Who We Are?
Our main goals
Initiate students into the paths towards a Psychology career
Facilitate the deinstitutionalization processes of both children and elderly people in Bulgaria by providing them with care and support.
Children living in institutional homes in Bulgaria were regularly abused, harassed and malnourished. As a consequence, many suffered lifelong physical traumas and emotional damages. Moreover, they were not taught to the necessary life skills in order to live on their own after leaving such institutions. Deinstitutionalization is the process of replacing the institutional setting for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to take care of them, with family or family-like environment within the community. The main aim of the process is to enable children to integrate into the society and to develop as individuals. Bulgaria has already started its path towards deinstitutionalization when the Bulgarian government and the European Union adopted the National strategy “Vision for Deinstitutionalization of Children in Bulgaria” in 2010. Although statistical analysis from the Agency for Social Assistance shows that the number of children living in institutions is decreasing, falling from 6226 in 2011 to 2721 in 2014, children are still are entering institutional care. It could be argued that this is happening because there is lack of educational and health services which are trained to work with children with physical and mental disabilities. In addition, in 2014, the government accepted another policy related to the improvement of the social services in Bulgaria, namely “National Strategy for Long Term Care”. Its main goal is to create conditions for independent and decent life for abandoned, disabled and mentally ill senior citizens by improving their access to quality health and social services. Unfortunately, the situation regarding the elderly people in Bulgaria does not differ much from the one with children as they are often mistreated and neglected.
Contribute to the maintenance of volunteering
Volunteering is the activity that enables people from all over the world to come together and succeed in accomplishing life-changing goals. There is no doubt that volunteering has an enormous impact on the well-being and mental health of communities worldwide. In fact, voluntary work is becoming increasingly popular because it allows individuals’ not only to give and enhance their sense of purpose but also to challenge, act and therefore, change the organization, structure and environment of a certain community. It is extremely important to support volunteering because of its myriad benefits for today’s world society.
• ”St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo and in particular, the Psychology Department at the university. During the four weeks of the placement, students will attend lectures, workshops and seminars, which will be organized especially for them by one of the most highly ranked Psychology departments in the country.
• The Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo and in particular, the Directorate of Health and Social services, which main aim is to improve the existing social services for people from vulnerable groups. Moreover, the directorate is constantly incorporating innovative social services, strategies and policies in order to achieve that goal.
• Community Support Centre “SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria” which aims at supporting families at risk in order to develop their capacity to take care for their children.
• Crisis center “Balvan” which is a complex of social services for children who were victims of violence or traffic. The centre aims to meet their daily needs and develop individual programs for their social integration, mental and emotional stabilization.
• The Municipality of Zlataritsa which actively supports the process of deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria.
• The Municipality of Novo selo
• Centre for Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy “LOGOS” which provides qualified psychological help and support.
• Cardiac Clinic, Veliko Tarnovo
What our previous volunteers say
If you would like to talk to our previous volunteers, please let us know.
Mirela Velikova Director
Pepa Neykova Co-ordinator
Tsveta Toshevska Co-ordinator
Nezhda Seyfulova Co-ordinator