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This is particularly the case for older women who are more likely to live longer than their spouses. Older people’s social networks often get smaller as their children and grandchildren move away, and aging siblings and friends die.
From its inauguration in 1997, the Soroptimist Club Sofia Boyana has worked to ‘Give a hand’ to the women of the Happy Home Hospice (Хоспис Щастливият Дом) in Knyajevo on the outskirts of Sofia.
Initially, Club members organised social activities, such as knitting and gardening, or arranged Christmas and Easter festivities to give the residents much-needed face-to-face contact. Happy Home residents have also been taken on excursions to concerts, the theatre or for rose picking in Kasanlak. They also invited them to visit the 10th century Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The club’s involvement now includes supplying the Home with books, clothes, furniture, medicine and medical equipment. With financial support from the Soroptimist Union of Switzerland and SI Club Lugano, larger-scale projects have also been realised. For example, the kitchens have been upgraded, and new washing machines have been installed.
Happy Home Hospice website (Bulgarian)see more about this project