2018

  • In September ZOV has presented with an award for “Best practice in supporting Young People” at an International Conference for Young people organised by the European Union.

 

  • ZOV arranged for 80 children to go on a summer holiday this year.  Thanks to Friends of Bulgaria the majority of children went to the lovely Baba Stana near Troyan where  they did lots of walking in nature, learning to cook, making art and craft sessions, theatre and visited local places of interest.

 

  • ZOV Training: In  May ZOV undertook training in the techniques and methods of working with children with behavioural issues using group work. A hand book was prepared by child care professionals we work with on the games and techniques that can be used to promote good behaviour, education and wellbeing. The second part of the training focused on working with children with disabilities. Over 40 people attended the training including staff from the centres we work with local child care professionals and students and mentors. “ZOV always makes very professional trainings and always looks after not only children but also the staff. They follow the needs of the child care system in Bulgaria” Violeta, teacher

 

  • Individual Support: 80 student mentors are now providing 98 children with weekly individual educational support. There have been improvements in Bulgarian language, geography and maths, with nine children getting better marks at school and one child from Vratsa winning a maths competition.. As a result of our work experience initiative two children from Vratsa and four from Veliko Turnovo have been offered further employment. “I passed my exams with better marks this year. I believe that I can do it, thanks to my mentor “ Ivan from Vratsa, 14

 

  • Thanks to the Sports club sessions we provide the children participated in four sports events during May and June, winning a staggering 24 medals in four competitions: They even won a golden cup for football in the National Sports Competition in Sofia, as well as numerous medals from sports tournaments in Targovishte and Ksilifor.

 

  • Adventureland Europe: Jan and Eva are walking 7,200km from Bulgaria to Spain to raise money for regional charity projects. They have kindly chosen to support ZOV, and in May came to see our work in action. They were very impressed with what we are achieving, and are helping us to raise money for our Special Children’s Club, working with children with disabilities. They also raised money to equip the Crisis Centre for Girls with blinds in their rooms to provide them with privacy and shade in the hot summer months. “When you see the children smile, and the see the warmth from the ZOV staff and volunteers you begin to understand what life is about” Eva. For more information see the following website is www.adventureland-europe.com.

 

  • Sports Tournament: ZOV organised a large football tournament for young people who have left care and those still in care – all of them supported by ZOV in the past or today. Many of the children who took part are now at university or in full time employment. It was a great opportunity for everyone to get together and see each other again, as well as providing inspiring role models for the children still in care. It also made the local paper. “I am so happy to see our first tournament. it was a great event and all the children were so happy!” Mr Slavchev, ZOV’s Sports teacher.

 

  • Easter Trips:  Every Easter ZOV organises a trip away for the children to learn about Bulgarian history and culture.  This year we took 35 children to visit Shipka, the location of a historic battle for the liberation of Bulgaria, and a rose museum in Kazanlak to learn about the famous Bulgarian rose industry.  ZOV also arranged for a further 45 children to visit Shumen and a number of Thracian tombs. “The Trip was amazing, I enjoyed it a lot. I am so happy, thank you!” (Toshko, 16)

 

  • New Sports Room:  With the help of Dimi and Todor Velikov, ZOV has created an indoor sports room so the children can do sports activities all year round.  The new room has a table tennis table and sports equipment, and the children are able to use the room supervised whenever they want.   ZOV has also organised martial arts and yoga classes.

 

  • We are using the PECs (Picture Exchange communication) system in a centre for severely disabled children in Veliko Turnovo.  Children are learning new words to express their emotions, and have improved communication skills.  Alex has started to show the other children how to do gestures and many of the children have begun to communicate much better. “Look I learned the new things very quickly” (Alex 17)  

2017

ZOV Christmas Appeal 2017:  Christmas can be a hard time at the orphanage, and it only takes a small amount to give the children a fantastic day. Celebrations are filled with love, happiness, dancing and lots of food, but at the top of every child’s list is presents! This Christmas we have around 130 children to provide presents for, and we need your help to make sure every child gets a gift and a party.  So please give a child a gift and a Christmas to remember. To donate just go to the following website: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/ChristmasBulgaria2017.   You can now also Text BUWR43 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 (JustTextGiving by Vodafone).Or email charlotte charlotte@zov.org.uk

Thank you to everyone for attending our wind tasting event on the 23rd November, which helped raise money to keep our projects going helping over 180 disadvantaged children in Bulgaria.  A big thank you to Vaskovino www.vaskovino.co.uk   who supported the event.  If you quote ZOV in the order of any bottle purchased on their website a donation will be made to the charity.

NEW PROJECT!!!
We have expanded our outreach and mentoring project to work in a childrens home in Vratsa Northern Bulgaria.  We are working with Students from the local university and members of the Child Protection Agency to provide educational and individual support to the children.

Nine children participated in paid work experience, three of which were offered temporary or permanent positions.

ZOV organised for over 163 children to attend trips this summer, many of the children went on at least a one week trip to the Bulgarian countryside.

A beautiful garden has been built this summer at a Crisis Centre for Girls.  The Girls, staff at the centre, ZOV and members of the local community built a garden which grows vegetables and flowers some of which the girls use in the cooking and art sessions run by ZOV.

Charlotte, Lucy and Emily from ZOV undertook a training course in April presenting games for children to enhance self esteem, team work and promote good behaviour. ZOV prepared a book translating the games into Bulgarian which can be used by volunteers and teachers on a regular basis to help the children.

Thanks to the sports sessions ZOV organises as part of the Childrens Club, children from four centres won a national football competition organised by Manchester United for children in care.

Children from all ten centres we work with have been making Martenitsi (bracelets) to celebrate the coming of Spring. Many have made gifts and pictures to sell at local bazaars.

Children have been learning to ice skate in the winter months as part of the sports sessions ZOV runs.

2016

ZOV has been awarded the highest recognition by the Bulgarian Ministry of Social Support for our innovative approach to social service and working with children, our outstanding results, our use of volunteers and efficiency as an organisation.  The award is given annually and is the highest award in Bulgaria for innovation. We were nominated for this award by the Veliko Turnovo municipality who recently acknowledged ZOV as their best partner for the provision of care and support for children in need.

11 children this year won a Communitas Award as part of the 1000 Stipendii program. This is the best result to date for the competition which ZOV helps administer every year.

Eight children participated in paid work experience placements, which include working in cafes, offices and in hairdressers. Four of the children were offered part time  jobs as a result of this project.

At the end of September ZOV delivered a training course on working with girls who are victims of abuse, as well as an introduction to ‘Hero Book’ training – a technique used with great success in South Africa to help disadvantaged children. We also trained staff on self-care techniques in order to ensure staff well-being is as high as possible.

This year six children will participate in paid work experience placements, which include working in cafes, offices and in hairdressers. “I want to become a serious adult with a job, education, house and a family. I want to learn English and I really want to succeed!!”16 years old Sevalina

A big thank you to Friends of Bulgaria and Cavendish School for making sure 135 children from homes could have a summer holiday.

Six children are leaving the home this year, because of our educational sessions and projects 50% will go onto further education and the other 50% have already found jobs thanks to the paid work experience we provide.

A trip was organised for all the children and mentors at the end of our Outreach and Mentoring Project. The two day trip included, sports, dance, canoeing, climbing and a number of outdoor sessions.

A PHD research exercise has shown a measurable increase in the childrens motivation, teamwork, independence, self esteem and communication skills as part of the Outreach Programme

November 2016

11 children this year won a Communitas Award as part of the 1000 Stipendii program. This is the best result to date for the competition which ZOV helps administer every year.

October 2016

Eight children participated in paid work experience placements, which include working in cafes, offices and in hairdressers. Four of the children were offered part time  jobs as a result of this project.