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Supporting Bulgaria’s Little People Community With a Safe Water System

15. December 2022 | 3 min read

For more than two decades, the Little People of Bulgaria organization has been supporting and uniting people of short stature across the country. The recently established community center in Sofia has helped the association expand its activities and impact; however, renovations are needed to make the center safe and accessible to everyone. Pipelife Bulgaria, together with its trusted installation partners, secured access to safe drinking water in the center by providing a plumbing solution for the organization’s new home.

Five members of "The Little People of Bulgaria" association give high five to each other in front of the entrance of the service center | Pipelife © Little People of Bulgaria

Connecting People in Need

The association Little People of Bulgaria was founded in 1996 to support people with short stature and protect their rights in education, health care and employment. The association organizes meetings, seminars, discussions and cultural events to change public attitudes and improve the integration of little people in Bulgarian society.

In 2018, Little People of Bulgaria established headquarters in Sofia to further develop its support mechanisms, including social and psychological consultations, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, temporary accommodation and other forms of assistance.

The municipality found an opportunity to provide a building for the organization's needs; however, the house was originally built almost 90 years ago, and much of the infrastructure required repair.

Due to limited resources, members of the organization reached out to local construction companies and suppliers of building’s service technology systems for help. They turned to Pipelife Bulgaria for a secure and reliable water supply system. Following a long history of local community support, the team was happy to provide their expertise and products free of charge.

Six members of "Little People of Bulgaria" association standing together and waving at the camera | Pipelife © Little People of Bulgaria
The name and logo of "The Little People of Bulgaria" association next to the entrance of the service center | Pipelife © Little People of Bulgaria

SAFE WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EVERYONE

A thorough inspection of the building revealed that the old water supply and distribution pipes had started to corrode and a complete system replacement would be needed.

Ivan Tsanov, a product manager at Pipelife Bulgaria and consultant on the project, recalls: "The condition of the piping network was very poor. It was crucial to propose a solution that would withstand repeated use over time without needing regular maintenance."

Pipelife Bulgaria covered the deconstruction of the old system and the installation of new pipelines, fitted by trusted installers Slavi Valchev and Nikolay Ivanov, along with their colleagues from Civic Stroy OOD. In total, around 190 meters of multilayer composite pipes and 160 fittings were used to install a new hot and cold water supply network.

"The result is a modern and reliable drinking water system in the building, which will serve Little People of Bulgaria for meetings, discussions, rehabilitation and even provide shelter," shares Ivan Tsanov. "The organization members themselves also participated in the renovation and did their bit in the repair work."

Three multilayer composite water distribution pipes with black insulation layer | Pipelife
A close-up of the new water supply system with insulated multilayer composite pipes and press fittings | Pipelife

A Promising Future

The water system took approximately three weeks to install and was completed in March 2021. However, renovations continue to take place as Little People of Bulgaria develops its new home; a central heating system, roof, workshop area, and guest rooms are all on the list of things to come.

The center’s refurbishment has been made possible by donors and volunteers while its services are supported by the "Equal Chances for the Little People of Bulgaria" project, financed by the "Development of Human Resources" operational program. The organization has recently secured the funding for its services for a further five years.

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