The project Stop Missing Opportunities, supported by ACES—Academy of Central European Schools, was initiated and successfully implemented by Zlatarski International School – Sofia and High School for Economics and Tourism, Bar, Monte Negro from September 2011 to March 2012. Selected students from both schools were the driving force for the implementation of the activities and had the chance to participate in various volunteer and charity events in their own countries and in the partner-country.
After the Bulgarian group of students and the coordinator of the project visited the partner school in Bar in December last year, it was their turn to visit Sofia in March. On the 1st of March the students from Monte Negro and their hosts participated in the Matenitsi Art Workshop in Zlatarski International School. By uniting concentration and creativity they managed to create about one hundred martenitsi, part of which were given as gifts later the same day to the children from the Dragalevci home for orphans together with the gathered and bought toys from the initiative “Donate a toy”, which was implemented in school from November 2011 to February 2012. „The martenitsi you created and brought here made our children very happy. Thank you for the great presents”, said the Principal of the Dragalevci home for disadvantaged children, Mrs Sokolova. Our students and their guests spent about an hour in the home, where they played with the kids, sang songs with them and talked to them about different things.
On the 2nd of March at 10am the participating group met in front of the Specialized Children’s Oncohaematological Hospital in Sofia. Together with a representative of Foundation Angelia, 3 students and 1 teacher met the children (access to them is limited) and put the martenitsi created by the whole project team on their hands with the wish for health and emotional strength. After this personal meeting, all participating students were invited in a study room where they were told about the painful reality these children and families are faced with. 370 BGN were officially donated by the students for buying medical supplies – lancets. The funds were collected through the charity exhibition organized in Zlatarski International School on the 14th of February 2012 (refer to the news on the website). These funds will suffice for buying 7 boxes with 200 lancets for painless transplantation of peripheral blood for the needs of the children with oncohaematological illnesses. In the official “Thank You” letter to the students the Foundation Angelia team shared: „Thank you for the help and the invaluable support. We appreciate your gesture. You make the lives of these children happier.”
The last visit for the day was at the Foster Care Center (For Our Children Foundation), where the students were informed about the current policies related to the foster family systems, what challenges and problems people who want to become foster parents are faced with, how many children there are who successfully integrated in this type of care. More specifically we got more familiar with the “Children’s House” Project for children with severe disabilities, what is planned to happen in the near future and when the students will be able to take part in the repairing and refurbishing activities as volunteers. 320 BGN were officially donated in support of this project. „Be sure and proud of yourselves, that you, dear Zlatarski School students contributed for this we, from For Our Children Foundation, to feel your moral and material help for one of our most valuable projects, the creation of the Children’s House for children with severe disabilities. Your support for us equals a support for the children in need. We congratulate you that at this age you demonstrated power, decisiveness and character and you organized such a successful charity event”, said Ivanka Shalapatova, Director of For Our Children Foundation.