Charity Partners - ISA.co.uk
Bethany Children's Trust
The Bethany Children's Trust is a Christian charity that exists to mobilise communities into action on behalf of children at risk around the world. Founded by Susie Howe in 1993 during her time as a nurse in Zimbabwe, the charity's stated aim is to see every child in the world 'loved, safe, nurtured and free to reach their God-given potential.'
The Trust operates on the belief that everyone can play a part in restoring lives that have been broken by conflict, disability, disease, poverty, or exploitation. The charity focuses on helping entire local communities - including individuals, projects, churches and businesses - contribute towards restoring the lives of vulnerable children in their midst, giving them hope and a future.
The Trust campaigns, alongside other national and international organizations, to transform situations in which children are not getting the care, support and security they deserve. As part of their work, the Trust supports PACT, a charity that aims to challenge the abuse and exploitation of children in Nigeria.
By investing time and training in local communities, projects that are initially set up by the Trust can then multiply across a region or country, thereby increasing many times over the number of children being reached. This approach has proved very successful in the past, and the Trust is getting involved in new projects all the time - visit the website to find out more.
Bulgarian Partners Trust
Bulgarian Partners is a UK charity that is involved in building a social, educational and medical centre in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. This facility is being built to provide practical support and care to people who are at risk of social exclusion, including orphans, members of the Roma community, and elderly people.
The 2007 BBC documentary, Bulgaria's Abandoned Children, was a stark reminder that extreme child poverty is not confined to some far-flung place, but is right here in Europe, on our doorstep. Director Kate Blewett's shocking film exposed the harsh reality of life for thousands of children in Bulgaria.
The plight of these children is, unfortunately, nothing new to the people of the Sofia Baptist Church. The fall of communism in Bulgaria in the early 1990s may have brought new political freedoms, but for many people it also meant the start of a significant drop in living standards. This had seen many families unable to provide for their children, with many ending up living orphanages in conditions of extreme poverty.
As a response to this, the Sofia Baptist Church set up The Good Samaritan Foundation in 1995. Bringing food, clothes, and presents at Christmas - anything their limited finances would allow - the members of the Foundation began visiting local orphanages in order to try and improve the lives of the children living there.
They soon realised that this grassroots effort wasn't enough to make a sustainable difference. So, in 2003, with the help of The Bulgarian Partners Trust, the Good Samaritan Foundation started work on a brand new social, medical and training centre in Sofia. When finished, the centre will be a force for social change in inner-city Sofia, providing:
- A facility to provide hot meals to local people who are affected by poverty or homelessness
- A clinic to provide free medical assistance for the 70% of people in Sofia who cannot afford basic healthcare
- An education centre featuring a library, computers and seminar facilities to train young people and prepare them for the workplace
- A counselling and advice service
- A new church for the community
The centre's top floor will be let out to local businesses so that it can eventually become sustainable and self-sufficient, but until this is finalised, the successful completion of the project is reliant on the generous donations made by supporters.
For latest news and information on the progress of the project, please visit the Bulgarian Partners Trust Website