A stand of the Step for Bulgaria Foundation at the “Education 2016” conference

At the time of the “Education 2016: Equal access to education for every child” conference at the University for Architecture, Civil engineering and Geodesy in Sofia on the 28th and the 29th of October, outside the conference hall, a stand of the Step for Bulgaria Foundation was receiving everyone willing to become familiar with the Foundation’s activities and with its Mentoring programme in particular. The event was hosted by ¨Education 2030¨, the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and the Teach for Bulgaria Foundation, with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation. 

At the exhibition, as part of the presentation of the Mentoring programme of the Foundation, the guests of the event had the opportunity  to share their vision of the Mentor´s personality and of  the most important qualities that a good mentor should have. The answers to the question: “What is a Mentor?” showered our stand during the two-days-conference.


Adventurous journey in the end of “The award for all” project

Our young people and volunteers will participate in the the first camp – adventurous journey taking place in Bulgaria under the “Award for all” project, which will be carried out from the 20th untill the 26th of August, 2016 at the National training centre of the Bulgarian red cross in the village of Lozen. The adventurous journey fostering the adventurous and discovering spirit of the participants represents one of the four main directions of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Bulgaria – one of the leading youth programmes for personal development and achievements. The skills and qualities that the adventurous journey aims to develop in the participants are coping in unfamiliar environment, teamwork, planning and setting of goals. We wish them inspiration and to conquer their own personal heights!

A friday circus

Recently, one late afternoon in July, our group of 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 under the expert instructions of a native Balkan character such as Bay Ganyo. I doubt that Aleko Konstantinov himself has ever expected such thing…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.

A new adventure :)

In the beginning of June, together with the young people from Kostenets, we went on another adventure!

We visited “Lufthansa Technik Sofia” where we saw airplanes in the hangars, a cockpit from the inside (it was not exactly like the ones from the movies), as well as dismantled airplane parts. For some of the young people the experience was absolutely exciting, because until now they had never seen an airplane up close.

“Step for Bulgaria” foundation with a new internship programme

The internship programme of the “Step for Bulgaria” foundation has begun. It is conducted together with “La Pastaria” chain of restaurants. The applicants must be young people willing to work in the fields of cooking and restaurant management and who possess the motivation needed. The positions are for waiters and assistant-chefs.

We started working in Kostenets!

Now five young people from the city of Kostenets have their own mentors who help them with the difficult decision “What am I going to do after school?!? They discuss with them their future academic and professional development and give them some helpful practical advice. The five young people are from G. S. Rakovski vocational school and study in professional fields Tourism and Mechanical Engineering. We wish the new couples young person – mentor good luck! 🙂

Since the beginning of 2016 we expand the programme towards smaller residential areas, strongly driven by the belief that the young people there also need help in choosing a field of study and a future career path, in managing their personal finances and in taking decisions independently.

Why should there be volunteers ?!?

An answer to this question give the volunteer Irina and the teenager Andrey – both of them participate in the mentoring programme of the “Step for Bulgaria” foundation.

Our activities depend entirely on our volunteers and to us it is very important for them to find meaningful what they do. We believe that helping someone to become independent serves as a pretty good motivation!

You can watch the whole interview for the evening news of the Bulgarian National Television from HERE.

An award for everyone!

We told our youth about The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award! Within one afternoon we went through all four directions of the Award: physical recreation, skills, service, adventurous journey. We drew careers and folded origami, we taught people, we jumped, we helped our buddies and we pitched tents!

And yes, it was a very amusing and enriching experience 🙂 We have already gathered the first people, willing to take part in the competition against themselves! We would like to express our cordial gratitude to our volunteers – Leaders in the Award! We would also like to thank The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Bulgaria for their hospitality!

Become a mentor of a young person!

Become a mentor of young people – boys or girls aged 15 – 25, without parents, from needy families or with fewer possibilities, meet them twice per month and help them to cope with:

­- preparation for school;

– career guidance and professional fulfillment;

– overcoming real life problems, that the young people have to face in their family or social environment;

– the challenges of living on their own.

A couple of years ago the “Step for Bulgaria” foundation started developing a mentoring program providing assistance to young people. We have noticed that young people who are underprivileged or live in smaller residential areas have poorer access to educational and career opportunities, that people of the same age take for granted. Later on, this leads to serious difficulties associated with their professional orientation and career fulfillment. These are exactly the problems that we, the “Step for Bulgaria” foundation, address. Now we have expanded our mentoring program to the village of Gorna Malina and to the city of Kostenets, and soon we will start working in Vidin.

You can apply for our volunteer mentoring program by completing the questionnaire from HERE or by completing it through our mission at “Timeheroes”. The approved volunteers will also participate in a start up training taking place around the end of March/the beginning of April.

You can contact us by phone: 0878 577 135 or by e-mail: stepforbulgaria@gmail.com

A new board games meeting

We have found a very amusing and useful way of spending the mid-term break! 🙂

After the success of the previous board games meeting, we organised a new one. This time the girls from the “Agapedia” foundation enjoyed their time at the “Three trolls house” while at the same time acquiring skills such as goal setting and effective communication. We have noticed how wonderful team players they are. Well done to the people taking care of them!

Our project has been chosen for Project of the month

In February our project “Teaching life skills without parent”s which is on GlobalGiving (a donations platform) has been chosen for Project of the month! In February the Project of the month club members will donate for the project.

 Within the project we organize events for our youth and volunteers – trainings, visits of cultural events, board games sessions. We are very proud and happy that other people also believe in our cause and support it!

You can see/support the project:  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/project-of-the-month-club/updates/

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