Hug me and Pass it on

Children deprived of parental care usually spend the holidays and vacations behind the fence of a social home. At Christmas, these homes are filled with presents of chocolates and teddy bears.  However, after paying this "kindness tax", everyone leaves, and these children are once again, left alone, abandoned. Around Christmas is the time when the lack of attention, presence, and a hug is probably the greatest, and scary, and possibly dangerous for them, the children. Because we, "their friends", celebrate, travel, get together with our families and our friends, to celebrate, while

they are alone again.
Locked. With a mentor on duty.

Since the summer of 2010, "Hug me" Association has organized 14 artistic/creative vacations for children and young people who live in social institutions. We visited the old capitals of Bulgaria, toured the cultural and historical sites of UNESCO, performed theater plays, talked about cinema, learnt what it meant to be radio journalists, painted inspired by the great artists, illustrated fairy tales, and what not. During these vacations, the children discover and develop their talents, acquire self-confidence, begin to understand and believe that “normal” life is not beyond their reach. And most importantly, real friendships develop during these days as we all, adults and children, live and dream together.

With small steps, with open
hearts, with a lot of trust, patience and affection,while you look after your children, you can also help ourchildren. 

"Embrace and Pass it On" Campaign aims to help 18 children deprived of parental care, to continue developing the talent they demonstrated while attending regularly the creative activities of "Hug me" Studio.  During the winter school vacation, a week of art vacation will be organized in the town of Tryavna, and the children will be able to practice how to represent their thoughts, dreams and emotions in paintings.  Every day before the start of the art session, professional artists and students of the Art Academy who have worked with the children year-round, will introduce to the young artists the life and quests of great masters like Van Gogh, Picasso, Gustav Klimt, Ivan Milev, Iliya Beshkov, Kolyo Karamfilov, Roumen Gasharov and others.  The children will practice drawing inspired by different artistic styles and famous works.

Some of the paintings created during the art vacation will be included in a retrospective exhibition on the occasion of the 14-year anniversary of "Hug Me" studio.  Its working title is "THE BIG AND THE SMALL", and we we plan to open it on June 1, the Children's Day, at the Nuance Gallery in Sofia.

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Here is a brief story – about one of (y)our children. The child who walked through the door of Hug MeStudio eight years ago is now a confident and happy young person.

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My parents never married. When I was five, they had some conflicts, and so I ended up in an social care home. At first I was very scared, stunned. But then I got used to it. When I was 15 I was moved to a Sheltered Home, but people there were bad. They always insulted me: your mother is a whore and you will be like her.   

There was a stupid story about a chicken and a bottle of oil that had disappeared. For three days, we, the three girls who lived in the Sheltered Home, the three mentors, and the director, investigated where the chicken was and who took the oil. They were never found. Everyone said,I dont know. But they accused me of secretly taking the oil out and giving it to my mother. There was no way to convince them otherwise. It was all so humiliating, and I wishedI could leave


In my opinion, what is most important is the attitude to the children, in other words, how the adults treat us. That's why we are very different here and at the social care home. Here, in the studio, the children are in a very different environment: no one humiliates us, we feel loved, we know everyone wants to help us. We are always met with a hug, it is fun, andit ispeaceful. We know that even if we do something wrong, no one will shout at us and instead, they would talk to us. And we understand that what we get here will somehow help us also later in life.

"Hug me and Pass it on" Campaign continues until Christmas!

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Our bank account is:

BGN    BG12BPBI79401065728201




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contacts: +359 878 171440 Milena Neyova, e-mail: