< Historical Figures
Baba Ganka


Baba Ganka (1847-1928)

Ganka Stefanova Todorova was born on 14th March 1847, in Jeravna. From 1898 Mrs. Ganka Stefanova and her husband Ivan h.Petrov settled in Burgas, where they lived until the end of their days.
Although Mrs. Ganka Stefanova was a mother of 8 children, she found time to be actively involved in the social and charitable activities of the town. On 20th May 1898, a female charity society under the name “Milosurdie” was created in Burgas. Founder and first elected chairman was Mrs. Ganka h.Petrova. The main tasks of the society were to help the elderly and poor citizens, orphans and injured, talented but poor students, and for the foreseeable future creation of an orphanage or elderly home. The charity quickly gained a high reputation among the citizens of Burgas but Baba (engl.tr.“Grandmother”) Ganka remained short time as a chairman. The care she provided for her large family made it impossible to dedicate herself fully to the cause.
In 1911, Society Milosurdie had already accumulated asset of 30 000 leva /BGN/ with the help of Burgas municipality and many citizens. On 22nd September 1911, the foundations of an orphanage (later named “Queen Eleanora”) were laid and the same year Mrs.Ganka h.Petrova was elected honorary chairman of Milosurdie. During 1913 with her personal funds a three-storey building was built on the square St. Cyril and Methodius. On the first floor there was a dining room arranged to feed 200 poor children from Burgas city and surrounding area. All members of the charity "Dobriyat Samaryanin" worked here, this was an organization founded in 1902 also by Ganka h.Petrova. The upper two floors were used as institutions offices.
After the war outbreak, members of the charity arranged a recovery ward at the Burgas train station, where they took care of the injured soldiers and help in the hospital maintenance.
During the worst post-war years the society continued with their activities. Arranged were charity evenings, raffles, lectures, concerts, the money collected from which had been donated to the Macedonian refugees and poor people.
Baba Ganka h.Petrova died on 27th October 1928. Three years after her death the orphanage “Queen Eleanora” was opened for 14 orphans aged between 5 and 10 years. Female charity “Milosurdie” existed until 1948.

Yana Ivanova
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