Maxim Gorki Orphanage - Stoikite Village
Number of Children: 60
Ages: 7-15 yrs
Important: This orphanage has been closed. Please visit one of our other orphanage pages via the menu on the left.
This orphanage is located in the Smolyan area in the heart of the Rodopi Mountains, 10 miles from Pamporovo, one of the most famous Bulgarian ski resorts (about 2 ½ hours drive from Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria).
This orphanage takes care of children with
serious criminal behaviors including drug abuse, robberies, and prostitution. This is
particularly appalling considering the age of these children. There is a high incidence of runaway kids who are returned in one or two weeks by the police. When the children reach the age of 15 years, they are transferred to other orphanages.
One Heart Bulgaria would like to teach and guide the children to prevent criminal and anti-social behaviors. Certainly, this facility needs to hire more social workers and teachers to help all the children. Currently, there are two young women from the Peace Corps serving at the orphanage and One Heart Bulgaria is interested in combining efforts with them to better meet the children's need for mentoring. In addition, the kids love skiing and with a ski run next to the orphanage; we would like to be able to provide the children with a ski instructor so they can have an extra curricular activity. We would also like to introduce a music program.
The orphanage badly needs renovations. We are told that plans have been made to restructure the orphanage into family-like units. Currently, the children are divided into 2 groups and accommodated in bedrooms on two floors.