Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bulgaria Association is a non-profit organization registered in public benefit in May 2006. The Association is the official representative in Bulgaria of Big Brothers Big Sisters International and meets its criteria for delivering volunteering mentoring services for children and youngsters with fewer opportunities. The organization is an affiliate member of the international organization along with 17
To give young people the chance to consciously participate in their own growth as citizens and to take an active part in the development of society as a whole;
To support, create and adapt the application of effective methods for work with volunteers;
To promote the values of the volunteerism as an effective means to civil participation on local and national level.
The Association is an affiliate member of an international network of volunteering organizations from 18 countries all over the world. As a member of this network, the organization possess the right to implement and promote the American mentoring program “Big Brothers Big Sisters” which was created more than 100 years ago. Since 2006 the Association has been working in order to promote mentoring as an effective means of supporting children and youngsters with fewer opportunities as well as a way of display of civil activism and show of solidarity from the volunteers. Since the establishment of the organization in 2006, more than 300 kids have been included as mentees in the program and more than 450 volunteers have taken part.
VOLUNTEER INITIATIVES AND CAMPAIGNS
The Association has been working hard to develop and promote professional standards for volunteer management around the county of Bulgaria. The Association is one the few organizations in Bulgaria which apply standards for managing local volunteers and has the expertise in long-term volunteers’ management. What makes our volunteer activities unique is the fact that they are based on thorough supervision of their work as well as on long-term contribution of the volunteers in the organization (from 6 until 36 months on average). The activities in which the volunteers take part are: informative and educational campaigns, youth events, support of socially disadvantaged children and youngsters, international youth initiatives and exchanges.
The young people coming to volunteer are obliged to pass trainings depending on the character of the volunteer labour they are about to deliver and also on their individual needs and preferences. More than 45 long-term projects and 35 campaigns and short- term volunteer initiatives have been implemented over the years in which more than 1000 volunteers from Plovdiv and different regions in the country took part. The causes for which the volunteers work are extremely various and cover target groups such as children and disabled elderly people, young people from small and isolated places, single parents, etc.