from the Karin Dom website and from Darpazar.

All proceeds are in support of Karin Dom.

Yovka Yovcheva, a journalist at Darik Radio and mother of three boys, has 25 years of experience in media. She has worked for BTA, Nova TV, and has been part of Darik’s team in Sofia for two decades. She believes that she is one of the lucky ones, whose professional path gives her a chance to meet in person the great diplomat and philanthropist Ivan Stanchov.

In 2014 she was awarded the “Voice of the Year” award of Darik Radio. In 2020 she won the Golden Apple Award of the National Children Network in the category “Journalist” – for her objective work on children related topics and her journalistic ethics.

By Yovka Yovcheva

“I was told I was crazy when I started Karin Dom and I’m happy to see other crazy people like Canetti (editor’s note Elias Canetti – a writer born in Ruse, Nobel Prize for Literature), to also do things that are not quite normal. Because today, normally, one does not go to the streets to invite a poor man to lunch, as Canetti’s father did every Sunday” – Ivan Stanchov in an interview with Darik Radio in 2011.

“The first 25 years of Karin Dom” is a book in which you will meet a small part of the “crazy” supporters and assistants of the great Bulgarian diplomat and philanthropist Ivan Stanchov in the realization of his great dream – to create and establish Karin Dom, a place for special care for special children. A small part, because hundreds, even thousands of experts, like-minded people, parents and children have worked for the transformation of Karin Dom into what it is today – a model for social and health care, for the education of children with special needs.

In the book of the Karin Dom Foundation, fellow journalist, translator and editor Daniel Penev has collected the memories of a small but important part of this colorful palette of Ivan Stanchov’s associates. Companions who worked alongside him to turn the Three Wells House in the Sea Garden of Varna, owned by the diplomat’s family, into a real home that not only brought to light these children hidden from society, but gave them a chance to develop according to their own abilities. Moreover, Karin Dom changed attitudes, broke the stigma, set a model for working with special children, which formed the basis of changes in the social sphere in the next nearly three decades in Bulgaria and to this day.

Karin – this is the name of Ivan Stanchov’s cousin, born with cerebral palsy. Karin Dom was named after her. It is difficult to imagine how at the dawn of the democratic changes in Bulgaria in the early 90s of the last century, the idea of ​​such a “Center for Children with Special Needs” sounded in the ears of many. In a society accustomed to hiding these children from human eyes, it has accepted that their place is in homes for children with disabilities, then in homes for adults with disabilities, and for as much as God has ordained for them! That is why the work done by Ivan Stanchov and the team of Karin Dom, together with all their supporters during these 25 years is a big step not only in terms of the quality of care for special children, but in reversing attitudes, in the growth of our society and our view of the potential of these children, in maturing, that they should be given a chance to develop it in the best possible way.

It was probably a great difficulty for the author of the book – Daniel Penev, to select those 25 persons from the large community of Karin Dom with whom to acquaint us. To highlight only 25 key events in this quarter-century history of the organization. To tell us about Karin Dom only through the eyes of 25 parents, young people and like-minded people. Through the eyes of only 25 specialists among the hundreds dedicated to this cause. It would have been a difficulty, because the stories that create a full image of the Karin Dom phenomenon in Bulgaria are thousands. They go through a lot of personal stories and challenges, a lot of happy tears and smiles of parents and children, in which the team of Karin Dom believed and supported. To take their first steps, to say their first words, to write the first letters….

This book is not for internal use, it is not just for social workers, experts or people who have intertwined their destiny with Karin Dom during these 25 years. It is not only for parents of special children, but for all people with open hearts in Bulgaria. Because it tells just that – how to work with heart and soul for a cause. Because this book is actually a story of our growth as a society. As we mature for the need for adequate care, solidarity, understanding and acceptance of different children.

Looking back through years past, through the steps already taken, the book shows a glimpse into the future. Through the eyes of experts and specialists, the reader will enter the new center of Karin Dom in Varna, still under construction – a modern building that will rely on the latest modern standards for working with special children.

Helping children who have crossed the threshold of Karin Dom is a blessing. It is recognized in this book by the specialists who worked and are working there. Because they accept everything done by them not so much and not only as something they have given to families and children, but as a deed that gave them a lot of love. A deed that helped them as well.

Only a parent of a child with special needs knows the difficult and sometimes years-long journey from the “hell of despair” to a smile and hope after his child’s first achievements. After the diagnosis, these parents really set out on the most difficult journey of their lives. They often wander along the road, and in a country like Bulgaria, alas, it is very easy to literally get lost in this social and health maze. Therefore, for those parents and children who have had the good fortune to meet Karin Dom – it represents love, a school of professionalism and humanity and most of all gratitude with specific names.

Zheny, Dora, Zhechka, Svetlana, Iva, Lyuba and Aunt Danche – people with big hearts, to whom Jordan, now a student, thanks from the pages of the book for everything they gave him in Karin Dom. For the parents and children who found support in the Three Wells house Karin Dom is really a “sherpa”, without which their way to the top would have been impossible. And the load is unbearable. Their gratitude that the people at Karin Dom have shared this “difficult part of their journey” with them really grips every reader’s throat!

And if you already hold “The First 25 Years of Karin Dom” in your hands, you are probably already part of the team of supporters of this realized dream of Ivan Stanchov, which continues and will continue to change thousands of children’s destinies for the better.

Proceeds from the book will support the work of Karin Dom, which will soon open a new modern therapeutic center in the city of Varna. And there it will continue to give more of the same – support, care, love and hope!

The people with big hearts from Karin Dom’s team will continue to be a magical helper for special children and their parents. “Sherpas” in their difficult path. People who every day with small steps help love to overcome despair and fear and together with families to enjoy small victories… And those small victories, evident from these 25 years, made possible the big change in us in working with special children. A change that is hard to imagine without Karin Dom.

Строим новия терапевтичен и образователен комплекс във Варна

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