Women’s shelter reopened in Bulgaria by local Ahmadis and Humanity First

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Jawad-uddin Uffan, Bulgaria Correspondent

Asad Hameed Sahib, Mohtamim Ishaat Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Bulgaria reports that after 620 hours and six weeks of voluntary work, the youth of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bulgaria in association with Humanity First Germany held a reopening of the newly refurbished “Mother and Baby Care Unit” at the “Complex for Social Services for Children and Families Plovdiv”.

This care unit is situated in the city of Plovdiv which is the second largest city of Bulgaria and voted as 2019’s European Capital of Culture. The shelter was in an uninhabitable state and needed urgent attention.

19 Ahmadis and a non-Ahmadi, who are mostly medical and dental students at the Medical University of Plovdiv took the initiative and volunteered to help refurbish the Building. They worked tirelessly day and night, collectively volunteering over 620 hours and a period of at least six weeks.

The women and the staff at the complex were also ready to help whenever needed. The work lasted from 3 November 2019 to 17 December 2019 and included the removal of old furniture, cleaning of the floors, sandpapering walls and taping the whole floor in preparation for painting. Cracks in the walls were repaired before applying the primer and 2-3 layers of paint were used, covering over 1200 square metres surface area.

The furniture was bought, collected from the store, transported and unloaded at the shelter after which it was assembled by the volunteers. Every bedroom was provided with new bedding, both for the mother and baby, a wardrobe and shelving unit. Other rooms were also equipped with new furniture. Wall decorations, including hand paintings and wall stickers, were also prepared by some lajna members in the bedrooms, kitchen, hallway, staircase and in the living room – giving the unit a welcoming and warm atmosphere.

Some of the khuddam who are 6th year medical students also held a presentation on public health and safety to help increase awareness of the medical aspects of hygiene to the residents and staff. A khadim who is a dental student also provided free dental consultations to the mothers at the modern facilities within the University under supervision.

All voluntary work saved over 14,500 levs (£6,300) worth of labour work! At the reopening ceremony, numerous guests including Emiliya Petrova (Manager of the Mother and Baby Care Unit), Prof Dr Ivan Ivanov (Vice Rector of the Medical University Plovdiv and Senior Professor at the Department of Paediatrics) and Zubair Khalil Khan Sahib (Director of Projects for South Eastern European countries of Humanity First Germany) attended and delivered speeches on the valuable work carried out by the volunteers and the importance of working together for the sake of Humanity.

A missionary, Jawaduddin Uffan Sahib who led this project, was actively involved in the work and received a special prize from Veselina Boteva (Director of Department of Social Policy) for his contribution as well as all the volunteers. The volunteers were organised and managed by both Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, Hasseeb Ahmad Sahib and Mohtamim Muqami, Fahad Nawaz Sahib.

Humanity First presented a shield of appreciation to the distinguished guests. After the ceremony, Zubair Khalil Khan Sahib along with Neda Petrova (Director for Social Services for Children and Families) visited the facilities. The residents and staff of the Mother and Baby Care Unit expressed their greatest gratitude and were extremely happy and overjoyed with the new changes.

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