A GROUP of Buchan primary school pupils took to the tracks at Peterhead’s Catto Park on Tuesday to raise vital funds for a Bulgarian orphanage.
The pupils from Buchanhaven School’s 6B class walked, jogged and ran 16 laps of the track, in an effort to help members of the town’s Methodist Church raise funds for the orphanage in Kirkovo, Southern Bulgaria.
Class teacher Claire Eade said: “The children are learning about Europe at the moment and heard about the orphanage from one of the pupils’ mums. Lorna Stevenson came in to class to speak to them about how the children live there and showed them a DVD.”
The class have raised about £160 so far through sponsorship and donations and hope to meet their target of £500.
Lorna Stevenson, whose 11-year-old daughter Nicole is in the class, visits the orphanage twice yearly as part of the Methodist church’s commitment to helping the children there.
She said: “Every time we visit, the children’s needs are different. We raise money throughout the year and work with the orphanage’s Director, Zonka, to decide where the money should go.”
The orphanage looks after anything up to 40 children between the ages of three and seven - most of whom are abandoned due to crippling poverty.
“Although Bulgaria is part of the EU now, there are still a lot of very poor people,” says Lorna, who has been involved with the project for several years. “Once while we were there, Social Services brought in a little boy who had been abandoned at a market. There are a lot of poor people and gypsies who have many children and are unable to care for them all.”
Lorna and friend Kevin Willox visit the orphanage twice per year, and use money raised by the people of Peterhead to take the children on outings to local parks and cafes.
Lorna added: “The children don’t really get out of the orphanage. It’s very sad. When they are seven years old they are moved to an orphanage for older children and this is very distressing for them.”
When the children at Buchanhaven heard about the plight of the Bulgarian children, they wanted to do something to help and set about planning their sponsored walk.