In Krupnik, Bulgaria, many Roma families live trapped in poverty. It is common to drop out of education early because of discrimination, poverty, and a lack of support. Later on, it's challenging to secure well-paid work because of a lack of education – exacerbating the cycle of poverty. Poverty is often compounded by relationship difficulties, conflict, alcohol abuse, and a sense of hopelessness about the future.
Todor, 32, lives in Krupnik with his wife Elmira, 26, and three children – Sofia, seven, Krisia age five, and Teodor, age one. They share a house with Todor's mother, where they have a room of their own and a shared kitchen. Although Todor has always been a gifted hairdresser, he didn't have a proper space to work from and made very little money from it.
Todor had attended church from a young age, but he grew cold toward God in his teenage years. He and his wife, living in poverty, went through a difficult time of frequent conflict, not knowing how to move forwards.
When the family was enrolled in Mission Without Borders' (MWB) family sponsorship programme, they began receiving regular material, emotional and spiritual support, regularly visited by MWB staff member Emil, whose daughter also works for the Mission.
Emil shared, "This family went through difficult times. With the help of God, I had many conversations with them, and so did my daughter, who also works for the Mission. We spent many hours with them because they needed us."
"Today, Todor is a very stable man, caring for his family and mother after his father's passing. He is easy to work with as he's so hardworking and open to share with me if he is in need of something."