Kate Blewett’s “Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children” – a documentary which tracks a few months in the Mogilino group home for children with mental disabilities. The film drew the attention of thousands to the abuse and neglect of 67 children that had been going on for years but somehow never attracted interest outside of human rights groups.
Giants like Amnesty International and Mental Disability Rights International and smaller national organizations such as the Helsinki Committee and Save the Children have declared the conditions and care in such group homes inhumane and in violation of children’s rights not once and twice, but repeatedly over the last decade. Since the late nineties many annual and special human rights reports on Bulgaria emphasize the need for change in the way the state treats children with disabilities.
In late 2007, after Kate Blewett exposed the cruelty behind the doors of the group home in Mogilino, it created an international outcry, with viewers forming strong petitions targeted at MPs and the European Parliament demanding change for the disabled, hidden away in Bulgaria's barren institutes.
Other viewers raised money, gathered clothing and toys together - to deliver to specific institutes in Bulgaria - and for some, the agony of the children's lives was enough to take them on a flight over to Bulgaria to physically offer their professional skills to help the children and the staff.
Finally, the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy agreed to implement a six month evaluation of the home and finally close it in cooperation with experienced non-governmental organizations.