10 more bold project ideas from the BFW’s “March 8” Contest received funding and are to be realized
Another 10 original project proposals for the celebration of the 8 of March and the political, economic, scientific and cultural achievements of women will be funded by the Bulgarian Fund for Women.
Thanks to the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, 7 of the applicant initiatives will be supported, as well as with the help of the Embassy of Switzerland and the tech company Atos. The donations are worth a total of BGN 20,000.
“On the International Women’s Day, we celebrate and are proud of women’s social, economic and political achievements. However, much remains to be done. It is very important for both men and women to fight together for women’s rights, because that is how we all win!”, said Her Excellency Bea ten Tusscher, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bulgaria.
Atos is a world leader in digital transformation, cloud services and cybersecurity and is the winner of the prestigious “Great Place to Work” Award, which is given to the best employers in the world. The company implements a number of policies in support of equality in the workplace. Therefore, we are happy that exactly this business organization stands behind our initiatives and encourages other companies to work in this direction.
The ten conceptual projects ranked in the second phase of the “8 of March” Contest, which will be implemented throughout the country are the following:
“Celebrating the achievement of women in STEM”
On the 8 of March, we want to promote the achievements of Bulgarian women who have careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Special online platform will be created for this purpose, where we will tell their stories, publish advice and guidelines they have for the next generation of researchers and provide an opportunity to communicate with them. By presenting successful women with interesting, adventurous, and challenging professions in an accessible way, we hope to create a positive image of women in science and break the stereotypes associated with these activities. The campaign will start with an online Live event on our website and on social networks, where in a series of short videos and presentations we will tell stories about the work of famous Bulgarian women – scientists and engineers. As part of the event, we will start a group for collaboration between women in STEM from Bulgaria, which will become a local branch of the global initiative “500 Women Scientists”. An online meeting with students interested in exact sciences and technologies will be held on March 8.
Female Entrepreneurship Bulgaria (FEB)
“From the adventures of a Bulgarian entrepreneurchic…”
The project aims to promote entrepreneurship among women in a fun way, with the help of art. We will develop a comic book, through which the main character will get acquainted with successful examples from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, which will guide her through all the main steps in creating a business – research, validation, target person, finance, marketing, sales, business model, pitching in front of investors, preparation of a presentation and development of presentation skills. The comic will include short “sketch” discussions, which will address the main obstacles and challenges facing the Bulgarian female entrepreneur, as well as interesting statistics related to the topic.
Association for Support of Persons with Mental Disabilities
“Stand by me!”
On the occasion of the 8 of March, we will launch the initiative “Stand by me!”, which aims to draw public attention to the rights of women with mental disabilities, their strengths, their creative potential and their contribution to adding thousands of nuances in the image of women. On the International Women’s Day we will realize a Pop-up installation in the central part of city of Varna, which will visualize the message of the initiative. In order to attract like-minded people, we will organize a flash mob in which the participants will play the role of “ambassadors of good”. They will greet the citizens and will distribute their own handmade works of art. We will also develop a 10-minute film, through which we will reach more people. Before the event we will realize creative workshops in which girls with intellectual disabilities under the mentorship of a professional artist will make products with an authentic imprint, a symbol of their message.
United Nations Society in Bulgaria
A matter of equality
The project will contribute to the celebrations of the International Women’s Day by disseminating information and raising the knowledge of young people about the achievements, rights and challenges of girls and women in Bulgaria. The quiz, as a format through which this will happen, has proven to be attractive for young people and will contribute to arousing real interest and thus increase their knowledge on the topic. The UN motto for the 8 of March is #ChooseToChallenge. The message for 2021 provokes us to question the norms and prejudices that create gender inequalities. The project will contribute to this by using knowledge as the main tool for overcoming stereotypes.
WomenSurvivors informal group
A Day to Remember – I have survived and I am here
#WomenSurvivors is the new beginning of a topic that until recently was taboo for most women and their families in Bulgaria. This is the first format consisting of a growing community of women supporting other women in recognizing the early signs of a toxic relationship and taking the necessary steps to break it before things get complicated. We will celebrate the 8 of March by involving 20 women who have left a violent relationship in a variety of exciting activities for two days. The program includes the provision of several professional services: makeup, hair and styling, followed by a photo session so that each participant can take the memory of the experience with them, as well as personal sessions to talk to a female survivor for self-awareness and confidence. In doing so, we aim not only to give each of them the care and attention they lacked while they were in a relationship with an abuser, but also to remind them of the importance of putting themselves and their desires first.
Ivanichka Toncheva Ivanova- Busten
Women from the Farmers’ Festival “Made on the farm”
The project will present successful women who are both businesswomen, mothers and public figures. I met them at the Farmers’ Market, which is held every Wednesday in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Women from the Farmer’s Market are employed in one of the most difficult sectors – agriculture and food production. They are highly educated, have a different type of education from agriculture, but thanks to their intellect and perseverance, they have managed to turn a typically male sector into a successful field for the realization of their ideas. What is more: they work in rural areas, which have many problems, including depopulation and high unemployment. They all have their history, their achievements and small disappointments. Through short videos and a summary video, they will congratulate you on March 8.
Opportunities Without Borders Association
“Women: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”
The project is an integrated online and offline campaign for the 8 of March, which will provide materials and a basis for further work on the achievements, challenges and rights of women from different eras, to 120 teachers and youth workers from all over Bulgaria. We have selected 5 topics: sexism, reproductive rights, women in technology, early marriages and access to education, and for each we will tell the story of a prominent woman from the past, a current problem from the present and a trend for the future. The campaign materials aim to facilitate the work of trainers by discussing and inspiring young people to grow up unencumbered by gender stereotypes.
Ventsislava Stoyanova (and unregistered group)
Familiar or Unknown woman?
The project promotes the cultural achievements of 16 Bulgarian artists – 8 contemporary authors find common ground in their creative pursuits with 8 artists from the last century. The number is a symbolic reference to the date 8 as the International Women’s Day. The realization is a series of 8 works of art on the walls of buildings in the town of Tryavna. Each mural is an author’s work of one of the participants in the project. The choice of location is not accidental, as in Tryavna is established one of the first Bulgarian Revival schools of icon painting and woodcarving – crafts occupied entirely by men in the past, and today in Tryavna is the National School of Applied Arts, in partnership with which the project will be implemented. The popularization of women’s art among an all-male art tradition provokes interest in the location.
Group exhibition “Self-portraits in female gender”
I plan to organize in the role of curator and participant autor, a group exhibition “Self-portraits in the female gender” with a focus on self-portraits of women artists. The exhibition will contribute to a wider presentation of women’s art and women artists. The focus of the exhibition is the self-portrait. This genre has been practiced by women artists since the early ages and has served to establish women’s creativity in times of absolute male dominance in art. The problem remains to this day, and any initiative that breaks this status quo is valuable. 12 artists from different generations are participating – all prominant and currently active: Alla Georgieva, Angela Terzieva, Velislava Gecheva, Gergana Tabakova, Petya Deneva, Kalia Kalacheva, Trendafila Trendafilova, Mariana Marinova, Mimi Dobreva, Yuliana Tekova, Harita Asumani.
LevFem, with fiscal agent The Fridge Association
Women’s strike! March 8 as a day to fight and realize the indispensable role of women in society
In line with the international network E.A.S.T, which we co-founded in 2020 during the pandemic with the Transnational Social Strike team, LevFem focused its campaign around the 8 of March on the idea of a strike as a method of winning women’s rights. The recognition of feminism and the women’s movement by Trade Unions in Bulgaria is essential for the development of women’s rights. To this end, we are planning a series of events to translate adequately the context of the historical intersection between the women’s and workers’ movements in the history of Bulgaria and around the world today. Our goal is to initiate a close network of cooperation between vulnerable women from the feminized labor sectors and marginalized social groups, representatives of Trade Unions and feminist NGOs in Bulgaria.
The “8 of March” Contest was announced by the Bulgarian Fund for Women on January 12, 2021 and managed to collect a record of 112 conceptual projects that were included in the competition. The proposals were from 46 places – small and large towns and villages across the country. Due to the many applications and the high quality of creative ideas and proposals, the selection of the winners in the competition was extremely difficult.
The Bulgarian Fund for Women supported 10 projects, which you can see here. In order to enable more valuable and bold ideas to be realized, we turned to embassies and companies with an invitation to support the call and to finance the project proposals that were selected as reserves. We therefore thank from the bottom of our hearts the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for supporting 7 projects, as well as the Embassy of Switzerland and the tech company Atos, that stood behind one project each and also contributed to the implementation of the initiative.
Bulgarian Fund for Women wishes success to all projects! Make sure you follow them in the days around the International Women’s Day and throughout March 2021 – the Historic Women’s Month. Do not miss the news on our website and on social media and become a part of the women’s movement in Bulgaria!
More about the technology company Atos:
Atos is a world leader in digital transformation with 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenues of around € 12 billion.
As the European number one in cloud services, cybersecurity and High Performance Computing, the group offers complete solutions in the following areas – Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace. The group is also a World Technology Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In Bulgaria Atos is represented by two companies with over 1000 employees. Atos IT Solutions & Services supports over 15 business functions and 1000+ processes for most of Atos companies worldwide, as well as business communication solutions for customers in over 40 countries around the world. The other unit – Atos Bulgaria Competency Center provides IT solutions and services for the industry for production and distribution of FMCG, providing expert services throughout the life cycle of a project – from consulting and planning, through implementation, to ongoing support.
Appreciated by its employees, the company has been successfully certified by the Great Place to Work Institute, which honors the best employers in the world.
For more information, check the following link: https://atos.net/bg/bulgaria
Illustration: Manuely Avila