The Project of the Year 2019 awards were announced for a fifteenth successive year. They are especially made by the prominent Bulgarian artists Georgi Capkunov. The ceremony took place in July but plenty of colorful and ever blooming tulips decorated the stage of the Peroto Literature Club. Maria Petkova from Tulip Foundation opened the event with words of the artist Georgi Capkunov „of course, the award will be a tulip – the flower is life, beauty, desire. But more important is the human hand, which helps, brings change, gives hope! “. This is the message of the annual awards - the good deeds are contagious, they bring people together, help when there is a need, give joy.
Svetlozar Jelev, director of the National Book Centre, welcomed participants and guests. „It is a great honor for us to be a host, but most of all a partner to Tulip Foundation and the Project of the Year 2019 awards. For us it is especially important to see the sense of what we do. Tulip Foundation and all the nominated and awarded projects for sure give us this essential hope.”
Iravan Hira, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Deputy Chair of BBLF shared that some years ago when first being invited to the Jury of Tulip Foundation he immediately joined as he realised that the foundation is focused on people who bring meaning to work. The efforts of those people are directed towards other people who need support the most. But they usually remain behind the scene, there is not enough attention and gratitude for them. “The mission of Tulip Foundation is fantastic as it facing people and shows respect and appreciation! Thank you all! “.
The members of the Jury announced the awards. Petya Kolcheva, the only Bulgarian female who has climbed the highest picks on all seven continents and managing director at Novel Consult shared „We are deeply impressed by the variety of projects, the creativity, but most of all by the endless efforts, the daily hard work and motivation. We, in business world, are aware how difficult it is to work every day in environment with serious obstacles and even though to do your best, to give support to others. What I very much liked about this very project is that it integrates and gives chances to people who otherwise would be left and forgotten. Those people with small but relevant support now live with dignity. It is ecological and based on a local tradition. It is The Wonderful Garden, where people with mental disabilities work! “
Ivaylo Spasov, CEO of Bulpros, continued „it was very hard to choose in between the nominated projects as there are proposals with exceptional qualities. „The Wonderful Garden“ is especially practical as it gives people chance to get a job, to have income as all of us in this room. I congratulate the team for the great result!”
Simona Metodieva accepted the award on the name of St. Nikolas the Miracle Maker Foundation with the words „For us this is exceptional award and recognition! The Wonderful Garden is not just a project, it is a dream come true for many people! We hope to be a successful model for social enterprise.“
Atanas Dobrev, CEO of Vivacom started with gratitude for all participants and guests who have come together to celebrate those that work every year to help others. “In our company we focus our social activities on education as we believe that the future requires educated people. In the project „Model for Integrated Development Centre“ I admire the prevention work – before real troubles in school, in life. If children do not go to school all our efforts to digitalize the education are in vain. When you integrate children in the beginning, when you help them with the first steps – it will be easier in the future. Important element is also the implementation of a proven model that engages all participants, parents, municipality, citizens, so to reach real integration.”
Snejina Petrova, theater and movie artist, Chair of Theater Department at NBU and leader of the interdisciplinary Project Medеa continued „I thank Tulip Foundation for the invitation and the live ceremony! It is very important that the ceremony, the celebration happens no matter what! I am here in my capacity of an actress, who is walking around the Roma neighborhoods of Sofia and Plovdiv for a few years now. That’s how we realised the Medea project with children from Roma communities in Azaryan Theater in Sofia and the Antic Roman Theater in Plovdiv. Prevention is crucially important. I am an eyewitness of the work with these children. They have never ever been late. The result of their presence in the theater was a change in the attitudes of my colleagues. This is an award for a model for integrated development. Congratulations! I wish you lots of inspiration for the future!“.
Elena Kabakchieva from Health and Social Development Foundation shared „For us this is an exceptional recognition for many years of intensive and focused work of a big team of specialists and co-workers, consultants. And donors, because such models could only become reality with great donors. Let me take the opportunity to thank Tulip Foundation as they were the first to see the potential of such approach long ago in the year 2000 and support initiatives for early childhood development. It is really hard to change the world of other people. And they do it. Many Roma parents change the traditions. We thank the member of the jury as if half of children – the human resources of the future, are at risk of not being able to successfully join the educational system and respectively the economic life, what future are we thinking about? I am proud and thankful to all colleagues from the nongovernmental sector that create this atmosphere in which it’s worth to work. It is an incredible sector with fantastic colleagues and friends. Sector based on innovation and professionalism.“
HE Andrea Wicke, Ambassador of Austria, addressed the awarded organisations „I am very glad to be part of the Project of the Year ceremony. I accepted the invitation with an enormous pleasure. As a person who knows Bulgaria for many years it was really important to me to see the development of the civil society, the positive changes in the attitudes toward different people and the efforts for their integration. All nominated projects have their qualities for making our world better. I congratulate all participants and thank them for all their efforts! I thank Tulip Foundation for its commitment for more just society with equal opportunities for everyone!“.