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In August 2017, The European Foundation Centre, Brussels, Belgium, issued a special printed edition entitled “institutional philanthropy – a focus on disability”.

Cover page of the printed edition “institutional philanthropy – a focus on disabilities”

The publication contains information gathered through research and survey amongst the partners of the European Foundation Centre worldwide. Surveys include information about partners – foundations and international organisations – about the funds devoted for the implementation of the projects; about the place of implementation of these projects; their duration; about final beneficiaries; as well as additional brief information on relevant organisations in the form of past projects, field of activity, a website and more.

The publication sheds light on established profiles of stakeholders who fund and support people with disabilities. There are examples of initiatives and projects related to:
• Accessible tourism section (Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Sozopol Foundation);

Summary of the project of Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca

Summary of the project of Sozopol Foundation

• Community and place-based funding (Fondazione CRT, Genio, Karuna Foundation);
• Corporate social responsibility section (Fundacion Bequal);
• Education and training section (Academy of European Law; Dutch Foundation for Disabled Children (NSGK); Fundacion Derecho y Discapacidad; Fundacion Juan XXIII Roncalli”; Leopold Bachmann Foundation; King Baudouin Foundation);
• Network-building section (Abilis Foundation; Fundacion ONCE);
• New technologies section (Fundacion Vodafone Espana; Hallatlan Foundation; International Foundation of Applied Disability Research);
• Rehabilitation section (ICRC MoveAbility Foundation);
• Rights section (Disability Rights Fund; Fundacion Cermi Mujeres; Sabanci Foundation);
• Social enterprise section (Fondazione CON IL SUD);
• Strategy development model section (Essl Foundation; Mozaik Foundation).

For Sozopol Foundation, its inclusion in this printed edition is a great honor, responsibility and occasion for joy. This is another testimony that the well-done job over the years has been appreciated in dignity. The publication is distributed among all partners of the European Foundation Centre. The benefits of this are the exchange of experience and the sharing of best practices between partners.

The eminent event took place on 10.08.2017 in the town of Sozopol. The beginning was given at 14:00 by Ms. Slavka Bozukova – editor-in-chief of the Standard newspaper. The main speakers in the discussion were Mr. Panayot Reyzi – Mayor of Sozopol, Ms. Slavka Bozukova – Editor-in-Chief of Standart newspaper, Ms. Nikolina Angelkova – Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms. Amelia Gesheva – Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The main topic of the discussion was how to improve the cultural and pilgrimage tourism on the territory of the municipality of Sozopol, how to avoid the seasonality of the tourism and to make it so that the town of Sozopol to be visited all year round.

Problems related to the Archaeological Reserve “The ancient city of Apollonia”

Archaeological Reserve “The ancient city of Apollonia” and an adjacent area
of the island of St. Kirik and Julita

and Archaeological Reserve islands of “St.St. Ivan and Peter” were discussed.

Archaeological Reserve islands of “St.St. Ivan and Peter”

From left to right: Ms. Amelia Gesheva – Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria,
Ms. Nikolina Angelkova – Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria,
Ms. Slavka Bozukova – editor-in-chief of the Standard newspaper and
Mr. Panayot Reyzi – Mayor of Sozopol

The event was also attended by Mr. Valcho Cholakov, District Governor of Burgas, who highlighted the good relationship between the regional government and Sozopol Foundation,

Mr. Valcho Cholakov, District Governor of Burgas

prof. d.h.s. Kazimir Popkonstantinov – Head of the team of archaeologists, discovered the reliquary with the relics of St. John the Baptist, under project „Ancient Sozopol – Saint John the Precursor Monastery – Culture through the Centuries” prepared and implemented by Sozopol Foundation as a beneficiary with partner Sozopol Municipality.

Mr. Popkonstantinov gave more details about the scientific value of the discovery made.

Prof. d.h.s. Kazimir Popkonstantinov – Head of the team of archaeologists under the project

The project „Ancient Sozopol – Saint John the Precursor Monastery – Culture through the Centuries” was funded by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area with the leading financial contribution of the Kingdom of Norway. The event was attended by hoteliers, restaurants, archaeologists, historians, businessmen and other interested parties.

The discussion attended also Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairman of Sozopol Foundation – the first Bulgarian NGO in a consultative partnership with UNESCO, and one of the few Bulgarian NGOs with special consultative status with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Policy, as well as Mr. Orlin Penev – Chairman of the Initiative Committee for Restoration of Orthodox Church “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. Mr. Penev highlighted the exceptionally active work of Sozopol Foundation in national and international plan.

Left: Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairman of Sozopol Foundation; Right Mr. Orlin Penev – Chairman of the Initiative Committee for Restoration of Orthodox Church “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”

Future actions were discussed – rebuilding the Marine School and the temple of Apollo on the island of St. Kirik and Julita; building new tourist itineraries – which has to be undertaken in order to develop cultural and historical and pilgrimage tourism.

The guests congratulated the 7th anniversary of “The Wonders of Bulgaria” – the largest public campaign in Bulgaria to preserve and promote our rich cultural heritage. All expressed satisfaction and gratitude for the fruitful discussion and shared that the right way to solve the problems was the active cooperation between the state institutions, the local government, the non-governmental sector, etc.

On 07.08.2017 Sozopol Foundation was informed by e-mail by Mr. Marc-Andre Dorel – Acting Chief, NGO Branch, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations, that at the Coordination and Management Meetings held on 25 and 26 of July 2017 the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to grant special consultative status to the Bulgarian NGO.

Consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies.

Obligations as well as the privileges are many; the most significant benefit for the Foundation is its right to designate official representatives tothe United Nations headquarters in New York and at the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna. These representatives will have the right to participate in events, conferences and activities of the United Nations, and organisations in special consultative status – such as Sozopol Foundation – may designate authorized representatives to sit as observers at public meatings of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, General Assembly, Human Rights Council and other United Nations intergovernmental decision-making bodies.

Sozopol Foundation, conducting its policy and active international activities, was honored to receive the special consultative status at UNDESA. The recognition from August 7 is a step in the development of the Bulgarian organisation, but at the same time it is a major leap for the non-government sector in Bulgaria.

Sozopol Foundation, as the first Bulgarian non-governmental organisation, official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with two consecutive mandates as a member of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, carries out its active international activity in the direction of preserving the world’s natural and cultural heritage and providing an accessible environment for people with disabilities to this heritage. Also it will continue its work in this area as a member of NGOs in a consultative partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In the period from July 14 to July 23, 2017, a naval training Breeze 2017 took place in the Black Sea. Representatives from Bulgaria, USA, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Northern Ireland participated in the training.

“A large-scale training, not only as a number of participants, but also as a number of solved tasks and the complexity of the scenarios”, this is how President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Rumen Radev defined the training Breeze 2017.

General Rumen Radev – President and Commander of the Armed Forces
of the Republic of Bulgaria, observes various episodes of the training part of
the naval training Breeze 2017

“Once again Bulgarian military sailors showed professionalism and demonstrated their abilities,” said the commander of Navy Rear Admiral Mitko Petev.

Rear Admiral Mitko Petev – Commander-in-Chief
of the Bulgarian Navy

On July 21, part of the leadership team visited the town of Sozopol and the Architectural and Historic Complex Southrn Fortress Wall and Tower. The guests of the complex were Major General Terry M. “Max” Haston, Adjutant General Tennessee National Guard, USA, Rear Admiral Mitko Petev, Commander of the Bulgarian Navy, and other members of the training Breeze 2017.

The guests were welcomed by Mr. Kiril Arnautski – chairman of Sozopol Foundation. He acquainted them with the unique historical complex.

From left to right: Rear Admiral Mitko Petev – Commander-in-Chief
of the Bulgarian Navy, Mr. Kiril Arnautski – chairman of Sozopol Foundation,
Major General Terry M. „Max” Haston – Adjutant General Tennessee National Guard

Major-General Haston handed to Mr. Arnautski an Honorable Sign of the Land Forces of the state of Tennessee, USA.

Mr. Kiril Arnautski – chairman of Sozopol Foundation,
Major General Terry M. „Max” Haston – Adjutant General Tennessee National Guard

From 16th to 19th of June were held days of Italy in the town of Sozopol. The official guests of the opening were: Ms. Nikolina Angelkova – the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Rumen Dimitrov – Deputy Minister of Culture, H. E. Stefano Baldi – Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria, Mr. Panayot Reyzi – Mayor of Sozopol Municipality, Mr. Antonio Tarquinio – Honorary Consul of Italy in Bulgaria, Ms. Luigina Peddi – Director of Italian Cultural Institute in Bulgaria and others.

During the four days of the event, there were many exhibitions, concerts and a movie programme. The conference “New Strategies for the Development of a Successful Tourist Destination” was held. Part of the guests’ programme was a visit to the Architectural and Historic Complex “South Fortress Wall and Tower”. In a informal conversation between H. E. Stefano Baldi – Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Republic of Bulgaria and Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairman of Sozopol Foundation, were discussed the opportunities for the development of the relations between the governmental and non-governmental sector as well as the partnership for the protection of the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Republic of Italy and the Republic of Bulgaria.

From 3 to 8 of June in the town of Sozopol was held the Sixth International Francophone Festival “Soleil”. Sozopol Foundation, as a partner, presented for usage and for the needs of the festival Architectural and Historic Complex South Fortress Wall and Tower.

Entrance lobby of the Architectural and Historic Complex Southern Fortress and Tower

A number of events from the programme of the festival were held in the complex. One of the events was an evening of Romania with opening of an exhibition and cocktail.

Mr. Victor Dediu – Diplomatic Counsellor and
Ms. Alexandrina Isaylova – organizer of the Festival at the opening of the exhibition

Architectural and Historic Complex Southern Fortress and Tower was visited by a number of ambassadors and guests of the festival.

From left to right: Ms. Irina Yashagashvili – cultural attaché to the embassy of Georgia,
His Exellency Zurab Beridze – Ambassador of Georgia,
Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairman of Sozopol Foundation and
Mr. Victor Dediu – Diplomatic Counsellor at the embassy of Romania

Representatives of the Bulgarian-Greek Society – Sozopol,
were special guests on the evening of Romania

The organizers of the artists’ workshop during the festival were the Nedin family, who also attended the evening dedicated to Romania.

Mr. Stoyo Nedin, Ms. Angelina Nedin and
Mr. Kiril Arnautski

On May 3 and 4, 2017, was held the seventh UNESCO NGO Forum. UNESCO’s partnership with non-governmental organizations representing civil society is a very valuable network of people-to-people cooperation in the areas of UNESCO’s competence for development, equality, international understanding and peace. The event, which took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was dedicated to youth and their social impact, bringing together the record number of 2000 participants from 70 countries.

The forum was opened with a video message by Mrs. Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO, followed by greetings from the H.E. Dr. Ali Nasser Alghafis, Minister of Labor and Social Development of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Mr. Philippe Beaussant, Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee.


Mr. Eric Falt and Mr. Philippe Beaussant during the opening

Among the speakers at the forum were prominent individuals like Mr. Jacques Attali, French economist, financier and philosopher, Mr. Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, Mr. Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, Mr. John Defterios, CNN journalist, Mr. Carl Lewis, athlete with nine gold and one silver medals from Olympics, Mr. Bader AlAsaker, MiSK Foundation Secretary General and others.


Mr. Jacques Attali,
French economist, financier and philosopher
Mr. Justin Smith,
CEO of Bloomberg Media Group

Mr. Lyubomir Duranchev, International Projects Expert represented Sozopol Foundation at the prestigious international forum.

Mr. Lyubomir Durankev, International Projects Expert at Sozopol Foundation

Mr. Lyubomir Durankev participated actively in the panel discussions, introducing a number of participants with the contribution of the Sozopol Foundation to the inclusion of youth in the international cooperation for preservation and promotion of natural and cultural heritage.


Mr. Lyubomir Durankev with representatives of non-governmental organizations
in partnership with UNESCO

Mr. Duranchev held talks with Mr. Philippe Beaussant, Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee, Mrs. Martine Levy, former Chairperson of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee in 2015-2016, Mr. Diego Gradis, member of the Committee in 2013-2016, and with the current Committee members Mr. Shen Che, Mr. Richard Apeh and Ms. Victoria Lovelock. Future opportunities for cooperation between non-governmental organizations for the development and implementation of projects with a focus on youth and sustainable development were discussed.

A memorandum of cooperation between Sozopol Foundation and China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA), a member of the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee, was signed during the forum.

Mr. Lyubomir Durankev, International Projects Expert at Sozopol Foundation and
Mr. Shen Che, President of China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA)
with the memorandum of cooperation between the two organizations

The forum was closed with a speech by Mrs. Irina Bokova,
Director-General of UNESCO

On 21 April 2017 Sozopol Foundation was informed by Marc-Andre Dorel, Acting Chief, NGO Branch, that the examination of its application for consultative status at the Council would be held during its 2017 Resumed Session in New York, scheduled for 22-31 May, 2017.

UN Building in New York, USA

During the Resumed Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council Sozopol Foundation will be presented by Mr. Boris Arnautski – International Relations and Projects Expert at the Foundation.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations will meet in Room 1 every day from May 22 to May 31.

Conference Hall 1 of the UN Economic and Social Council

Sozopol Foundation, as the first Bulgarian non-governmental organisation, official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with two consecutive mandates as a member of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, carries out its active international activity in the direction of preserving the world’s natural and cultural heritage and providing an accessible environment for people with disabilities to this heritage.

The UNESCO building in Paris, France

The objectives and activities of Sozopol Foundation to improve the economic and social well-being of people in all countries of the world are fully in line with those adopted by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of ECOSOC:
– Division for sustainable development
– Social Development Division
– Population division

To all identified and implemented goals and activities Sozopol Foundation actively promotes, popularizes and represents the enormous importance and role of the United Nations in ensuring the realization of these so important for the people and nature global tasks, that increase the impact of the UN for supporting the countries to achieve the Goals of the Millennium for Development.

On March 22, 2017 in the hall of the Municipal Council of the town of Vidin, the Mayor of Vidin Eng. Ognyan Tsenkov and Chairman of the Management Board of Sozopol Foundation Mr. Kiril Arnautski signed a memorandum of cooperation.

The memorandum envisions cooperation between the two parties in the field of conservation, study and promotion of natural and cultural heritage sites, providing funding through participation in the Programme for Cultural Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage and Cultural Cooperation under the financial mechanism of the EEA 2014-2021 for the implementation of the project ‘Baba Vida Castle – the Danube gate through millennia’.


Eng. Ognyan Tsenkov and Mr. Kiril Arnautski

By signing the Memorandum eng. Ognyan Tsenkov, Mayor of the Municipality of Vidin received as a donation from Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation project documentation for the conservation, restoration, adaptation and socialization of the medieval castle of Baba Vida.

Donation of the project documentation

The ceremony was attended by prof. Violeta Nesheva, Chief Scientific Consultant of Sozopol Foundation, prof. dr. arh. Nikolay Tuleshkov and arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov.

From left to right: arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov, eng. Ognyan Tsenkov, Mr. Kiril Arnautski,
prof. Violeta Nesheva and prof. dr. arh.Nikolay Tuleshkov

Prof. Doctor of Historical Sciences Violeta Nesheva presented the activity of Sozopol Foundation and stressed the great importance of the project, as well as the implementation of comprehensive archaeological surveys prior to other activities.

Prof. dr. arch. Nikolai Tuleshkov presented the foreseen activities on the implementation of conservation, restoration, adaptation and socialization of the medieval castle of Baba Vida and adjacent areas.

Arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov presented the physical state of the building of the Vidin Synagogue, and technical capacity for the implementation of conservation, restoration, adaptation and socialization. He emphasized the active participation of Sozopol Foundation in carrying out activities to date, stressing the importance of joint work in developing the documents for the building of the Vidin Synagogue, in order for this significant for Vidin project to reach the stage of development of the castle of Baba Vida. Arch. Lyubomir Stanislavov proposed the project proposal with the working name ‘Vidin Synagogue – cultural center Jules Pascin’ to apply for funding from the CBC program Romania-Bulgaria.

On March 16, 2017 Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairman of Sozopol Foundation took part in public discussion on topic “The Future of Europe and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU”. The discussion was held at Sredets Hall, Hotel Balkan (Sheraton), on initiative of PanEuropa Bulgaria, Representation of European Commission in Bulgaria and the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Opening of the discussion Mr. Kiril Arnautski and
part of the participants

Among the guest of the discussion was prof. Ognyan Gerdzhikov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria. Within the discussion “The Future of Europe and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU “, the Prime Minister presented the viewpoint of Bulgaria regarding the White Paper, announced by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on March 1, 2017. The document includes five possible scenarios for the future of Europe which will be subject to debate in each Member State of the EU.

After the speech of the Prime Minister, the discussion continued with guest speakers: Ms. Denitsa Zlateva, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the preparation of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council, 2018, Mr. Ognian Zlatev, head of the Representation of European Commission in Bulgaria, Prof. Ingrid Shikova, professor of EU policies in the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Mr. Iliya Lingorski, president of the European Institute for Strategy and Analysis, and Mr. Stefan Radov student in European Studies from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.


Ms. Meglena Kuneva, prof. Ognyan Gerdzhikov
Ms. Gergana Pasi and Ms. Denitsa Zlateva
Ms. Denitsa Zlateva and Mr. Kiril Arnautski