'Firefly' at 3: What dreams of hospitals that don't look like hospitals turn into

Firefly is in its 3rd year. During this time, we created new worlds for child patients in several hospital wards in Bulgaria, we also created friendships with like-minded people - volunteers and donors. We traveled many kilometers, devoted many hours to work, dreams and conversations, which then turned into the first "Fireflies" wards, full of children's noise.

We started with cosmetic renovations: painting walls, paintings on the walls, new furniture and toys for children. We vowed not to do major renovations. We have discussed many times that this is the state's job, as many have told us. Yes, that's right. It's the state's job. But the state does not have the capacity, it lacks the understanding of how important the medical environment is, how it affects children, doctors, nurses, parents.

Of course, there is a standard for children's wards. However, the standard lacks the most important part: attention to the child and his emotional states in the unfamiliar hospital environment. Here is what is not yet in the departments we visited:

  • There is no space
  • There is no light
  • There is no air conditioning
  • No color
  • No soul
  • Never mind
  • There are no beds for the parents either

Filling this gap requires a lot of patience, understanding, empathy and mutual respect. After each visit and conversation with the hospital team, we are convinced why all the work and stress of dozens of people is worth it. Because when you look into the head nurse's eyes and understand how much it means to her to be listened to and her needs taken into account, you understand that next time she will listen to the child in her ward in the same way.

These days we entered the 3rd month of the renovation of two children's wards in Veliko Tarnovo and here is what we managed to do:

  • The entire functionality of the departments has been changed. The rooms are more spacious, brighter, adapted to the needs of patients and staff.
  • The children's corner between the two separate ones has demolished walls and looks much wider and brighter.
  • We redid the electrical installation, which had almost torn cables.
  • The walls of the heater are dug in and are no longer zigzag along the wall.
  • A new split system air conditioning system was installed.
  • Flooring to be replaced.
  • A reception room and a new bathroom and toilet have been created.

To date, BGN 180,000 have been paid for construction and installation works and for custom-made furniture. The funds were donated by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Close BGN 90,000 for spent by @Rotary Club – Veliko Tarnovo for air conditioning, replacement of heating and specialized hospital beds.

Above BGN 80,000 are the in-kind materials, equipment and furniture provided by donors and partners of "For the Good".

BGN 25,000 is the donation of the construction company that works on the site.

What do we need urgently?

BGN 48,000 to complete the second stage of the department - CMR activities

BGN 12,000 paint for the second part of the compartment.

You can donate to www.platformata.bg, to our bank account or by buying a Firefly cup, bottle or bag.

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