I watched part of the documentary on the Bulgarian care home in Mogilino. I was shocked. I could hardly bring myself to look at the screen, watching children – malnourished and wretched – rocking silently.

The scene of small boys left to sit on potties all day, because it’s easier that way. A boy, blind since birth, who knows it’s safer to stand still when not guided to avoid injury, leaving him to stand like a pathetic and dejected statue in the middle of the room. Like caged animals, these children are without hope. At meal times, the attendants feed them robotically, hardly pausing between spoons to allow the children to swallow. A boy, deaf from birth, has degraded in care to a state of obsessive/compulsive near catatonia, writing out names in coloured pens – the same names, the same colours, day in, day out.

Television rarely moves me to tears, but I simply couldn’t help it here – to see children treated like animals. I feel frustrated that I live in a different world with plenty of food, water and stimulus – and these children are not so far away across the other side of Europe.





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