11 Projects of Local Leaders Approved for Funding by BFW as Part of the Community Development Program 2021
At the beginning of 2021, the Bulgarian Fund for Women launched the Community Development Program 2021, which aims to support community leaders and active people in their effort to unite and mobilize their communities, to promote initiatives related to the unification of citizens for better public life, to enable meetings and exchanges between different groups and to promote the inclusion of women in community development. The main goal of the program is to promote and support the informal involvement and unification of citizens in solving social problems left out of state support.
101 applications for participation in the Program were submitted from 43 different places in the country. The evaluation of the projects was carried out by the team of the Bulgarian Fund for Women, considering the connection of the application with the objectives of the Program, belonging to the community indicated by the applicant and its impact at local level, giving priority to community development outside of Sofia. 17 community leaders were selected to continue participating in the Program.
The BFW Program contains two parts – theoretical and practical, and in the first stage the 17 participants underwent a three-day training at the end of April, aimed at developing skills for building and organizing communities. In the second stage, they had the opportunity to apply for funding for their projects, with the help of which to activate their communities and along with them to implement an initiative to improve the lives of everyone in the community.
After the evaluation of the submitted projects, 11 leaders received funding. Their projects will be carried out in the period July – November 2021. They are the following:
Antoaneta Macheva, Ladies’ Club in Support of Girls at Risk, budget BGN 1 280, Pleven
The project envisages cooperation between women, representatives of the local community in Pleven in support of the girls from the Boarding School Hristo Botev in the village of Podem, Pleven district. The girls, aged 15-18, are with vulnerable social status, often with convictions for various criminal acts, which due to them being minors are placed in this specialized educational institution and not in prison.
Stella Kehayova, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, budget BGN 1 500, Kazanlak
The project aims to counteract unemployment and the economic dependence of girls and women in the Municipality of Kazanlak. The participants will be given a chance to develop skills, participate in the process of management and decision-making in socio-economic life.
Sofia Kostadinova-Ilkova, Get to Know to Love, budget BGN 1 356, Petrich
The aim of the project is to promote the region of Podgorie, at the foot of the Belasitsa Nature Park. This is a little-known part of Bulgaria due to years of isolation and famous resorts located nearby. The planned activities are aimed at helping the development of the local community, to increase job availability, and to stop the depopulation of the villages in the area. This in turn will contribute to the preservation of traditional knowledge and the protection of nature.
Vanya Frolikova, Together for Air and Caller, budget BGN 1 000, General Todorov village
The village of General Todorov has a strategic position – it is located between Kozhuh volcano and Marikostinovo mineral water resort. On its territory is the rock church from the 9th century St. Pantaleimon, but on the main street of the village, which is 2 km long, there is not a single tree. As part of the project, 20 trees will be planted, which will be “adopted” by local people.
Radka Toteva, Establishing the Pensioner.bg website, budget BGN 1 500, Ruse
The creation of the social website pensioner.bg is aimed entirely at an audience of retired people, which would provide an opportunity for targeted information to this group and an opportunity for more communication and socialization between retirees.
Magdalena Deleva, We Knit MORE for Bulgarian Children – with Faith in Goodness WE GIVE HOPE, budget BGN 1 500, Plovdiv
The project supports the We Knit for Bulgarian Children community, which includes dozens of women from across the country who knit and sell toys to charity for the benefit of children with serious illnesses and their treatment. The funds will be invested in the purchase of materials for the activity – mainly yarn and cotton wool, which will help produce more charitable items.
Veselka Stoyanova, Girls in the Army – New Challenges, budget BGN 1 500, Shumen
The project will support the implementation of activities to promote gender equality in the NMU V. Levski by realizing research of general attitudes and satisfaction among the cadets, meeting with established professionals and sharing experience and motivation to improve skills, opening other structures offering support, organizing an arena for exchange of experience with cadets from other military schools in the territory of the country, conducting research.
Mirena Shankolova, Saint Rita of Kasha – the Saint of Impossible Cases, a Humble, Strong and Courageous Woman with Unshakable Faith, budget BGN 1 474, Belene
The aim of the initiative is to create the first playground in the town of Belene, adapted for children with special educational needs, which is missing in the whole municipality. The idea is to turn the playground into a kind of outdoor educational area with the opportunity to improve the educational and physical activity of the children of Belene and a meeting spot for mutual assistance for their parents.
Nelly Cherkezov, The Green Classroom, budget BGN 1 500, Sitovo village
The Green Classroom in the village of Sitovo is a garden with all the elements of interaction in nature – raised beds, beehives, bird houses, a composter, a greenhouse, fruit trees, a small meteorological station. In it, everyone can gain knowledge and skills about traditional techniques and cultures, the importance of the cycle of air, water and seasons in nature, ecology and permaculture through interactive activities. The local community will be involved in maintaining the garden, and children from neighbouring cities will come to visit.
Lyudmila Sultanova, A Petanque Tournament of Retired Sports Clubs from Sofia, budget BGN 1 200, Sofia
Within the project, a petanque tournament will be organized by all five retired sports clubs from Sofia. The aim of the project is to engage and socialize people of retirement age and to give them an opportunity for meetings, sports and engaged free time.
Bistra Poyukliyska, My Dream to Have a Baby… There is Another Way!, budget BGN 1 200, Trigrad
The project is aimed at women with reproductive problems, who should be given all possible alternatives to make the dream of having a child come true, namely: psychological support from a specialist, in vitro and other methods of assisted reproduction, herbal medicine, art therapy, nutrition and food supplements, baths, apitherapy, mud therapy, etc.