13 Projects will Receive Funding for BFW’s Community Development Program
The applications received are part of the call, open to participants who have undergone the first stage of the program – a three-day training with a goal to develop skills for building, organizing and mobilizing communities. It united 25 community leaders and active citizens from 16 regions and strived to support them in their efforts to bring communities and citizens together, to encourage activities, present opportunities for encounter and exchange between different communities and promote women’s involvement in community development.
After the end of the training, each attendee had the opportunity to apply for funding up to BGN 1700 from BFW in order to implement their initiative for engaging the community and improving the life of everyone.
We received 18 applications, which were looked at by BFW’s team – Aleh Stankova (Project Manager), Rada Elenkova (Program Director), Rosena Ivanova (Office Manager). The criteria consisted of: quality of the connection between the goals and means, with which they’d be achieved; does the project include and develop its target community; is the budget realistic; does the project create coalitions and does it have potential for mobilizations; bonus point were given to project, which included intersectional/crossed approach and had made efforts to address certain social inequalities, as well as to popularize the community philanthropy through project activities.
We are happy to present to you the 13 approved project ideas:
1. “Because We Can”, executed by Daniela Deskova
“Because we can” is a project, striving towards empowering mothers of disabled children through organizational and motivational trainings. The project activities include organizing artistic workshops, as well as presenting opportunities for active participation of the mothers, in order for them to gain skills to independently organize bazaars and other methods for selling the goods, created in the workshops. The raised funds will be used for creating “Our place – a nook for rest and games” – a garden, located next to a center for children with disabilities in Pleven. Association “BALIZ” Pleven and other social units will contribute to the successful realization of the project.
2. “Let’s Draw with a Needle”, executed by Dina Kirilova
“Let’s Draw with a Needle” is a project with a goal to help disabled people tackle anxiety and social isolation through creating needlepoint paintings, as well as to create a model for cooperation between this community and the community of female tapestry artists. The project activities include meetings, needlepoint painting, a story-telling contest and others. The target group of “Let’s Draw with a Needle” is Daycare Centre for Children and Adults with Disabilities” Sveta Nedelya” in Sandanski, which the project is in partnership with.
“3. Courage for Life”, executed by Elka Stoyanova
The project strives toward presenting different activities and a supportive community for elderly people in Sandanski, in order to assist them in dealing with social isolation, which people living alone experience, as well as with the post COVID-19 isolation consequences. The project activities include sport initiatives such as “Play sports with the Mayor”, creating a gymnastics team and having discussions on topics such as how to deal with misinformation, fake news, online health record and others.
4. “Fulfilling Social life for Women After Retirement”, executed by Margarita Krasteva
The goal of this project is to inspire retired women with motor and mental problems to include more physical activity in their life and to establish more social contacts, in order to improve their general wellbeing. The activities will provide the women with opportunities to practice healing gymnastics outdoors, to learn traditional dances and expand their social circle. The target groups of the project are the members of club ”SPOKO” – Disabled Persons Club and the women from the special home for temporary accommodation for foreigners in Busmantsi. The project will take place in Sofia, Iskar region.
5. “Volunteers with a Cause”, executed by Minka Arabadzhieva
“Volunteers with a Cause” is an educational project aimed at introducing sexually transmitted diseases, causing serious illnesses such as cervical cancer and others to high school students. The project activities include seminars, carried out by doctors, psychologists and lawyers – “What do we need to know about cervical cancer” in which personal stories will be shared, “What do we need to know about volunteering and advocacy as an altruistic activity”, as well as preparations of volunteering practices. The project will take place at the schools in Haskovo and is aimed at students in the upper high school classes.
6. “Youngsters Building Utopia”, executed by Mariana Goranova
“Youngsters Building Utopia” strives towards the creation of an active youth community, which would represent the voice of the young people in the local government, and which would increase the number of meetings and the level of communications of the student parliaments. The project activities include film screenings on important for the young people topics, a collective cleaning of the Kleptuza Park, drawing with natural materials, sculpture building, presentation of an exhibition and training on philanthropy and active citizenship. The project will be carried out on the territory of Velingrad and aims at partnering with the local government.
7. “Tsarski Pishtovi”, executed by Roberta Kostadinova
The aim of the educational project “Tsarski Pishtovi” is to inform young people about the different aspects of Bulgarian politics through interesting, understandable and accessible content on social networks, providing them with the knowledge they need in order to feel confident, informed and engaged. Activities include the creation of a Facebook community for active young citizens, a campaign drawing attention to civic participation, responsibility towards society and others. The project covers the whole of Bulgaria and targets people under the age of 35, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. The main target groups are pupils and students.
8. “Together again”, executed by Severim Bobachev
“Together again” aims at providing support to the elderly through volunteer activities carried out by socially engaged young people in solidarity with their communities, whilst also supporting the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Rhodope region. The project activities include helping with household and gardening chores, looking after animals, preparing traditional dishes, ritual breads, studying folklore songs and dances, local traditions and others. The two target groups are young people aged 18 – 29, including marginalized communities, who will assist the second target group – the senior citizens. The project will be implemented in Smolyan municipality and seeks to involve Smolyan Regional Administration, Agency for Social Assistance, the town halls of Taran and Selishte villages, the informal groups “Agora”, “Youngsters for Inspiration and Development” and association “Young Researchers for Youth Development” in order for the initiative to be carried out successfully.
9. “Alpha – الفا”, executed by Silsila Mahbub
“Alpha – الفا” is a project that aims to unite the people of the Middle Eastern community in Bulgaria, to provide them with a safe space where they can share their skills, problems and stories, to share their culture with the Bulgarian community and to show the many similarities between our cultures. The project activities include the establishment of a women’s club, sharing the successful stories of active citizens of the community on the social media, undertaking the first steps of establishing a cultural home, that will give an opportunity to the general public to experience the celebrations of the Middle East, the food, music, traditional clothing. The target group is refugees, who have received protection and have citizenship. The project includes different areas of Sofia.
10. “Young Firefighters”, executed by Stela Mincheva
“Young Firefighters” aims to support and encourage activism and development among youngsters by assisting the overcoming of the traditional stereotypical norms about the role of women and men in the firefighting profession. The project activities include training seminars with professionals from the “Disaster and Fire Protection” department, the organization of a “Young firefighter” competition and others. One of the main objectives is encouraging more girls to take interest in the initiative and their inclusion in the teams. The target group is youngsters aged 13 to 16. The project will take place in Shumen.
11. “Have a Coffee with Mekitsa in Village Varbitsa”, executed by Toni Ivanova
Through the project, an event targeting the citizens of Varbitsa, other nearby villages and the representatives of the Municipality of Vratsa, will be organized. The event’s activities include a farmer’s marker, degustation of mekitsi, demonstration of products associated with preparing a typical village breakfast. The goal of the project is to improve the reputation of the village and to show the positive social and cultural results achieved by the local community, characterized with cultural values, traditions and activities. “Have a Coffee with Mekitsa in Village Varbitsa” will be carried out in the village of Varbitsa, Vratsa municipality. The target groups are those living in the village: retired people, groups at risk, marginalized groups, local farmers and catering students.
12. “Intergenerational Meetings in Youth Space Smolyan”, executed by Valentin Kehayov
The project aims to contribute to the preservation and transmission of cultural heritage and traditions from adults to young people. The activities that this will be achieved through include conducting intergenerational creative workshops on art therapy – painting, applique, cooking traditional Rhodope dishes, as well as creating a podcast in the unique Rhodope dialect. Using “informal” tools the project seeks to facilitate intergenerational dialogue and assist in collecting stories, photos, recipes and cultural products. The target groups are people of different ages in Smolyan. The project will be achieved in cooperation with the municipality of Smolyan, Smolyan Regional Administration, Association “Rodopchanka Women’s Club” and Association “Future Now”.
13. “Unseen scene”, executed by Kristina Todorova
The project “Unseen Scene” is a platform for music events, designed to change the perception of socially engaged platforms, created by blind people. The goal of the initiative is to expand the opportunities of blind people in the social and cultural life and provide them with the opportunity to become mentors. The project adopts an interactive approach to unleash creativity and deliver innovative music events. Some of the activities include participating in a series of training workshops, organizing concerts and so on. “Unseen Scene” will take place in Sofia and its implementation will be supported by the National Culture Fund.
BFW’s team congratulates the authors of the awarded projects! We are looking forward to witnessing their implementation.
BFW’s Community Development program is carried out with the financial support of the Global Fund for Community Foundations.