Recognition for professionals
Awards Project of the Year

The traditional Project of the Year awards were presented at a public ceremony at Sofia City Art Gallery on 2 July. Surrounded by paintings by Dechko Uzunov, we talked about the skills of civil society organisations to identify and meet professionally the needs and offer opportunities for development of people in Bulgaria - children, older people, residents of small settlements, families with young children, young people with learning difficulties or disabilities, young and old in a digital environment. A jury composed of Tsvetanka Mincheva, CEO and Chairman of the Board of UniCredit Bulbank; Snezhina Petrova, actress and head of the Theatre Department of  Tsveta Nikolova, journalist at the Hristo Botev programme of the Bulgarian National Radio; Irena Komitova, representative of The Economist Group and Svetlozar Zhelev, Director of the National Book Centre selected the winning projects.

Snezhina Petrova, actress and head of the Theatre Department at New Bulgarian University; began with an exciting story about a small workshop in a cosy sub-Balkan town. Young men and women work there with the support of a local civic organisation. They are socially connected, acquire knowledge and skills, make friends.  At the end of the story she announced the award for the Workshop for cookies project of Future for Children Association  in Kazanlak. Irinka, Galya and Andreana Dimova accepted the award with the words "Thank you for believing in us!".

Tsvetanka Mincheva, CEO and Chairman of the Board of UniCredit Bulbank said "I fully share the values of the Foundation - personally, working to ensure that more young people and more women have opportunities for development in Bulgaria, but also as a representative of a bank whose mission is also to create opportunities for growth." She presented the award for the Media Literacy for Seniors (65+) project of the Media Literacy Coalition to Angel Georgiev from the Board of the Coalition. He talked about the trainings within the framework of the author's program on media literacy for seniors, which have been conducted since 2019 in cooperation with community centres and libraries across the country by journalists certified as trainers.

Anna Zaharieva from the Board of Tulip Foundation shared her impressions of the nominated projects with Irena Komitova, representative of The Economist Group, as a member of the jury. She described them as "truly exciting and significant. I tried to evaluate them as objectively as possible, but they all deserve awards!" This is the reason for her stated additional financial support for the best projects. 

Tsveta Nikolova, journalist at the Hristo Botev programme of the BNR, spoke about the need and the meaning of projects to overcome difficult problems on the ground with the participation of the people. She told about her impressions of life in small settlements, about challenges young people face, about the limited opportunities of isolated groups, and announced the award for the project Young people speak, young people choose of the Bulgarian Family Planning and sexual health Association. Young participants in the activities and representatives of the organization accepted the award together, saying "We worked with young people from the university and several Roma neighbourhoods so that they look for local problems, define them and propose solutions together. The award is for all of us and for all of them. Thank you for the recognition!"

The competition was held for the nineteenth consecutive time. We received 16 nominations from all over the country. Not many in number, but extremely diverse and directly related to people, projects were presented by civil society organizations and partners, donors and participants, volunteers and citizens. The nominated projects were evaluated according to the previously announced criteria - results achieved; sustainability of the activities over time; financial efficiency; participation of people from the target groups and the local community in the planning and implementation of the activities; innovation and applicability of the idea in other localities.

The prizes are equal. They are specially designed by Georgi Chapkanov Tchapp.

The competition and the ceremony were realised with the media partnership of NGO Portal Bulgaria and in cooperation with Sofia City Art Gallery.

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