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Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking

by Bulgarian English Speech and Debate Tournaments Foundation
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
Engage 1000 Bulgarian students in public speaking
A student competitor
A student competitor

Dear Friends,

In the middle of February 2020, BEST Foundation hosted its first regional tournament for the Spring 2020 semester. Just under 300 students from all over the west half of Bulgaria participated in the tournament. The tournament was held at the American University of Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad. This is the university’s ninth time hosting a BEST tournament. We were incredibly honored to have US Ambassador Herro Mustafa speak at the opening ceremony and observe several student performances. 

Twenty-two teams attended the event, with students competing in each of BEST’s five events: Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, and World Schools Debate. The team representing Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS in Lovech won the large team award, while the small team award was received by Akad. Sergey Korolyov MSHS in Blagoevgrad. 

BEST Spring East Regional Tournament, scheduled at the Economic University, Varna on March 14-15, 2020

In the middle of March 2020, BEST Foundation was to host its second regional tournament of the Spring 2020 semester. However, due to the emergency situation developing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we chose to suspend our programming until further notice in compliance with government regulations. Around 320 students from all over the eastern half of Bulgaria would have participated in the tournament. This would have been the school’s first time hosting a BEST tournament.

BEST Foundation refunded the registration fees to all teams who requested it, as well as supported students and volunteers through their transport reimbursement process. We plan to hold a tournament at the Economic University in Varna once we resume our regular tournament programming.

BEST National Tournament was also canceled due to the pandemic. 

BEST Online Performance Showcase

Despite the cancelation of our Spring East and National tournaments, our students did not cease to impress by participating in our online showcase. The top performances have been posted on our YouTube channel and the certificates have been mailed to the students.

Summer Plans

Our new management team is working hard to develop creative ways to keep our community engaged. We have started an Alumni database and have conducted our first Instagram live interview with Ilin Papazyan an alumnus and judge, and planning on other virtual activities which will be announced on our social media and upcoming newsletter.

We are also participating in GlobalGiving's matching donation event "July Bonus Day" on July 15, where givers' donations will be matched. This is a wonderful opportunity for fiscally responsible gifting. 

We are very thankful for the continuous support and look forward to updating you with more amazing news in the next report. 

U.S. Ambassador speech
U.S. Ambassador speech
American University in Bulgaria main event hall
American University in Bulgaria main event hall
Coach and Teacher Tanya
Coach and Teacher Tanya
Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony

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Northeastern Student Leaders working on a project
Northeastern Student Leaders working on a project

The beginning of the 2019-2020 school year was exciting for both BEST Foundation and our entire community. We worked for Bulgarian students by holding a Student Leader Training in Blagoevgrad, as well as two Regional tournaments in Sofia and Burgas respectively.

A summer of reimagining and improving our Student Leader program culminated in the middle of September 2019, when we held the Student Leader Training. A group of over 50 talented and motivated students from all over the country gathered in Blagoevgrad to take part in an intense two-day project management curriculum. Almost all of them reported that they felt fully equipped to take on community projects in their home towns and cities at the end of the event, and we're looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish!

In the middle of November 2019, BEST Foundation hosted its first regional tournament of the academic year at Acad. Mihail Arnaudov 119th School in Sofia. Just under 300 students from all over the west half of Bulgaria participated in the tournament, making it the largest Fall West Regional tournament yet. This is the school’s second time hosting a BEST tournament. Nineteen teams attended the event, with students competing in each of BEST’s five events: Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, and World Schools Debate. The team representing Ekzarh Yosif I FLHS in Lovech won the large team award, while the small team award was received by Tsar Simeon Veliki Secondary School in Vidin.

At the end of November 2019, we had our second regional tournament of the academic year at Goethe German Language School in Burgas. Just under 300 students from all over the east half of Bulgaria participated in the tournament, making it the second-largest Fall East Regional tournament yet. This is the school’s first time hosting a BEST tournament. Twenty teams attended the event, with students competing in each of BEST’s five events: Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, and World Schools Debate. The team representing Zahariy Stoyanov FLHS in Sliven won the large team award, while the small team award was received by Nancho Popovich School of Maths and Science in Shumen. 

Thank you for all your support,

The team at BEST Foundation

Our 2019-2020 Student Leader cohort
Our 2019-2020 Student Leader cohort
Student about to deliver her Prose in Sofia
Student about to deliver her Prose in Sofia
Opening ceremony crowd at the Sofia tournament
Opening ceremony crowd at the Sofia tournament
Former BEST participant judging Prose in Burgas
Former BEST participant judging Prose in Burgas
Students at Burgas liking BEST on Social Media
Students at Burgas liking BEST on Social Media

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Dear BEST Foundation donors and friends,

 

It is with great pleasure that we're presenting you with our Annual Report for the 2018-2019 school year. In there you can find statistics from the year, engagement breakdowns, as well as stories from our stakeholders. The report can be found in the attachments.

Our second Fall tournament ended only several days ago, and as such we will report back on all the progress we made in the fall in a month. Activities you have to look forward to in that include our Student Leader program, Coach Trainings, and our first two Regional tournaments of the school year.

 

With immense gratitude,

Anna Fuselier
Chair of the Board of Directors
BEST Foundation


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Over the summer months, we at BEST Foundation have been hard at work setting up our upcoming events - Teacher trainings, Leadership trainings, and of course our cornerstone Speech and debate tournaments.

The summer break gave us time to reflect on everything we accomplished during the 2018-2019 school year, as well as in our relatively short lifetime as an organization.

  • We involved 896 students from all over Bulgaria and the Balkans in speech and debate tournaments last year, adding up to a total of 2427 unique students since BEST was founded in 2012.
  • 186 teachers and university students volunteered as judges at our events, for a total of 711 in our lifetime.
  • Representatives from 71 schools in 7 countries across the Balkans participated in our competitions over the past school year.

With all those in mind, we hope to engage even more people in the BEST community over the 2019-2020 school year. We're looking forward to sending you updates on all our events as soon as the school year in Bulgaria begins on September 16!

Thank you for all your support,

The team at BEST Foundation

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Opening ceremony of our National Tournament
Opening ceremony of our National Tournament

BEST Foundation raised over $6,000 through GlobalGiving in the March 2019 Accelerator, and since then we have held both a capstone National Tournament and a Student Leader Wrap-up Seminar to close out the school year.

Our National tournament hosted 42 schools from 29 Bulgarian cities all over the country, with 319 students participating in our activities. This tournament was the first in BEST history to use a qualification system - only students who had reached the semifinal stage at any one of our four regional tournaments this school year were invited to Nationals. This ensured the highest possible level of competition at the event, with the students pushing their public speaking limits more than ever before at a BEST event. You can read more about the tournament by going to our linked press release.

The inagural Student Leader Wrap-up Seminar was a resounding success. The Student Leaders presented reports of their year-long community projects to all their peers, showcasing what they have accomplished and how they have improved their respective communities. We will post more about the highlights of those Community Projects on our newsletter this summer, so stay tuned and subscribe following the link!

Thank you for all your support,

The team at BEST Foundation

National tournament interpretive performance
National tournament interpretive performance
National tournament Duo Interpretation
National tournament Duo Interpretation
National tournament Poetry Interpretation
National tournament Poetry Interpretation
National tournament World Schools Debate
National tournament World Schools Debate
Student Leader Wrap-up Seminar
Student Leader Wrap-up Seminar

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Organization Information

Bulgarian English Speech and Debate Tournaments Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Lina Jarad
Sofia, Bulgaria
$15,964 raised of $40,000 goal
 
178 donations
$24,036 to go
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