How can soap bring hope to Bulgaria’s orphanage leavers? Tsetsi’s explanation to a panel of Dragon’s Den style judges this week left them so impressed that he walked away with a cheque for 10,000 Bulgarian Leva – almost £5,000 – to invest in ‘HOPe Soaps’ .
After being abandoned to an orphanage before he can remember, Tsetsi joined The House of Opportunity when he left state care aged 18 in 2008. What would he have done if he hadn’t joined this two year residential training programme for state care leavers run by Trussell Trust partners FSCI? He says crime or prostitution and begging for food: that’s what his less fortunate friends have turned to.
Tsetsi’s always said that ‘when I’m on my feet I want to help others like the House of Opportunity helped me’. So, outside of his studies and his job, Tsetsi now manages ‘HOPe Soap’, FSCI’s new project that helps orphanage leavers to break out of poverty by producing handmade soaps to sell. Tsetsi has broken the mould by going to university, managing an enterprise and now he’s wowed a panel of judges too. He says he knows he’s now a role model to the young people he’s working with and he’s determined to prove to them that they too can have a future. HOPe Soaps is a great success in Bulgaria and FSCI are exploring new enterprise ideas to help more Bulgarian state care leavers like Tsetsi to turn their lives around.