Teach life skills to children without parents

by Step for Bulgaria Foundation
Vetted

Dear friends,

We would like to share with you a joyful occasion!

Recently, the process of teaching social skills to our youth was marked by a new and exciting activity in the form of a beloved childhood attraction - the circus! The focus once again was on underprivileged children and young people developping their communication and other social skills in a different from their everyday setting, in the presence and with the help of our volunteers.

It was one late afternoon in July when our joint experience took place. Our group of children, young people and volunteers gathered eagerly round the manege of circus “Ivanov” in Mladost residential quarter in Sofia. What unfolded before our eyes, in the unanimous opinion, was spectacular and surpassed most of our expectations. It is not every day that you see Batman, Superman, Spiderman and other “Marvel” characters dance ratchenitsa (a traditional Bulgarian dance) under the expert instructions of a native Balkan character such as the nutorious Bay Ganyo, put into life by the brilliant Bulgarian author Aleko Konstantinov in his writing.

Apart from classical circus acts with dogs, cats, ponies, ostriches and snakes, we also saw many animals you don’t expect to see in our latitudes and that do not fit into our notion of circus artist – an African porcupine, a kangaroo and a bison. Moreover, I think that not many people can talk big about having caressed a python or a skunk. Of course, we didn’t miss the opportunity to take some pictures of us in front of the party-coloured circus wagon. It was a truely memorable and vivid expereience, through which we created a new setting for the young people to discover!

Thank you for making this possible!

Dear friends,

the summer is about to begin, but we have even more exciting news! Do you remember the youths from Kostenets who study engeneering and we took to an engineering fair? They were so happy with that trip, that we took them to a second one. This time we visited Sofia airport and Lufthansa Technik airplane repair center. We could see where and how airplanes are being repaired, have a close view of an engine and other airplane parts, see the cockpit from the inside. The youths could ask the workers there many questions and see how important the job of the techniks is. Some of the youths were very imperssed as they had never seen an airplane before! Afterwards we went for a sightseeing trip around Sofia and lunch.

We continue our work with the youths from Gorna Malina as well. Last time we practised for a job interview. Also, we believe that skills are most easily acquired on the spot and that's why we started a traineeship program with a restaurant where the youths receive training and then, if they like it, their first real job! We already have three girls working there! 

 Another great thing we're planning now is the participation of two of our youths in an international exchange in Spain! There they will meet other young people from all around Europe, practice their English language skills and talk how to prevent racism. We strongly believe that similar experiences are eye-opening for young people!

Thank you for making all this possible! We also kindly remind for the GlobalGiving bonus day on June 15th beginning at 9:00 at EDT when your donations helping youth will be matched!

Best,

Gergana

Dear friends,

It's time to share all that has passed through the last two months. And it's a lot! Since we were chosen for Project of the month, we managed to expand our activities to two smaller towns. 

In the town of Kostenets we now work individually with 5 youths and managed to bring to an Engineering fair in Sofia 20 youths. At school they study engenerial subjects and were quite interested to see what big engineering companies can offer them. One of their teachers said that "each trip out of the small town opens their eyes". With the 5 that we work individually with we talk about their future jobs, life goals, university career. We also did some sports together.

Also, we started working with several youths from a small town near Sofia - Gorna Malina. The young people there are very interested into and confused about their future university careers. We speak with them what different proffesionals do, help them reaserach what is needed to become professional in a certain area and discuss what are the perspectives. We visited a lecture called "What is journalism - myths and reality" and an event where many universities were presented. We also went together to a job fair so that the youths could ask questions about their CVs, job applications, requirements for different jobs. 

Finally, we organized a joint event for youths and volunteers. We presented them a new program that helps young people develop their skills in different areas and at the end they even get an award (the Duke of Edinburg's International Award). Together we learned how to fold origami, dance some traditional danses and what to do when we go camping and have to sleep in a tent. It was fun!

Dear friends, thank you for making all this possible! We wouldn't be able to help our community without you!

Best,

Gergana 

Dear friends,

We have great news to share with you! Our project Teach life skills to children without parents has been selected for GlobalGiving’s Project of the Month. Our team was delighted to hear the good news! This means that this February GlobalGiving's Project of the Month Club members will be supporting this project. The project you have been supporting throughout the years! The project in which you’re part of the team! You can see it here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/project-of-the-month-club/updates/

We already have plans how to expand our activities so that we can also include youths from smaller towns in Bulgaria. We plan to take 10 young people from a school in Kostenets, Bulgaria to a technical education fair in Sofia. Also, we can include 5-10 more youths from a close village where they lack opportunities for personal development.

We also want to tell you about the last event we organized for our youths – another Boarding games session! The first week of February was mid-term holiday in Bulgaria and schools were closed. So, we arranged for the youths to spend some quality time playing and learning about goal setting, effective communication, team play (and geography). They enjoyed this session a lot and we were pleased to see that they have team spirit:)

Thank you for all your help! When we see that other people believe in our cause we know that our efforts are worth it! 

Best regards,

Gergana Kicheva

Project manager

Happy New Year, dear friends!

Hope it’s full of joy, love and good health! Thank you for all you have done for our cause throughout 2015!

We have a great new idea to share with you! We spent lots of time thinking how to make teaching soft skills, entrepreneurial and financial skills more exciting for the youths. And here’s the decision we came up to: we started organizing board games sessions! It’s fun, it keeps the attention of youths and, meanwhile, it teaches many skills. We chose games that are both easy to understand but also practically oriented towards a set of skills – mainly financial management and goals setting. Both volunteers and youths played together, so that they could also practice their communication skills with people from different backgrounds.

At first, the youths were quite skeptical saying they didn’t know the rules and maybe couldn’t play but this lasted for not more than 5 minutes. After that, they didn’t want the session to end. We plan a new one in January!

Thanks for making this possible!

Have a lovely year!

 Best regards,

Gergana Kicheva

 

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Organization Information

Step for Bulgaria Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website: http:/​/​www.stepforbulgaria.org
Project Leader:
Evgenia Peeva
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria
$51,626 raised of $60,000 goal
 
 
904 donations
$8,374 to go
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