10 YEARS "BISTRA & GALINA" FOUNDATION

“The mission of „Bistra & Galina“ foundation is to conduct activities with the purpose of generating conditions for shaping spiritually and culturally Śxpanding and personalities; to encourage the creative beginning within a man; to assist in further development of the cultural interaction between people. With that in mind, the set up goal is facilitating education, professional training and art growth of talented and capable children and young people of Ruse and the region…” Ten years ago, on July 10th 1998 that was the motivation for us to institute the beginning of an activity, for which we had had a psychological preparation, but its realization became possible after the construction of „Bistra & Galina“ hotel. Ten years is not a long period of time, but the figures that illustrate what has been done can only show the scale of accomplishment of such a young structure. Two hundred eighty eight companies, organizations and 112 individual contributors believed in us and helped us realize our common ideas. We cannot forget the enthusiasm of students and teachers from 28 schools in Ruse district. The result is a sum collected, the biggest part of which came from „„Bistra & Galina““ hotel and has been distributed within the programs of the Foundation: “The Talented Children of Ruse”, The Family of Good People”, “Partnership” and “Open Program. „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation is proud with the laureates with national and international awards and those granted with annual scholarships.

Year 2001 For the first time in the 56-year history of UNESCO, Bulgaria is awarded with the most prestigious prize for outstanding achievements in education and innovations – the „Ian Amos Comenius“ medal. The date is September 6, 2001, the venue – Geneva, Switzerland. The honor goes in Ruse, in Secondary Vocational Technical School of Mechanical Engineering “Atanas Burov”. The medal is rewarded for the colaborative project of the Ministry of Education and Science – on behalf of the Secondary Vocational Technical School of Mechanical Engineering “Atanas Burov” and „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation for integrative education of children with special needs. The honor is received during the 46th UNESCO International Convention for Education, held in Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 5-8, 2001. The main topic of the conference was “Education for all, learning to live together: subject matter and strategies – problems and solutions”. Eighty Education Ministers, 800 teachers and delegates from 180 countries took part in the forum. The Chief of UNESCO Sector Education – Mr. John Daniel and the president of the International Bureau of Education – Mr. Peter de Mayer warded 8 laureates - 5 individual and 8 group awards, amongst which was the Bulgarian project. In 2001 Darik Radio awarded „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation for Investment with Most Significant Social Effect. Foundation for Local Government Reformation and Foundation “Start for Effective Citizenship Alternatives issue a book in 2001- “Partners for Local Development – Successful Practices in Bulgaria” in which „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation is represented from the Ruse region with two initiatives: “Future for the Children” and “The Family of Good People”. The years’ 2000 and 2001 signifficance was the humanitarian aid from the Dutch organization “Stichting Dialysehulp Buitenland” at the amount of 88,600 BGN distributed along with „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation among 24 organizations, schools, hospitals, orphanages. Year 2002 One of the major events in Ruse for 2002 was the National Summit of the Coordinators of the Associated UNESCO Schools from Bulgaria, organized by the Ministry of Education and Science (7-9 of March).

Representatives of the 56 schools operating within the international organization we present. A presentation of the activities of the following project was part of the curriculum: “The Personality within the Society – Conflicts and Communication”, “Family Culture – Bridges Between the Generations”, an ecology project of the Secondary Vocational Technical School of Electric Engineering – Ruse. Within the summit a round table was also organized: ”The Role of the Associated Schools for Inprovement of Education”. „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation was hosting and sponsoring the forum and the children who have been given a grant from the foundation took part in the especially held for the event concert. An International Summer Camp “The Art of Communication and Creation” within the system of the European schools associated to UNESCO was held and representatives from 24 countries took part in it from May 16th to 22nd, 2002. The discussion forum contained: 4 student and 2 teacher workshops, Language school visits and practical activities, research of profiles and models, establishment of Internet discussion theme clubs. Ruse region was the area of the forum; meetings were conducted in schools in Ruse, Shumen, Gabrovo and Veliko Tarnovo. The events were organized under the patronage of UNESCO – Paris, together with the Ministry of Education and Science, school association SAGE and in partnership and with the financial support of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation. „Bistra & Galina“ hotel provided the venue for e press center of the occasion. In the summer of 2002, another project becomes reality – Classrooms Across Borders – CAB which was financed by Switzerland through the Stability Pact to the Council of Europe, whose main coordinator was Mrs. Yoordanka Nenova, also a director of SAGE and a member of the Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation. The foundation was a partner of SAGE and was represented by its experts. Students from 12 Southeastern countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, former Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) gathered together during the course of the project to share their motivation to work in the field of citizenship education and global human values. Year 2003 During the third international forum for students and teachers “The Art of Synergy III”, in Pamporovo from 9th to 17th of July 2003, the Foundation financed the participation of 2 outstanding grantees – Alexandra Gabrovska, 11th grade student at the Secondary School of Arts “Prof. V. Stoyanov” and Momchil Kuyrkchiev, 12th grade student at English Language School “Geo Milev”. Representatives of 12 countries took part in it. The Forum was organized by the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Science, School Association for Global Education SAGE and „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation as a part of the celebration of the World Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence to the Children of the World 2001-2010, proclaimed by the UN and the 50th anniversary of the associated schools network of UNESCO. Alexandra and Momchil joined the student studios Fine Arts and Design as representatives of the Foundation. A joint initiative of the School Association for Global Education SAGE, „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation, Ruse Municipality, Regional Inspectorate of Education – Ruse, the Center for Psychic Health and the Open Society Group of Ruse was the project “Site for Education within Democratic Citizenship – Sexaginta Prista”. Its frame of activities aimed at providing possibilities for young people to satisfy their need for knowledge through access to quality education and programs for life skills building. „Bistra & Galina“ hotel was hosting all the meetings within the project.

Year 2004 The project of the School Association for Global Education SAGE “Schools of 21st Century without Violence” aimed at training teachers and discussion club leaders for the elaboration of school project to prevent violence. As a partner in the project the Foundation financed the issuing of the European Chart for Schools without Violence to be distributed in the schools worldwide. The idea of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation to create and equip a Kitchen for Entertaining Therapy in Cooking for Children and Young People with Special Needs was shared by the Rotary Club of Ruse. The joint concept was presented before the Rotary Club of Riderkerk, the Netherlands. After its approval a decision was made for both clubs to apply in front of Rotary International, Evanstan, USA to be financed through its “Matching Grant” program. Rotary International’s conditions require at least two clubs to participate in a given project on operational level and with financial contribution. On behalf of Rotary Club Ruse, Mr. Bardarov invested $382 and Rotary Club Riderkerk – 5000 Euros, for which we owe special thanks to its President – Mr. Cor Duermaejer. There was additional support from the Rotary Foundation at the amount of $3,032, which summed up the project sponsorship to 15,034 BGN. The actual realization of the project was managed by „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation, which invited its long-standing partner – Karitas Catholic Organization Ruse. The premise where the equipment was set up was turned into a Daycare Center “Compassion” - Karitas. The two non-profit organizations renovated the premises, furnished it and provided all the necessary appliances and equipment. Alongside they also started the selection of the youngsters with special needs who would take part in the therapy. All the candidates and their families went through interviews. They also had individual medical examinations and consultation with a psychotherapist, physiotherapyst and a speech therpist. The Kitchen for Entertaining Therapy in Cooking for Children and Young People with Special Needs was officially opened on May 31st 2004. Karitas Catholic Organization took charge of the maintenance of the center. A specialized cabinet for diagnostics and rehabilitation of dysphagia - a follow-up project that „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation and Karitas Catholic Organization executed together. A study had proved that there were numerous children in the region suffering from dysphagia, whose parents were on their own trying to cope with the problem, since there is not a specialized place where they could receive professional help. The dysphagia patients have serious difficulties swallowing, chewing and eating and require 24/7 supervision by a qualified adult. Up till then there was not a specialized institution where specialists could provide consultation and treatment for children, and where parents can be trained to deal with that specific problem. That was the reason that motivated the two non-profit organizations to initiate the establishment of the cabinet, one of a kind in the city. The team of Day Center Karitas interviewed a number of sick children in order to define the specific needs they require. The Foundation financed the special equipment for the study. It started operation on November 24th 2004 in the Day Center “Compassion”.

The Office began work on November 24th, 2004 in the Charity Daycare Center - Karitas. Thanks to its services a painful swallowing problem for more than 10 children aged 7 to 14 years had been resolved. The value of benefits for our town, according to the speech therapist, Mrs. Alice Murtezova is that early diagnosis of the disease can be successfully reached, this resolving in effective professional help in time and place as it is shown that after 14 years of age dysphagia is incurable. Year 2005 “Learning Tolerance and Partnership” – that was the slogan of the fourth international forum “The Art of Synergy”, held July 9th-17th 2005 in Triavna, Bulgaria organized by SAGE as a part of the celebration of the United Nations’ Decade for Culture of Peace, Non-Violence for Children (2001-2010), The World Decade of Culture and Sustainable Development (2005-2015), Human Rights Education program of UN, the European Year of Democratic Citizenship (2005) and the priority Program of UNESCO 2005-2015 for democratic principles, cooperation and peace promotion, based on human rights. The activities performed by students and teachers during the international forum aimed at learning tolerance and partnership through the art of UNESCO synergy. The Summer Academy “Learning Tolerance and Partnership” of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation was held within the Art of Synergy IV project for associated to UNESCO schools, so as for interested school networks from Europe and Arab region. The main idea was to involve students and teachers during eight days activities, where at work sessions of international teams they would be learning tolerance and partnership through art, sport and entertainment. A total of 89 students and teachers from 16 countries took part in the project and „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation financed the fees participant fees for Mrs Veselina Obreshkova and Denitza Gancheva, a student from 11th grade in the European Language School in Ruse. „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation together with Rotary Club Ruse organized another charitable venture – A Charity exhibition with the slogan “Letters Associations” for the celebration of 24th of May – the Day of Slavic Script and Culture. The idea came from five painters from 9th grade at the School of Arts in Ruse, who decided to paint 30 pictures, each one of which showing a letter from the Bulgarian alphabet illustrated in different association of emotions. The project was approved through the Open Program of the Foundation in March all the necessary materials. Nadjin Rasimova, Aleksandrina Tozeva, Elitza Bachvarova, Irena Ignatova and Irina Ivanova painted 6 pictures each illustrating their own vision for each letter. The girls also decided that the funds gatherded from the sale of the exhibition would be used for purchasing painting materials for the students in Painting classes at the School of Arts in Ruse. The owners of Gryphon Galery – Mr. Plamen Minchev and Mrs. Daniela Mincheva weke hosting the event.

The year 2005 was anounced by the Council of Europe for a Year of Democratic Citizenship through Education aiming at drowing attention towards the key role of education in building democratic culture. SAGE participated in the celebration with a course of events, one of which was the publishing of a book with good practices “A Model of a Democratic Citizenship School” – Citizenship Class 2. The book was distributed in many European countries and the Partnership Program of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation was described with its Sponsorship Model for establishment of a charity organization. During the same year it also became a significant example in the textbook of Mrs. Rada Karshakova “Public relations”. Year 2006 “Integrated Education for Children with Special Needs” – a project which goal was to fill the niche in the realization of social rehabilitation through and alternative for the isolation of children with special needs (age 7-14) receiving primary education. The financing was provided by the diplomatic missions of the EU countries in Strasbourg – France thanks to Mrs. Lyubov Draganova – a secretary of the Bulgarian mission in the Council of Europe and a member of the Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation. A partner of the Foundation was Primary School “Ivan Vazov” Ruse which was a basic unit where the project was executed. The children who participated were chosen after conducting inteviews with them and their families, as well as individual examinations and consultations with phychotherapeutist, physiotherapeutist and speech therapist. Year 2007 In memory of Mr. Strashimir Bardarov who had recently passed away, his wife Mrs. Zdravka Bardarova completed the promise of the family that the Foundation would sponsor the make of a miniature model of the Money Earning Building which became part of the exposition “Bulgaria on a Palm“ in Krasno Selo Culture Center in Sofia, Bulgaria. Along with the most recent miniature model of the Drama Theatre “Sava Ognyanov” tourists may see the exhibition, which shows Bulgaria’s most famous monuments: The Covered Bridge of Kolio Fitcheto in Lovetch, the Russian Chirch in the town of Shipka, the Panagyurishte Golden Treasure, the Rila Monastery, the Antique Theatre in Plovdiv, the Medieval Fortress in Tarnovgrad, the Church Memorial “Alexander Nevski“, the town of Koprivshtitza, the Cathedral in Varna, Radetzki Ship, the National Art Gallery, the Monument of Freedom on the top of Shipka mount, the National Theatre in Sofia, the Equestrian of Madara.

The Foundation became a partner of SAGE again for the execution of a three-year initiative “European Partnerships for Safe Schools” (2007-2009). A primary goal of the project was generating models of behavior i.e. activities, methods and instruments supporting the application of the Safety School Environment Charter. The activity aspects can be grouped as it follows: Provision of education for development of Secondary Professional Schools; Local, Regional and national cooperation of departments, ministries of education, internal affairs, health, the police; effective structures of communication – web pages, discussion forums, seminars; effective planning and coordination with the related projects Comenius 1 & 2 and Daphne. From June 1st till 6th in Ruse took place International Conference within the project. Forty national coordinators, university representatives, schools, non-profit organizations from 11 countries took part in the events. In connection with the organization of the activities, the chief coordinator Colin Moorhouse visited SAGE, represented by Yordanka Nenova – chief coordinator for Bulgaria. „Bistra & Galina“ hotel-Foundation was hosting the events. „Summer Children Akademy“ Years 2001-2008 The yearly execution of the Summer Academy has already become a tradition thoughout the years. The students, 10-15 years of age improve their knowledge and abilities in various fields: mathematics, informatics, linguistics, chess, painting, folklore dancing, modern ballet, literature, entertaining psychology, theatre, radio and TV journalism, press journalism, advertising design, martial arts, collage, pantomime, archeology and museum activities, culture tourism.

Throughout the years 560 students were tutored. We started with only 17 students and one class in 2001 to reach a number of participants – 108 in 10 classes in 2008. We thank the tutors, students and volunteers who worked without a pay during the eight editions of the Summer Academy and whose professionalism is unquestionable. 2001 – one class in Painting – tutor Irina Penea, a student in the National Academy of Painting, a grantee of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation. 2002 – 5 classes: Mathematics course – tutored by Mrs. Antoaneta Blajeva, a teacher in the Secondary Technical School of Textile; the participants worked on logical problems, spaced and plained figures. Computer Linquistics – the head of the School in Computer Linquistics in Ruse and a professor in Ruse University ”Angel Kuntchev” Iliana Raeva was tutoring the young talents in decoding texts, coding information and translating. Chess – theoretic education, specifics within the game and training sessions were in the course tutored by Rostislav Raev – European Chess Champion and a Bulgarian Master of Sport with personal coefficient ELO 2260. Painting – a class tutored by the grantee of the Foundation Ms. Lidia Terzieva, a 4th year student in Engineering Design in Ruse University and Alexandra Gabrovska – 10th grade painted in the Secondary School of Arts in Ruse. The children created portraits, comics, caricatures, and landscape images, figure compositions. Modern ballet class – Natalia Tomova – the head of modern ballet formation “Mirage” at the Municipality Center for Culture and Art was worked with the young dancers in disco and hip-hop style and the result was their own dance creation. 2003 – 5 classes: Applied Arts – painting on glass and clay tutored by Slavina Ruseva – a specialist from Gryphon Gallery who taught the young creators different decorative techniques. Icon painting – tutor Desislav Getchev, a specialist working in Gryphon Gallery and Alexandra Gabrovska – a grantee of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation, a student in the Secondary School of Arts in Ruse. Mathematics and Computer Linguistics - the head of the School in Computer Linquistics in Ruse and a professor in Ruse University ”Angel Kuntchev” Iliana Raeva was tutoring the young talents. Informatics – tutors – PhD in engineering Milko Marinov, a professor in Ruse University and Mr. George Kadrev – a grantee of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation, an informatics student in Sofia University. U-Shu martial arts – a national champion in U-shu martial arts and the Manager of Sport Club “Kalagia” Maria Nedelcheva was tutoring the children in U-shu class. 2004 – 6 classes: Applied Arts – wood carving and painting on clay tutored by Peter Doychinov – a specialist from Gryphon Gallery Stained glass and fine arts – tutor Desislav Getchev, a painter working at Gryphon Gallery. Computer Linguistics and Mathematics - the head of the School in Computer Linquistics in Ruse and a professor in Ruse University “Angel Kuntchev” Iliana Raeva and PhD in engineering Milko Marinov were tutoring the young talents Entertaining Psychology – tutor Magdalena Dakova. U-shu martial arts – totor - the Manager of Sport Club “Kalagia” Sport Club Maria Nedelcheva , Tanya Tzvetkova and Ivan Deskov from “Kalagia” Sport Club. Theatre Studio – tutored by the actors Lyudmila Petrova and Ognyan Jekov. 2005 – 6 classes: Journalism – the class was tutored by Gergana Ilieva, a head editor of Darik Radio Ruse and Sonya Alexieva, professor in PR at New Bulgarian University, Sofia University, University of National Economics and a qualified journalist. Literature Club “Feather” – tutor Iglika Peeva, a journalist at Radio Center Ruse. Mathematic Linguistics – tutor Iliana Raeva, a professor in Ruse University “Angel Kuntchev”. Basic Programming – tutor Katalina Grigorova and Plamenka Hristova, professors in Ruse University. Entertaining Psychology – tutor Magdalena Dakova. Theatre Factory – tutors were students from New Bulgarian University – Milena Stanoevich, an alumni in “Acting and Directing”, Albena Hristova, a student in “Dance Theater” and Zlatna Mihaylova, a student in “Scenography”. 2006 – 7 classes: Basic Programming – tutor Katalina Grigorova and Plamenka Hristova, professors in Ruse University. Mathematic Linguistics – head tutor: Iliana Raeva, a professor in Ruse University “Angel Kuntchev” and assistant tutors: Dobrotzveta Dobreva and Deyan Mihaylov – awarded participants from Linguistics Olympics and previous Summer Academies. Radio-journalism - tutored by Gergana Ilieva, a head editor of Darik Radio Ruse. Icon painting – the class was executed with the help of the owners of Gryphon Gallery and tutored by Mira Koleva. Communications and Conversations – the class was developed for the first time by PhD Sonya Aleksieva, a professor at New Bulgarian University and a PR of Bulgarian Hotel and restaurant Association. Folklore Dances – tutors Dimitar Donev and Iva Ktasteva 2007 – 8 classes Basic Programming – tutor Katalina Grigorova and Plamenka Hristova, professors in Ruse University; for children 10-14 years of age Advertising Design – tutor PhD Diana Antonova; for children 13-15 years of age. Icon painting – tutor Desislav Getchev; for children 11-15 years of age. Radio-journalism - tutored by Gergana Ilieva, a head editor of Darik Radio Ruse and the actress Lyudmila Petrova; for children 12-15 tears of age. Entertaining Psychology – tutor Magdalena Dakova; for children 11-14 years of age. Collage – tutored by architect Penka Panova. Martial Arts U-Shu and Pantomime – tutor Maria Nedelcheva; for children 10-13 years of age. Folklore Dances – tutor Yavor Pirgozliev; for children 11-14 years of age. 2008 – 9 classes Basic Programming – tutor Susan Feimova, a teacher in informatics at Secondary School of Mathematics Ruse and Plamenka Hristova, professors in Ruse University; for children 10-13 years of age. Icon painting – tutor Nadejda Koleva, a specialist from Gryphon Gallery; for children 11-15 years of age. TV and Radio-journalism – tutors Gergana Ilieva, TV Center Ruse and Maya Yorgova, Darik Radio Ruse; for children 12-15 years of age. Entertaining Psychology – tutor Magdalena Dakova; for children 11-14 years of age. Tourist Animation or How to organize a celebration and a happy vacation – tutors: Antoniya Kiranova, a teacher in literature at the Secondary School of Mathematics Ruse and PhD Sonya Alexieva, a professor at New Bulgarian University and a PR of Bulgarian Hotel and restaurant Association; for children 12-15 years of age. Pantomime – tutor Maria Nedelcheva; for children 10-14 years of age. Folklore Dances – tutor Ventzislav Nedelchev from Rustchukliyche Ruse; for children 11-14 years of age. Young Samurais – tutor Mitko Rujinov from “Helios” Sport Club; for children 10-14 years of age. Professional studio “Culture-historic Heritage and Archeology” – tutors were the specialists from Historic Museum Ruse; for youngsters 15-18 years of age. Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation (1999-2009) First Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation (1999-2002) – Mr. Strashimir Bardarov – Chairman, Mrs. Diana Antonova, Mrs. Lyubov Draganova, Mrs. Yordanka Nenova, MD Bojidar Nikolov, Mr. Milen Nachev, Mr. Viktor Haimov; Coordinators: Mrs. Velina Tzekova, Ms. Maya Paskaleva and Ms. Marieta Belcheva; Experts: Mrs. Kya Petrova, Mrs. Emilya Nikolova and Mr. Todor Nenov . Second Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation (2003-2005) – Mr. Strashimir Bardarov – Chairman, Mrs. Zdravka Bardarova, Mrs. Diana Antonova, Mrs. Lyubov Draganova, Mrs. Yordanka Nenova, Notary Petya Draganova, Mrs. Iva Chavdarova, MD Hristo Bosev, Mr. Plamen Minchev, Mrs. Juloa Yordanova; Coordinator - Mrs. Velina Tzekova; Experts: Mrs. Kya Petrova, Mr. Mitko Kunchev and Mr. Teodor Todorov. Third Board of Directors of „Bistra & Galina“ Foundation (2006-present) – Mr. Strashimir Bardarov – Chairman (2006-2007), Mrs. Zdravka Bardarova – Chairwoman (2007-present), Mrs. Diana Antonova, Mrs. Yordanka Nenova, Notary Petya Draganova, Mrs. Iva Chavdarova, MD Hristo Bosev, Mr. Plamen Minchev, Mrs. Juloa Yordanova, Mrs. Maria Rangelova, Mrs. Gergana Ilieva, Mrs. Milena Vasileva, Mrs. Velina Tzekova.