Annual Report of the Blagotvoritel Foundation:

2009

Blagotvoritel Foundation sees the reason for its existence in the dissemination of good will in society. Bearing that in mind, we aim at activating the creative potential of the people we support, thus recognizing universal human values. 

                                 

 

The main projects on which the Foundation focused over the year were related to supporting children deprived of parental care living in Sofia and the rest of the country. The projects are united by the idea of activating the creative potential of the participating children so that they experience successful integration into society.

 

2009 proved to be quite challenging for the Foundation’s team because, in addition to the long-term projects, which we had been implementing over a period of 4 years relying on internal funds, we had to invest a lot of effort into the  implementation of 3 new externally funded projects.

 

Long-term projects funded internally through donations:

 

Higher grades at school

Aim: To encourage the efforts and aspirations towards knowledge of children growing up without parental care in the social homes in Sofia, by the provision of monthly scholarships for achievement of grades above 4.5 and above 5.50 (the top grade at school being 6.00).

Results: Eighteen scholarships were granted for the second term of the 2008/2009 academic year – 3 for achievement above 5.50, and 13 for achievement above 4.5. The scholarships holders were from SOS Children’s Villages (8), the P.R. Slaveykov home (5), and from socially disadvantaged families (3). Scholarships were granted as well to two first-year university students at the Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia.

New regulations for granting merit scholarships to students from the Sofia homes were introduced in the first semester of 2009-2010. Candidates were asked to sit two competitive exams and the scholarship amount was raised to 50 leva (for achievement above 5.5) and 25 leva (for achievement above 4.5).  Eleven scholarships were awarded – 6 for top grades and 3 for grades above 4.5. Those who received scholarships were students from SOS Children’s Villages in Sofia (8), 1 pupil form the P.R. Slaveykov home and 1 orphan girl raised at the P.R. Slaveykov home. Two first-year students from the University of Sofia also received scholarships – these two girls were receiving scholarships from the Foundation while they were at secondary school as well.

The total number of scholarships granted in 2009 was 29 and the amount was 5 057,5 leva.

 

                                 

 

On the Web

Aim: To give children growing up without parental care, aged 7 – 18, the opportunity to have access to IT and the Internet, to overcome social isolation and have better opportunities for success on personal and vocational levels.

Results The number of internet clubs at children’s homes became 21.  The clubs at the following locations were provided with hardware and software maintenance: Sofia, Razliv, Dolana Banya, Bratsigovo, Isperih, Doganovo, Yakoruda, Blagoevgrad, Assenovgrad, Velingrad, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, and Novi Han.

More than 1500 children growing up in institutions gained access to the internet and are now able communicate with each other using the forum and chat options of the website www.vmreja.com.

The market value of the materials and services provided amounts to 7 654 leva.

 

                               

 

Social and vocational adaptation

Aim: To support young people, raised at institutions for children deprived of parental care in Sofia, who are coming of age, successfully pass the transition period between living in an institution and independent life, by providing them with additional vocational qualifications and supporting them find suitable jobs.

Results: One first-year student at the University of Sofia, raised at the Hristo Botev home, completed an Enlgish language course, and three youths from the Ana Gizdova home in Bratsigovo chose to take courses in cookery during the year.

During the 4 years of the project, 67 young people from the homes in Sofia and from socially disadvantaged families have had the opportunity to take exam preparation or vocational training courses, and some of them have been successful in finding suitable jobs.

The expenses related to vocational training under the project for 2009 amount to 1 070 leva.

 

Funding for activities outside projects amounts to 4039 leva and was spent on support for single mothers looking after their children at the St.Nikolay Home for orphans, for prizes for the winners of various competitions, and for the tuition of two children at the French school in Sofia.

 

                      

 

Short-term projects with external funding:

 

Creating my own life

Aim of the project: To support young people, raised without parental care, achieve quality social adaptation during their transition from life in an institution to independent life.

Target group: Thirty young people from varied social and ethnic backgrounds, aged 16-18, from the P.R. Slaveykov, Assen Zlatarov, Hristo Botev homes in Sofia, SOS Children’s Villages in Sofia, and the Ludogorie home in Isperih.

Duration: eight months, from 01.10.2008 to  31.05.2009

Results: Twenty-two vocational training courses for young people growing in social institutions were funded. Eight young people form the Ludogorie home in Isperih chose driving courses; one young person chose an IT course, 4 young people from the Sofia homes chose cookery courses, 2 – courses in hospitality, 3 – in beauty therapy, 2 – language courses, and 2 in mathematics exam preparation.

Funding: the total project budget amounts to 27 055 leva, where 25 701 leva are provided by the State Budget for 2008.

The total project expenditure for 2009 was 18 140 leva.

 

                                      

 

I Can. On Equal Terms.

Aim of the project: to provide opportunities for quality social integration to young people about to leave the homes for children deprived of parental care in the towns of Stara Zagora and Bratsigovo.

Target group: young people of varied social and ethnic backgrounds, living in the Vassil Petleshkov and Ana Gizdova homes in Bratsigovo, and the Bulgarka, Maria Tereziya, and Teofano Popova homes in Stara Zagora.

Stages: psychological training, training in proactive behavior for the labor market, and vocational training courses chosen by the young people.

Results: out of the 50 young people form the homes in Bratsigovo and Stara Zagora, who took part in the first two stages of the project, 27 successfully completed their courses – 19 in cookery, 4 in hairdressing, 3 in welding, and 1 in exam preparation.

Funding: the project was funded by Vivacom.

The total amount spent on vocational training courses under the project  in 2009 was 8 135 leva.

 

                                

 

Establishing a Social Services Centre in the Municipality of Bratsigovo

Aim: Restructuring of the Ana Gizdova social institution for children into a Social Services Centre for children and families at risk living in the Municipality of Bratsigovo.

Objectives:

  • To create the conditions needed to enhance the skills of young people for coping with independent life, outside the social institutions, by offering the “Transitional home” service.
  • Development and implementing the “Day Centre” service for the prevention of institutionalization of children at risk.

·         Development of re-integration services for the children from the Ana Gizdova home.

Duration: one year, from 28.11.2008 to 27.11.2009

Results: the premises of the Ana Gizdova home were renovated and furnished for the needs of the following services: “Transitional home” for 12 young people aged 16 – 18 and “Day Centre” for 10 children at risk from the Bratsigovo municipality. The teams of professionals working with the children and their families were formed and trained. Thirteen young people learned skills needed for independent life, 8 took part in vocational training courses in cookery and hairdressing. The quality of institutional care was raised for 29 children – 4 were re-integrated, 2 were adopted, 13 were transferred to the Vassil Petleshkov home where the conditions were better.

Funding: Phare programme BG 2006/018-343.01.01 - Deinstitutionalization through provision of community based services for risk groups.

 

                             

 

The total amount spent under the project was 163 373 leva.

 

As a result of all the projects implemented in 2009, 58 young people from the homes in Sofia and the rest of the country were able to take part in vocational training and university preparation courses.