Six Organizations Will Follow Their Mission “Possible” with the Support of BFW
At the end of a year marked by multiple crises and challenges for the civil sector, the Bulgarian Fund for Women is pleased to share the final results of the competition to support the operational needs of organizations working for women’s rights, the “Mission: Possible” Program. Following the significant successes of the first two editions of the program, the Fund has continued to offer flexible long-term funding that increases the sustainability and capacity of organizations with proven potential for social change.
A total of 26 organizations from 15 locations participated in the open call. The eligible amount of support for an approved concept is up to 50 000 BGN and the funding will be within 12 months, ending in 2023. Below are the rankings and some highlights of the work and vision for the development of the awarded organizations.
1. Association “Doctors of the World – Sliven Branch” – 88 points. Approved funding from BFW: 50 000 BGN
Founded in 1980, Doctors of the World-France is an international humanitarian organization fighting for a just and universal health system. Its Bulgarian branch has been working in the predominantly Roma neighborhood of “Nadezhda” in Sliven since 2004 on women’s health, the environment and psycho-social well-being. One of its notable achievements so far is the recognition of the need for free access to contraception for uninsured women from the Municipality of Sliven, which from May 2021 covers gynaecological examinations for about 20 women each month. In the coming year, the association plans to expand its services targeting vulnerable groups, to mobilize and coordinate advocacy efforts for the adoption of a National Sexual Health and Family Planning Program in collaboration with other organizations, and to work to sensitize professionals and the general public to women’s specific health issues.
2. Association “Bulgarian Platform to the European Women’s Lobby” – 87 points. Approved funding from BFW: 49 970 BGN
The Bulgarian Platform of the European Women’s Lobby unites NGOs from all over the country working for gender equality, against all forms of violence against women and for ensuring the equal participation of women in decision-making since its establishment in 2005. Through the secretariat of the European Women’s Lobby, the Platform has repeatedly alerted European institutions to the problems of women in Bulgaria and has organized advocacy campaigns for equality at the international level. Part of the organization’s strategic goals for the coming year are to strengthen the women’s movement – especially among youth and in small towns, to increase the expertise of other civil society organizations on human rights, and to monitor key policies such as the National Strategy for Promoting Gender Equality 2021-2030.
3. GLAS Foundation (Voice in Bulgaria Foundation) – 85 pts. Approved funding from BFW: 29 000 BGN
The Foundation supports and protects the rights of immigrants and refugees seeking protection on the territory of Bulgaria by providing legal assistance and advocacy. It specializes in providing holistic support to very vulnerable migrant women, including victims of domestic and gender-based violence and human trafficking, based on the principle of case management. To ensure the continuation and growth of these established programs, the organization will build comprehensive fundraising and communications strategies with the support of BFW. At the national level, it will continue to advocate for the recognition of gender-based violence as a ground for refugee status and work actively to improve public attitude towards migrants.
4. Association Orion Grid – Care for Leaders and Authors: 82 pts. Approved funding from BFW: 49 600 BGN
The Association Orion Grid works for a democratic world free from oppression, where autonomous individuals and communities can develop and enable everyone to participate fully in social and political life. It has significant expertise in creating and transferring key feminist knowledge, developing methodologies for monitoring policies and programs related to gender-based violence, and advising activists and other public benefit organizations. With the support of BFW, Orion Grid seeks to build a permanent team, expand the audience for its free educational programs, and continue its support of communities driven by the pursuit of gender equity and climate justice.
5. Association The Women of Kazanlak – 80 pts. Approved funding from BFW: 38 361 BGN
Women of Kazanlak Association gives visibility to women’s issues through campaigns, actions and trainings at local and national levels. In 2021, just three years after its establishment, they opened a Center for the Prevention of Violence and a Center for Support, Training and Additional Qualification in the town of Kazanlak and have already doubled their initial members. The association’s goals for 2023 include opening new reception rooms, providing free legal and psychological counselling to a greater number of women, and attracting new members, including youth. Through participation in several national feminist networks and grassroots community mobilization, it will work for inter-generational dialogue and the strengthening of a national women’s movement.
6. Right to Childhood Foundation – 79 pts. Approved funding from BFW: 39 160 BGN
The Right to Childhood Foundation develops models for working with children and young people, focusing on girls, professionals and citizens that promote a culture of tolerance, non-discrimination, and respect for individuality. Women victims of domestic and gender-based violence, child victims of sexual abuse, asylum seekers and migrants are among those who have received free legal assistance from the organization. The cooperation with international institutions and networks of experts and civil society organizations helps promote good practices for the protection of the rights of women and children in Bulgaria. The Foundation will continue to improve access to justice for vulnerable groups, lead strategic cases and carry out advocacy initiatives and expert monitoring of state and municipal policies with the support of BFW.
About the Open Call:
A total of 26 organizations from 15 localities participated in the two phases of the competition. The first one involved the preparation of a Concept Form, evaluated by the Fund’s Program Team according to the following criteria: structure and goals of the organizations, work on marginalized issues, intersectional approach, and understanding of feminist values and principles. Representatives of the fourteen organizations shortlisted for phase 2 had the opportunity to attend an information meeting with the team on August 10, 2022, before preparing a detailed development strategy and provision budget for the next two years. The individual conversation held with each organization after submission allowed for an in-depth understanding of its specific context and needs, as well as jointly formulating guidelines for concept improvement before the final round of evaluation.
The BFW program team of Gergana Kutseva (Deputy Director), Rada Elenkova (Program Director), and Zara Rancheva (Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist ) formulated funding recommendations to the Board of Trustees based on the organizations’ performance in the interviews and their revised applications.
The key evaluation criteria were the relevance with BFW’s strategic goal to support distinctively feminist organizations that apply bold innovative approaches and foster solidarity with other social movements, the potential for achieving lasting social change, the relevance of the proposed activities, the availability of mechanisms for performance evaluation and learning, the comprehensiveness of the provision budget, and the availability of other funding sources. Additional points were awarded to organizations whose work takes place outside of Sofia, contributes to community mobilization, and/or influences individuals involved in the creation and implementation of public policies. The maximum number of points an organization could receive from the three assessors was 99, with a minimum eligibility threshold of 79 points including.
We would like to thank everyone who participated with their projects in this initiative. BFW will contact all those whose applications are approved for funding with information on the next steps. We wish success to the organizations that did not qualify for funding and look forward to seeing your ideas and concepts in one of our next open calls! Keep an eye on our website regularly for more information.
Due to resource constraints, BFW is unable to send individual feedback to the different organizations, whether they qualify for funding or not unless it is imperative and part of the next steps to work together. Telephone consultations will not be done either.