We are well under way in our new academic year. Currently we have 45 youths involved in our program that come from four homes for orphaned children in Sofia, Plovdiv, Gabrovo and Berkovitsa. Most of the children have been participating in our program for years now and we also managed to attract new students.
We started the 2011-2012 life skills program in October with topics on building self-esteem, improving communication, conflict resolution and dealing with prejudice. Our participants were very excited about the topics and we had some very lively discussions drawing from the children’s personal experiences.
In October, we introduced a new career development activity to our program led by a professional career advisor. The advisor met with participating children and discussed their career plans and helped them make a checklist of skills they would need and a roadmap to acquire these skills.
Over the years, we noticed that our participants have gaps in very basic academic skills especially in Bulgarian language and mathematics. These gaps are very crucial in their future development as they decrease their chances of higher education, better jobs and a more comfortable living standard. This academic year we decided to take action by providing them with support from professional teachers. In December we began the process of recruiting teachers for all four orphanages we work with. So far we managed to find teachers for the homes in Sofia and Gabrovo. We expect to begin the support lessons toward the end of January.
Our next topic of discussions with our youths will be centered around caring for one’s health, disease prevention and addictions. We will be supported by several doctors and medical students who have been volunteering with us for the last two years.
We will continue to keep you updated on our progress and exciting new developments.
Thank you for the help and support! We wish you all a very successful, healthy and exciting New Year! Let 2012 bring us all good fortune and lots of good energy to continue doing good to those who need it the most!
Step for Bulgaria volunteer team
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