BDB supports the hidden talents of Bulgaria

An educational project gives talented children deprived of parental care a chance to enter university and pursue a professional career

They are children and young people deprived of parental care, with disabilities or from socially disadvantaged families, and they want to share their dreams and wishes with someone. Fortunately, at least in the days around Christmas, there is someone to...

Operation Teddy Bear

It started as a civic volunteer initiative 14 years ago with gifts for 40 children from one home. Today, Operation Teddy Bear is a community benefit association that not only brings Christmas back to these children every year, but develops the skills of talented disadvantaged youth. The civic organization relies on nearly 20,000 donors annually, including the BDB and a network of 250 volunteers in 150 locations. "We have wonderful people in every region helping free of charge so that every child gets their Christmas present. Thanks to them, almost 74,000 Christmas presents have reached underprivileged children across the country in the past years," explains Michaela Stoykova, founder and head of the association.

The organization considers it their duty to be part of the lives and future of these children. That is why 5 years ago they started the year-long mentoring program "Bulgaria's Hidden Talents", which the Bulgarian Development Bank supported this year. This is an educational project that gives talented children deprived of parental care and young people at risk the chance to enter university and to pursue a career.

The program provides access to private tutoring, seminars, workshops, camps and competitions, work with a one-on-one mentor, scholarships, textbooks, technical and other equipment, psychological support, applying to university, finding an internship or job, and everything else you need. Thanks to the donors, 28 talented young people from Byala Slatina, Elhovo, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Novo Selo, Plovdiv and the village of Zelenikov have completed the program and are already studying their dream professions.

Among them are Chris, who is studying folk dances at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts "Prof. Assen Diamandiev" in Plovdiv, Dani, who is studying "fashion design" at Varna Free University, Alex, Lazar and Iliya, already students at the National Military University "Vasil Levski", Polina, who is studying veterinary medicine at the University of Thrace, Soni, who is studying mathematics and informatics at the Technical University, and Steven, a student of Japanese animation at NBU.

Another 10 underprivileged boys and girls are preparing to apply this year thanks to the support received by the civic organization. Fingers crossed for the children and the Teddy Bear volunteers and see you soon!

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