The ”BISTRA & GALINA” FOUNDATION SIX YEARS old
“The Mission of the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation comprises activities aimed at the creation of favourable conditions for nurturing rounded people of rich cultural background, encouragement of the creative, constructive rudiments in man, stimulation of the further development of cultural communication among people. Given all that, we have set ourselves the task to promote education, vocational instruction and the creative development of talented children and capable young people from Rousse and the region...” This was the justification to embark on a new activity six years ago, on July 10, 1998. We had long been in the frame of mind for such action but it became feasible only after the erection of the hotel of the same name. Six years is not a long time but the figures illustrating what we have accomplished can show the range of activity of a young structure. A hundred and eighty-one businesses, organisations and 53 individual donors are those who have trusted us and given their contribution to attain our common goals. We should not omit the enthusiasm of students and teachers from 28 schools in the Rousse region. In the final count we have contributed funds of 312 615 BGN, most of which distributed within the framework of the Foundation programmes: “The Talented Children of Rousse”, “The Family of the Good People”, “Partnership”, “Open Programme”. The “Bistra and Galina” Foundation takes pride in the laureates of national and international prizes and the annual grantees. For the first time in UNESCO’s 47-year history Bulgaria was awarded a medal in education, which came to Rousse. The “Atanas Burov” Vocational School became laureate of the “Ian Komenski” medal for its contribution to integrated education, which was realised with the assistance of the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation within the programme “The Family of the Good People”. The date was September 6, 2001 and the place - Geneva, Switzerland. In 2001 “Darik” radio bestowed its prizes for economy. The Foundation was distinguished as the best investment with the greatest social effect. In the book “Partners for Local Development - Successful Practices in Bulgaria” published by the Foundation for Reform in the Local Governance” and the Foundation “Start of Effective Civil Alternatives” (2001) the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation is represented with two of its initiatives - “Future for the Children” and “The Family of the Good People”. The years 2000 and 2001 were devoted to provision of humanitarian aid together with the Dutch organisation “Stichting Dialysehulp Buitenland” to the amount of 88 600 BGN distributed among 24 organisations, schools, hospitals, orphanages.
“The Children’s Summer Academy” held for five consecutive years has turned into a tradition. “Academics” aged 10 to 15 improve their knowledge and skills in different fields of study: mathematics, linguistics, chess, fine arts, dancing, entertaining psychology, theatre. Throughout the years 282 children studied in the Academy, which started with one classroom of 17 children in 2001 and reached 79 active participants in 2005. The professional qualifications of the tutors, undergraduates and volunteers in the five editions of the summer forum are incontestable. We would like to express our gratitude for their voluntary contribution and the high quality of their work. 2001 - “Fine Arts” - tutor Irina Peneva - undergraduate in the National Academy of Fine Arts, Foundation grantee. 2002 - Classrooms and tutors: The “Mathematics” course was done by Antoaneta Blajeva, teacher in the Textile Vocational School. The pupils worked on logical tasks, spatial and plane figures. In the “Computer Linguistics” classroom Iliana Raeva, Head of the Rousse School of Computer Linguistics and Lecturer in the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse trained the young talents in text decoding, coding of information and translation equivalents. Rostislav Raev - European champion in solving chess problems and master of sports with a Bulgarian coefficient ELO 2260, gave the young chess players theoretical background, taught them the peculiarities of the game, did training chess games. The “Fine Arts” classes were taught by Lidia Terzieva - Foundation grantee and sophomore in the the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse, Engineering Design speciality, and Aleksandra Gabrovska - 10th-grade artist in the “Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov” Secondary School of Arts. The children painted landscapes, figure compositions, they made plastic models, portraits, comics and cartoons.
In the “Modern Ballet” studio Natalia Tomova - Head of the “Mirage” Modern Ballet Formation at the Municipal Centre for Culture and Arts, trained the young dancers in the hip-hop and disco styles. Finally the group produced their own dance. 2003 - Classrooms and tutors: “Applied Arts” - painting on glass and clay: Slavina Ruseva, expert from the “Griffon” Gallery, trained the young artists in different decorative techniques for painted pottery. Desislav Gechev - expert from the “Griffon” Gallery and Aleksandra Gabrovska, Foundation grantee, student in the “Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov” Secondary School of Arts, taught the participants iconography in this classroom. The “Mathematics and Computer Lingustics” classroom was tutored by Iliana Raeva, Head of the Rousse School of Computer Linguistics and Associate Professor in the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse. The “Informatics” classroom was taught by Engineer Milko Marinov PhD, Lecturer in the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse and Georgi Kudrev – Foundation grantee and undergraduate in the “Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University, Informatics profile. The children in the “U-Shu” course were trained by Maria Nedelcheva – national U-Shu champion and Head of the “Kalagia” Sports Club. 2004 – Classrooms and tutors: “Fine Arts” – woodcarving and painting on clay, tutor Peter Doichinov - expert from the “Griffon” Gallery. “Glass painting and Arts”, tutor Desislav Gechev artist from the “Griffon” Gallery. “Computer Linguistics and Informatics” – tutors Associate Professor Iliana Raeva and Engineer Milko Marinov PhD from the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse. “Entertaining Psychology” – tutor Magdalena Dakova, psychologist. “Martial Arts” – U-Shu – tutors Maria Nedelcheva, Head of the “Kalagia” Sports Club, Tania Tzankova and Ivan Deskov from the “Kalagia” Sports Club. “Theatre Studio” – tutors Liudmila Petrova and Ognian Zhekov – actors. 2005 – Classrooms and tutors: “Journalism” – the classes were taught by Gergana Ilieva, editor-in-chief of the “Darik” radio – Rousse and Associate Professor Sonia Aleksieva PhD, Lecturer of Community Liaison in the New Bulgarian University, Sofia University, University of National Economics, a qualified journalist. “Pero” Literary Club – tutor Iglika Peeva, journalist in the Radio Centre of Rousse. “Mathematics Linguistics” – tutor Iliana Raeva, Head of the Rousse School of Computer Linguistics and Lecturer in the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse”. “Initial Programming” – tutors Katalina Grigorova PhD and Associate Professor Plamenka Hristova, lecturers in the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse. “Entertaining Psychology” – tutor Magdalena Dakova, psychologist. “Theatre Factory” – tutored by students from the New Bulgarian University Milena Stanoievich “Acting and Directing” speciality, Albena Hristova – “Dance Theatre” profile and Zlatna Mihailova – “Stage Decoration” profile. The year 2005 was celebrated by the Council of Europe as the Year for Democratic Citizenship through Education. The aim of the European institution was to draw the attention to the key role of education in consolidating democratic culture. In particular the Year had to promote the awareness of the fact that it is educating for democratic citizenship both in formal and non-formal education that can contribute to communal development and the quality of participation in a democratic society so that both young people and adults can live their whole life as active and responsible citizens respecting the rights of the others. The participation of School Association for Global Education SAGE in celebrating the Year involved a series of events among which was the publication of a best-practices book “Model School for Democratic Citizenship – Lessons in Citizenship 2”. The “Partnership” programme of the Foundation was presented in the publication, which was disseminated in a number of European countries. The donor model in building our organisation became an indelible part of the textbook entitled “Community Liaison” by Associate Professor Rada Kurshakova PhD.
Apart from focal events, the key issues that the Year emphasised comprised the elaboration of policies and curricula. The realisation of the programmes, the accomplishment of all projects and the prestigious place gained by the Foundation in the public activity area of Rousse would have been impossible without the selfless efforts and laudable empathy of the people who worked for the realisation of these ideas during the period 1999 - 2005. The members of the Foundation Board of Directors - Diana Antonova - executive director, Iva Chavdarova - Director of the March Music Days International Festival, Liubov Draganova, Head of European Integration and Bilateral Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Education and Science, Yordanka Nenova - Chairperson of School Association SAGE, Doctor Hristo Bosev - cardiologist, Notary Petia Trendafilova, Yuilka Yordanova - Administrator of “Sasha Impex” Company, Plamen Minchev, proprietor of the “Griffon” Gallery. Coordinators - Velina Tzekova, Maia Paskaleva, Yuilka Yordanova. Experts - Katia Petrova - social policy, Emilia Nikolova - fine arts, Todor Nenov - literature, Teodor Todorov - media. Margaret Mot argues that “...a small group of citizens, dedicated to a cause, can change the world...”. We subscribe to this dictum and as years went by others joined us. Hence in 2002 the idea of gratitude to the donor was born, the person who contributed to the greatest extent whether with funds, moral support or labour to the Foundation’s mission. “A Gold Prize for the Donor of the Year”/14 carats/ was established. The team was unanimous in their vote in 2002 to nominate Mr. Strashimir Burdarov. During the next years the prize was awarded to Ms. Nadka Georgieva - executive director of “Himsnab 7004” Shareholding Company, Mr. Chavdar Plaharov - executive director of “Sparki” Shareholding Company, Ms. Nezabravka Vicheva - deputy-manager of “Evrostar” Ltd, representative of Mercedes in Bulgaria.
The “Bistra and Galina” Hotel, possession of the Foundation, is only six years old but it has already been awarded several prestigious prizes, two of which are international. Shortly after its opening the “Bistra and Galina” Hotel was distinguished by the Bulgarian Restaurant and Hotel Association for the best investment in tourism (1999) and for boosting the image of Bulgaria abroad (2001). The same year proved very beneficial for the Rousse hotel-keepers - at the 27th International Ceremony in Frankfurt, Germany, they were awarded “The Arch of Europe” prize - gold category for quality - by the World Organisation Business Initiative Directions - BID. The “Bistra and Galina” Hotel celebrated its third birthday with yet another prize - the International Platinum Award for quality “┼Ó”. The prestigious distinction was granted at a formal ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, in July 2002 by the same BID organisation. It is interesting that for both awards the hotel was chosen by an international selecting commission, evaluating the companies along the system “Total Quality Management” (TQM), which comprises 110 criteria. Among these are: quality of service offered, customer satisfaction, innovations, management, leadership, communication system. The year 2002 was also marked by the choice of the Rousse Rotary Club to have “Bistra and Galina” as their permanent club location for two years. The high business class, the European cuisine, the quality of service, the unique architecture and the excellent maintenance of the hotel have gone to win a good name for it. The same year the restaurant gained a 40-seat beautiful summer garden with a fountain. 2004 saw the opening of the hotel extension and since 2005 the hotel complex has been member of the renowned international “Best Western” chain. The Foundation President Mr. Burdarov has announced his intention to have the proceeds of the complex used to promote arts and support the talents of Rousse. This has been the principle of the existing hotel, which after covering expenses, submits its income for the activities of the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation . It is the wish of the family of Strashimir and Zdravka Burdarov to continue their efforts in the same vein, thus arguing against sceptics who claim that there are fewer and fewer people donating funds to education, culture and arts. Thank you, dear friends and followers! Strashimir Burdarov, founder and president of the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation and proprietor of the “Bistra and Galina” Hotel Complex. The term of office of the Board of Directors was for three years and it has expired. On February 17th, 2006 a new Council of Management was elected and registered with an extended staff of 12 people, representing different creative fields. The Board of Directors is again chaired by the Foundation founder Mr. Strashimir Burdarov. Ms. Diana Antonova will have her third term of office as executive manager. The members who were re-elected as members of the Board of Directors of the “Bistra and Galina” Foundation are: Ms. Zdravka Burdarova - owner of the “Bistra and Galina” Hotel, Ms. Yordanka Nenova - chairperson of the School Association SAGE, notary Petia Trendafilova, Ms. Iva Chavdarova - musicologist, chief expert in the “Culture” department of the Municipality of Rousse, director of the March Music Days International Festival, Doctor Hristo Botev, Mr. Plamen Minchev, proprietor of the “Griffon” Gallery, Yuilka Yordanova -Administrative Manager of the “Bistra and Galina” Hotel. There will be three more people, who will work on the Foundation programmes, namely: Ms. Milena Aleksandrova - Deputy-manager of the “┬est Western Bistra and Galina” Hotel. She was born in city of Rousse and had her secondary education in the European Languages School “St. Konstantin-Kiril the Philosopher” and then acquired a B.A. in the Economic University of Varna, Economy and Tourism profile and an M.A. in the Veliko Turnovo University – International Tourism profile. She is proficient in French and English. Hobbies: travelling, reading books. Ms. Velina Tzekova - Manager of “Customer Liaison” of the “┬est Western Bistra and Galina” Hotel. She was born in town of Popovo and graduated from the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse with a B.A. in European Studies. She got an M.A. in “Finances and Credit” in the Veliko Turnovo University. She is proficient in English and French. She is married and her husband is an employee of the “Rapid KB” Ltd. - Sofia. She has two children - Vasilena and Kaloian. Ms. Gergana Ilieva - editor-in-chief of “Darik” radio - Rousse. She was born in Rousse. She graduated from the “Angel Kunchev” University of Rousse, acquired a B.A. in Intial School Pedagogy and Nursery School Pedagogy, as well as an M.A. in Ethnology and Linguodidactics”.