Special Report: Bulgaria and Sweden

Two Faces of the Refugee Crisis in Europe

March 2014: Since the summer of 2013, Bulgaria has seen a dramatic increase in Syrian refugees crossing the Turkish border. Meanwhile, Sweden became the biggest European host country of refuges, following a move in September 2013 to offer permanent residency to Syrian refugees.

We sent reporters to meet some of these refugees and tell their stories. Journalists, teachers, law students, engineers – many of these people led middle-class lives in Syria before their sometimes arduous journey to Europe.

In Sofia, journalist Damian Vodenitcharov spoke with refugees in the hallways of the dilapidated Voenna Rampa refugee camp. In Stockholm, journalist Nathalie Rothschild met refugees at the Märsta arrival centre and spoke in length with them.



12 comments on “Special Report: Bulgaria and Sweden
  1. Polly Noble says:

    My name is Polly Noble and I am a 4th year medical student currently intercalating at the University of Leeds studying International Health BSc.

    As part of my studies I am hoping to design and complete a research project. For this project I wish to talk to the mothers of a refugee camp to explore their knowledge and attitudes towards diarrhoea and diarrhoea management in children under five.
    The title of my research is: Knowledge and attitudes of mothers related to childhood diarrhoea and diarrhoeal management in a refugee camp– A qualitative study.

    Last year two students from my course conducted their research in a refugee camp in Jordan, however their contact has since left.

    I am enquiring if anyone knows of a refugee camp (or area) where you think this research would be possible and if you have any contacts there.

    I require a host who can facilitate my research by helping me access the camp, and find potential participants. The process should take no longer than three weeks, and I hope to conduct it at some point during May and/or June.

    Thank you very much for reading this message, for any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on rpnoble@hotmail.co.uk

    Best wishes
    Polly Noble

    • Vicky says:

      Hi, I am a person who donates $ to many organizations. May I suggest that you check the website of your Gov. Income Tax website and key in Charity Organizations, to find which ones pay for work done and you may also check Church Diocese, for a listing, of charities.
      Good luck and have fun.

  2. ahmed aziz oughly says:

    dear Sir;
    cause to Syria crisis, please help me to take humanitarian asylum in Sweden for Syrian.
    Dear Sir,

    I’m doing nothing more than 3 years.

    I’m a geologist 59 years old birth and live in Damascus – Syria ,I worked in oil field as a driller in Lybia for nine years,18 years maintenance and repair oil drilling equipment’s in my workshop in Damascus and 3 years with oil drilling company office (head of materials), I have wife and 4 daughters and 2 suns ages the oldest 20 years old the youngest 5 years old. I’m doing nothing more than 3 years. I’m ready to support you in any further information about me and my family.

    please don’t ignore my application .
    looking forward to receive your happy reply.

    sincerely yours,

    Ahmed Aziz oughly

  3. Fadi moustafa says:

    Hi. I’m Fadi. I’m from Syria. My age is 25 years old. I have been 5 days here in Istanbul. I finish my study in a collage of Al-furat University which is English Literature. I don’t have a job here because I don’t speak Turkish. I think you know here in this European city they don’t speak English. I escaped out of my country Syria in a legal way with my passport I’ll send you a photo of it an and my degree.I hope to help me. I want to have Humanitarian asylum, please help me. I want to live in a free, peaceful way and follow up my study. I’m Muslim and I am not prim religion like those who fighting in Syria. Please help me I can’t live here and I can’t return to my country because of the Syrian army looking for me I am required for military service.I hope to live in Sweden. I’m waiting your answer thank you ver much for reading my message….

  4. Dear Polly & others,

    I wanted to share what our organization has been doing the past two years to aid in the Syrian refugee crisis that has affected Bulgaria. We’re a 20 year old non-profit foundation who’s fed nearly 1 billion documented & delivered meals worldwide, thanks to our founder Yank Barry, Muhammad Ali & many other celebrities.

    We recently rescued 100+ children & their families from the refugee camps outside of Sofia, & have given them a home, food, clothing, medical care, & hope for a better future. The children are being taught English & Bulgarian from the staff in the safe-house, & their parents are getting assistance with finding employment.

    We work all over the world to help those stricken by disasters, poverty & political greed. We are privately funded by Mr. Barry’s for-profit business ventures, therefore, every dollar donated goes directly back into the vital services we provide! We recently purchased an orphanage that houses 70 Arab orphans from the Syrian war. We’d love to spread the word of the great work we’re doing & committed to continuing to do!

    Please visit our website (www.gogvc.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GlobalVillageChampions) & YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/user/globalvillagechamps) to follow us & learn more!!

    Thanks so much & remember…paying it forward, one meal & one person at a time truly makes a difference!

  5. Muhammed sadik KHAlİL says:

    ı am muhammed sadik .ıam syrıan and ı wıthg my amıly lıve ın Turkye over 9 month. ı am teacher of tıchnıcal school /ın oto
    ı am marred and ı have 1 son my wıfe,s name Hanaa and she norses .
    we want to go anather country .you can help us ? my wıfe she had password and ı have not.
    pleas ıf you can help us send us to E-post :mskh-1985@hotmaıl.com
    Muhammed sadik

  6. Emily says:

    Dear Audra,
    Are you sure about that? I have tried calling yoour organization in Bulgaria and in the U.S.
    No answer, nor respond to emails. I suggest don’t encourage people to call you if you can’t assist them. Honor others time by not wasting it.

  7. Farhan mostaf says:

    and this is my Email: farhanmostafa49@yahoo.com

  8. Lidia says:

    Refugeese in Bulgaria do not sleep outside, this is such a propaganda photo! Simply we did not have the capacity to hadle more than 10’000! But that has changed! The Bulgarian people, different non profits, churches and welthy individuals have done a wonderful job helping these people! Being a border state is not the same as living in the outskirts of the continent! It is not possible to help everyone, such is life! I am tired of the way my country is portrayed! Western Europeans are the ones that do not want the refugeese! They have told our government to do their dirty job, so stop with the propaganda! Bulgarians have opened thei doors and have helped these people, that is it! We did not cause their pain, so stop the blame game! I have tons of photos of Bulgarians, including my family who have done amassing things to help these people!!! Bulgaria may have problems, but who dos not! We are civilized, educated, Europeans with big hearts, and we we live in a beautiful country! Poor people exist everywhere, but no one is making the refugeese to sleep out in the mud! Shame on who ever put this photos up!!!!

    • Havin Mamo says:

      Dear Lidia,
      we thank the Bulgarian government and its people who had done much more than expected to provide help, shelter, any kind of the humanitarian aid to those poor refugees, although the difficult economics circumstances.
      your efforts is highly appreciated

    • Havin Mamo says:

      Dear Lidia,
      we thank the Bulgarian government and its people who had done much more than expected to provide help, shelter, any kind of the humanitarian aid to those poor refugees taking in consideration the difficult economics circumstances.
      your efforts is highly appreciated

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sweden are starting to not taking in refugees it starting to come to many and we can’t just give them a house and a job it so much harder then they think it just “oooh hello we can give you a place to live and get you a work” we send out most of them we just can’t take every one

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