Project of the Month March 2007 - Information Centre, village of Velchevo, Veliko Tarnovo Municipality
Chitalishte “Svetlina – 1892”, village of Velchevo

In 1892 in our small mountain village some progressive citizens launched an initiative for founding the chitalishte. Since then the chitalishte has been the centre of culture and knowledge and has encouraged the awakening of the people. It has become an institution that has preserved the moral and the culture of the people in the village.

After the new registration of the chitalishte in 2005 the board of trustees set ahead new and more ambitious goals – to create better conditions for recreation and cultural activities. In partnership with the Club of the retired and the disabled people the chitalishte started organising various cultural and festive events for the people in the village of Velchevo, among which the day of the midwives, Trifon Zarezan, the day of the patron saint of the village – St George, etc. 

In March we organised a trip to the social institution for the elderly people in Veliko Tarnovo and celebrated together with them the International Women’s Day. We presented our hosts with hand made martenitzi. Among the other surprises for our hosts were lots of presents and home made food. We did not forget the children living in the social institution in the town of Debeletz and on the 1 June we visited them bringing with us a lot of treats. We knitted 70 pair of socks and slippers in the winter of 2006/2007, organised a trip to the town of Kazanlak and an exchange with the village of Balvan.

After reviving the traditions in the village life the chitalishte board of trustees came to the conclusion that wider scale social activities were needed since more than 95 % of the population of the village belonged to the third age. The elderly people have difficulties visiting the administration offices in Veliko Tarnovo and have no access to the latest information. This was our main reason to develop this project and to implement it. The information centre received funding and we bought all the necessary equipment – computer, copy machine, printer, scanner, laminating machine – as well as the materials needed for the renovation of the premises. Grandmothers and grandchildren joined the renovation work of the premises and volunteered their time and efforts. The other two initiatives – collecting books for the chitalishte library and different items for the ethnographic exhibition – were also met with enthusiasm.

Before the official opening of the Information Centre two meetings were organised with representatives of the National Centre for Social Care in Gorna Banja and a selection was done among the people from the village who can apply for orthopaedic shoes.

After the official opening of the Information Centre a promotion month was announced. The people from the village had free access to the cervices offered at the Centre – 112 free copies were made of documents. A timetable was prepared for lectures and meetings with representatives of different institutions on issues affecting the community. A meeting took place with specialists from the Municipal Forestry Department on the issue of subsidising farmers. More meetings are planned with representatives of the regional Council on Environment, the water supply company, the Police department, etc.

Chitalishte Svetlina - 1892 
Village of Velchevo 5032 
Veliko Tarnovo Municipality 
Tel. 061101/220 

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