Home was a loaded word for Bobby. So, when it came time for him to find his own, he doubted that it would be possible.
“We were told that Bogomil (or Bobby) was a difficult case by the team at the youth centre where he lived before he joined the House of Opportunity Programme in Sofia,” says Teodora Koleva, Director of FSCI Bulgaria. After all, he had been adopted after being abandoned by his parents, only for his adopted parents to reject him too. What can you do with a child who even his adoptive parents abandoned? Yes, Bobby was a difficult case.
There was something about Bobby however – he was driven in a way that most young people abandoned into state care are not. He worked hard at school and graduated successfully. When he was old enough he got a job in a McDonald’s restaurant.
But now it was time for him to leave the youth centre. Despite his determination, and like most young state care leavers, Bobby found the wide world a confusing and scary place. Options were thin. But one seemingly offered a safe place to live and the support of a team of people who cared. Bobby joined the House of Opportunity Sofia and continued to apply himself. He always presented himself well, and soon proved to be a good friend to the other House residents.
However, although it was clear Bobby was well on the way to being able to look after himself, when it came to finding a home, he was reluctant to take the step. Several months of searching commenced. Teodora remembers “Each place we looked at, there was a reason for Bobby to reject it – it was too far away, or inappropriate in some other aspect. They were good apartments, but Bobby lacked confidence in his ability make the move and create a home for himself”. The House of Opportunity team put in a real effort to instill Bobby with the confidence that he needed. With their support he eventually stepped out…
“The day that Bobby came back to tell us how he was getting on was wonderful”, continues Teodora. “He was so calm and confident, so happy that he was managing on his own – whether covering his monthly expenses, socialising with other people or building relationships. We are happy and grateful that through Bobby’s dedication, perseverance and positive attitude, and the encouragement of the team, he has become another of the young people who have successfully passed through the House of Opportunity Programme and is starting his independent life with confidence and dignity”.
Yes, Bobby was a case alright. But, really, not that difficult at all.