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The family-type accommodation centres “Hope” and “Love” were created under the project “Our children are our responsibility – opening a complex of residential services for children and youth with disabilities” undertaken by Ruse Municipality. Equilibrium has managed the two facilities since the outset.

In the two facilities we provide permanent care of young men and women with severe disabilities who were removed from large, residential institutions for children and young people with mental retardation which were located in remote villages, isolated and hidden from the people.

They came to us as children in 2014 their conditions worsened by institutionalization and a testing period of transition ensued. Most had periods of crisis and had destructive and problematic behaviour. They could do almost nothing independently. We put a lot of time and effort into them learning to do small things like dress themselves, wash their hands and face, eat independently, be able to do different activities during the day and show us what they like and dislike. At the start, none of them could verbalize. We are constantly looking for and finding new ways of communicating with them so that we can understand their needs and they can learn new things and develop.

We introduce different approaches and activities to fill their waking hours and provide the motivation to explore and learn.

Now the young men and women from the two houses participate in various creative initiatives on a monthly basis – online drawing or card competitions, crafts, creative workshops hosted in various places around the town. They win diplomas for both individual and group participation and have won first and second place in various competitions.

Their transformation has been amazing in just a few years.