friends of bg

Friends of Bulgaria focusses on the wellbeing of children growing up without parents or family in institutional care. Funds are allocated to NGO (non-governmental organisations) partners responding to local initiatives for improving the quality of life of children in care living isolated, routine-bound existences, often lacking in stability being housed in centres undergoing fundamental change in the process of de-institutionalisation.

In such circumstances, Friends of Bulgaria oversees projects that are tailored to address the specific needs of toddlers, teenagers and adolescents – some of whom may have social, mental and physical disabilities – to promote their self-esteem in preparation for their life as independent adults. Projects introduce children to music, dance, theatre and sport to encourage self-confidence in social communication and engagement as well as self-awareness in recreational pursuits. Other projects practice life-skills or adopt the mentoring principle to assist with educational needs and to foster personal relationships to equip individuals leaving care for further study or professional employment. 

Friends of Bulgaria Traditional Christmas Party 2019

Christmas Party Wednesday – 11 December 2019, from 7.00pm to 11.00pm
at the Bulgarian Embassy, 186-188 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HL

PATRON HE Ambassador Marin Raykov

Drinks, Bulgarian buffet dinner, Musical Entertainment. The evening’s programme will include, Bulgarian folk songs performed by the London Bulgarian Choir, Jazz, Pop and Tradition Song performed by Ivelina Tsoneva and a silent auction. Find out more here.

NEW: Bulgarian Kukeri will join us – a rare opportunity to experience the unique tradition.

Buy your tickets here.

Delivering projects designed to promote:

Communication & Social Skills

Through engagement in the creative and performing arts and sport: Childrens’ Clubs introduce individual and group practice in art and artistic crafts, song and dance, and sporting activities.

Personal Development

Enhanced through Mentored Outreach projects targeting individuals’ social, emotional, physical and educational difficulties; often linked to promoting

Life Support Skills

In computer literacy, cooking, accountancy.

Outward Bound Experiences

In Summer Excursions to rural landscapes and to the coast and seaside promoting team building across the ages.

Friends of Bulgaria works in partnership with NGOs in Bulgaria

ZOV: Children's Summer Camps 2019

Thanks to the generosity and support of Friends of Bulgaria 56 children from 5 homes stayed at Baba Stana where they did some walking, learning to cook, making art and craft sessions, theatre and visited local places of interest.

“We would like to show our respect and gratitude to Friends of Bulgaria, who once again supported us and again provided their wonderful home in Baba Stana for our young people….. Most sincerely THANK YOU for your huge hearts!” Maya Bojkova, director of Centre for disabled youth and adults.   read more here

The Trekking Spirit Project

Jan Kozlowski and Eva Kaznelson successfully trekked 6000 kms across Europe from Bulgaria to Spain raising funds for the benefit of disadvantaged children.

Through contact with Friends of Bulgaria they visited project centres managed by ZOV and have forwarded funds to for the purchase of privacy window blinds at the Crisis Centre for Girls in Veliko Turnovo.

Jan Kozlowski, TrekkingSpiritProject

 

Children's Summer Camps 2018

Friends of Bulgaria enabled just as many Children’s Summer Camps in June and July this year as previously, giving over 70 children without parents and some with disabilities to enjoy the novelty of environments in the mountains or at the seaside introducing them to new outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming as an instructive alternative to the institutional homes they know all year-round.

ZOV Childrens Club at Penyo Maria – new Sports Room

At the opening, Deputy Minister of Social Care Department Bulgaria Rositsa Dimitrova said:

“Organisations like ZOV are a great example of collaboration between institutions. Other organisations should learn how ZOV helps children and how to be consistent, sustainable supporting not only for the children but the whole child protection system. I have never known an organization like ZOV. I am so proud of what ZOV is doing”.

February 2018

Project providers ZOV, Veliko Turnovo

A team from Friends of Bulgaria visited ZOV programmes in several centres pictured below

ZOV initiative to extend the Outreach Mentoring programme to Children in Care in Vratsa is the focus of Friends of Bulgaria special Christmas Appeal 2017

Friends of Bulgaria Project Sites
  • Sofia: Star of Hope HalfwayHouse – supported accommodation for leaving care
  • Veliko Turnovo: ZOV: Penyo and Maria family centres, Two Family Centres, Crisis Centre
  • Gorna Oryahovitsa: ZOV: Day Centre and Family Centre for Children with Disabilities
  • Varna: Karin Dom Foundation: Early Childhood development support for Mental and Physical disability including Foster Care families
  • Lovec: Municipality: Paraskeva Neikova Dom: Residential Centre
  • Dalbok Dol: Troyan Municipality: Centre for Rehabilitation and Integration
  • Troyan: Municipality, Ivan Hadjiskii School: Support and integration for disadvantaged children
  • Stara Zagora: Municipality: Nezabravka Orphanage
  • Petrovo: Blagoevgrad Province:Home for children with mental disabilities
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