“I used to survive day to day; now I've started to believe in a good future...”

In Gotse Delchev, Bulgaria, many Roma families find themselves trapped in poverty. A lack of education and very few job opportunities means that even the most hard- working and determined among them struggle to get by.

Gergana, 30, lives in a village just outside Gotse Delchev in Bulgaria. A single mother to Georgi, 12, and Victor, two, she has no qualifications and struggled to find a job that enabled her to provide for her children. Her home was half-finished and needed repairs, and it was a continual struggle to cover even basic needs.

“Gergana is a loving mother and she’d always dreamed of offering her family a secure future, where they had everything they needed. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t work out. Making ends meet was become increasingly difficult.”

Ventsislav works for Mission Without Borders (MWB) supporting families living in poverty – and when Gergana’s family was enrolled on the family sponsorship programme, they began receiving food and hygiene parcels and other support. Georgi was thrilled when he had the chance to go summer camp and have lots of fun with other children his age.

Help a family grow hope today

In the meantime, Ventsislav couldn’t help but notice how skilled Gergana was at growing crops. She comes from an agricultural family that has worked the land for many generations.

MWB provided the family with Seeds of Hope: packets of seeds that give families the opportunity to grow healthy produce to supplement their diet with fresh vegetables.

Ventsislav said, “Gergana’s family has a large courtyard where they grow lettuce, tomatoes, and other crops. I was impressed because the courtyard was never uncultivated, and every single meter of soil was planted with different seeds.”

He also noted the limitations of the set-up, adding, “They couldn’t produce vegetables all year round, and they had no vision to sell their produce in the market.”

Gergana plants a new crop in her greenhouseGergana plants a new crop in her greenhouse


The kids help Gergana with the harvest in the greenhouseThe kids help Gergana with the harvest in the greenhouse

All of this changed when Ventsislav – having recognised Gergana’s skillset – arranged for the family to receive a self-sufficiency project in the shape of a greenhouse. This would enable them to produce vegetables all year round to sell at the market, where demand for organic vegetables is high.

At first, Gergana had little confidence that the project would succeed, but after several encouraging conversations with Ventsislav, she started to believe it was possible. MWB ensured Gergana and her family received training on how best to grow crops in the greenhouse, and immediately the business took off.

Gergana said, “I’d had no experience of growing vegetables in a greenhouse, but thanks to Ventsislav and a consultation with an agronomist, we’re now able to produce a crop that’s in demand in the marketplace.

“I’ve always had to depend on the temperature outside to be able to sow suitable vegetables in the garden. I was surprised to see how quickly the seeds grew in the greenhouse – lettuce and onions.

“Immediately afterwards, we sowed tomatoes, cucumbers, and pepper beans. All this was really amazing for me. Through the vegetables that we’ve sold, we’re much better off financially. I thank God for what you’ve done for me and my children.”

The greenhouse not only provided a secure income stream but also offered an opportunity for Gergana’s family to work together and grow closer.

With her eyes shining with joy, Gergana said, “Over the last few years, the Mission has been side by side with my family, through all our difficulties and through all our joys.

“Several restaurants are already buying our products at a very good price. It is amazing. I used to survive from day to day; now I’ve started to believe that my children and I have a chance for a good future. Through this project, I now have bigger and more achievable dreams.”

Click here to find out more about family sponsorship – and how you, too, can help bring lasting change to a family’s like Gergana’s.

When a family is sponsored through Mission Without Borders, they not only receive practical help in their struggle with poverty – but emotional and spiritual support, too. If you would like to find out more about sponsoring a family, click here, or call us today at 1-800-494-9191.

Gergana shows off some of the fruits of her labor

Gergana shows off some of the fruits of her labor




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