Come On Inside - A Safe Place
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Info about the Come On Inside - A Safe Place
The 130 developmentally disabled students of Elhovo¿s Vaptsarov Residential Special Needs School do not have a comfortable place to spend their free time. The project will turn the cafeteria into a safe student haven and provide safety training. The need is especially timely, since the border with Turkey is scheduled to open in 2004 just 20 Km south of Elhovo, which will increase the traffic through the town and the dangers to students when they leave the school grounds, as they often do. Trafficking in persons is a problem in Bulgaria, and these students, who trust and approach anyone in town will be highly vulnerable. In 2003 two students were involved in fatal accidents when they were in town and sixty students suffered acute respiratory illnesses due to the lack of heat at the facility. The student haven will be a comfortable, welcoming place for the students to spend their free time. The school is donating a television, stereo, and computer for the student¿s recreation, as well as all the labor. Partnership support is needed to purchase renovation supplies, climate control units, chairs, cloth for curtains, and to replace broken windows. Students will sew the curtains in their vocational sewing class. The local Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Elhovo Child Welfare Bureau will send specialists to train the students in personal safety. The results will be that students will have a safe and comfortable place to spend their leisure time, and knowledge and skills about personal safety and crime prevention.