Kinche's Story

Bulgarian Child works with children in many orphanages in Bulgaria. Over the last 10 years, we have watched as young children grow up into young adults.  We become emotionally involved with these kids and care about their lives. Kinche was one such child.

Kincheto, a lovely 17-yr. old girl, grew up in an orphanage in Berkovitsa. Her teen years were tumultuous as she was involved in a scandal with a pedophile and then publicly represented as a child ready to perform sexual favors.

  In  December 2009,  Kinche got permission to go downtown to buy something. She did not return to the orphanage. She was reported as missing and efforts were made to find her, but with no success. At the end of February ,Kincheto was found – unconscious and badly beaten in a hospital in Lom. The newspapers reported that she had been injured after a "domestic dispute" with her 29yr old lover. 

Kinche had 4 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, broken wrists and ankles and bruises and wounds too numerous to count.  She had enormous bedsores. She had lost about 30 pounds. Her head injuries were the most serious. She went through a total of 5 brain surgeries - 3 of them in an 8 day period. All the brain trauma had left her without speech.

After months of suffering, Kinche died on Monday morning, April 5, 2010. 

My heart is broken over this child. She was very special. 

Please help us reach out to other vulnerable children. There should not be another "Kinche" tragedy. We are working on the training/transitional center for young men aging out of the orphanage system. Obviously, there needs to be a safety net for these young women, too. We must consider ways to help them.

In loving memory of Kinche-

"A smile that could light up a room.  A child full of warmth. A young girl aching for approval and affection. Spontaneous. Bubbly. Trusting. This was Kinche. 

Like other young girls, Kinche dreamed of having a home and a family. She wanted to be a mother – to have someone to love and someone to love her. 

She naively put her trust in those who would use and abuse her. For this, she suffered great pain and finally paid with her life. 

The Kinche I had known for years was hardly recognizable the last weeks of her life - except for her sweet spirit. Even though her body was wracked with pain, though she could no longer speak, Kinche tried to show her pleasure and gratitude with a smile for those who came to the hospital to care for her. When we tried to reposition her or bathe her – she always tried to lift her head or turn her body to help. But after months of pain and suffering, even her strong spirit could not make her body go on. 

How did she end up like this? What went so wrong with her life? Who is responsible? The man who beat her? Parents who abandoned her? A system of institutionalization that hardly meets physical needs, not to mention psychological and emotional ones? A fearful society that turns a blind eye to crime?  Kinche was failed by nearly everyone. 

Kinche had few choices in life. She was neither  emotionally nor intellectually prepared to make good decisions. Like so many other teens from these “homes,”  she tried to find a better life for herself.  

Kinche is gone. Her short life a tragedy. We weep for her pain and suffering. We weep for others like her whose stories may never be told - young women and men who were just as vulnerable, who were lured away into prostitution and slavery through promises of love and security. 

Kinche's death is  a challenge for us to do more. We mustn't fail her again. 

--Judy Ridgway