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Earlier last week, a BBC-documentary was broadcasted on Belgian television. The documentary showed a institution for light mentally handicapped children. That was the official name for it. In reality one dumped perfect healthy, but unwanted children in that institution or better said hell. The children were left to fend for themselves and neglected. The result are underfed oligophrenic children.

The documentary shows e.g. a perfect healthy, far from mentally disturbed girl abandoned by her mother. The girl writes her mother daily, but the letters are never sent. You see the girl slowly languish and getting insane. The staff of that institution barely does something for these children and there are even indications that they maltreat the children. They only give them some kind of slop and treat e.g. a broken bone with some salve. As if that would help.

This happens not in some third world country but in Bulgaria, a member of the EU.

You can see the whole documentary on line at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9176914173325307126

The documentary is copy righted by the BBC, see also http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/bulgarias-children.shtml for details. 

As a father, human being, … I was shocked.  If you are too after you’ve seen this appalling situation, you can do something about it. Check http://www.abandonedchildren.org.uk/ for details. 

Update: The Bulgarian authorities have, according to their national TV, closed down this orphanage (and some others too). It’s unclear what happened with the children. 

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  1. Kenneth Murray
    I’m sure stuff like this happens all of the time. Thank goodness for the internet and being able to expose this to the world.  Sad part is that probably less than 1% of any military spending could help eliminate situations like this.  Governments should be embarrassed.
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  2. Marilyn Pratt
    Awareness is the first step, so thank you for surfacing this, Eddy.  As technology and business process professionals and caring members of the human race, we can start connecting the dots between information (data)and context, meaning, accountability, improving process. Jim Spath’s blog triggered lots of thoughts around this: about moving from personal, to community and organizationally executable steps.  Although each of us can care (and or act locally as we understand/choose/see fit) we can also imagine great impact when we have tools and measures that help govern, and even force compliance when necessary.  It’s crucial that we take such information and DO something with it.  I’m thinking that here (on this very website), we have the opportunity to make connections between GRI (global reporting initiative), accountability (auditing), CSR (having organizational attention) and GRC standards and tracking to really create an environment where behaving responsibly is the rule and such “exceptions” as you have pointed us to are dealt with swiftly and with global consensus.
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    1. Eddy De Clercq Post author
      Jim,

      Thanks for that. I’ve added my reply/view on it (and the other blog replies) in the same forum thread. I hope we’re not the only one in that forum thread.

      Eddy

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  3. Paul Centen
    Hi Eddy,
    by occassion I read your contribution on this topic. Yes, it’s terrible. But even more. I’m visting regular Hungary for hunting purposes. By that we live there at the country side and get close to basics of elementary life styles. Be about 150 km away from Rumania, West-European people disclosed in discussions their habits once they visit Rumania. My message: it’s already next door.
    Another thought: what happens with tourism at the black sea (cheap, nice wheather, ..)? Are there also benefits for people living at the country side?
    Just over the weekend I started my private blog on CSR: http://corporate-social-responsibility-eu.blogspot.com/ It will take some time to cover all those topics I’ve in mind today.

    My opinion: development is not only economical and monetray driven. If we, from West-Europe, export the perception that all is related to money, it’s our duty to correct this.

    Kind regards Paul

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