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From the 5th till the 15th of July, on the territory of The Ancient Town of Apollonia National Archaeological Reserve, Sozopol took place the Fourteenth International Youth Festival of Arts “The Muses”.

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Photos from the opening of the festival

Sozopol Foundation contributed to the creative atmosphere of the festival and on July 12 – Friday, in the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex, Sozopol, cultural events took place, organized by the Organizing Committee of “The Muses” Festival in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Bulgaria and Sozopol Foundation.

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During the significant world festival an exhibition of “Cuban Painting, Graphics and Applied Arts” was opened.

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The works in the exhibition are owned by Mr. Boris Ivanov. He was born in 1946 in Sofia. He graduated in Bulgaria and worked for many years in the Republic of Cuba. He is an active member of the Bulgaria – Cuba Association of Friendship. A spiritually rich personality, who loves Bulgaria and Cuba, worthy presents the color and folklore of the two countries.

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A concert of representatives from the world-famous Bulgarian choir “Mountain Song” started in the complex at 17:00.

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The representatives of the choir sang wonderful songs with inspiration in front of the local residents and guests of Sozopol. Following the appearance of the representatives of the “Mountain Song” Choir, the halls of the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex were unveiled by Cuban rhythms.

The Cuban Folk Ensemble “La Cubania Original” was specially invited. Nelly Gomes, Francisco Gomez, Raul Torres, Nadya Toncheva, Mariel Torres, Nicoleta Kayto and Boris Varbanov – wonderful people, fully obsessed and dedicated to the Bulgarian-Cuban friendship, made for an hour and a half the participants and the guests to be involved, thus they spontaneously took part in the steps of salsa, meringue and samba.

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A special guest of Sozopol Foundation was Prof. Lidiya Varbanova PhD, a worthy Bulgarian woman of world importance. With the friendly atmosphere created, Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairperson of Sozopol Foundation, held talks with Prof. Lidiya Varbanova PhD and Mrs. Nelly Gomes, Chairman of the La Cubania Original Association. During the talks, the opportunities for joint projects and partnerships under international projects under the aegis of UNESCO, supported by the embassies of both countries and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, were discussed.

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From left to right: Prof. Lidiya Varbanova PhD, Mr. Kiril Arnautski and Mrs. Nelly Gomes

After the performance of the beautiful couple – Nadia Toncheva and Raul Gomez, they were especially greeted by Mr. Kiril Arnautski. A photo was taken at the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex – a world tourist destination.

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From left to right: Raul Gomez, Kiril Arnautski and Nadia Toncheva

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From the 5th until the 15th of July The XIV International Youth Festival of Arts “The Muses” in the town of Sozopol is being held.

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The organizer of the festival is the Muses Association in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the Republic of Bulgaria. The festival is held under the patronage of the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria – Mrs. Iliyana Yotova.

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Mrs. Iliyana Yotova – Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria

Sozopol Foundation provided the organizers of the festival for use part of the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex.

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Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex

On the territory of the complex in the canned and restored hall (dated V-VI century) with unique acoustics will be held an event from the Program of the Festival.

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The canned and restored hall (dated V-VI century) in the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex

The world famous Bulgarian Choir The Mountain Song will perform a concert on July 12 – Friday, at 17:00.

The Muses Association, organizer of the International Festival was created with the following objectives:
discovering and development of talented children and young people in the field of art and culture, folklore and crafts, implementation of cultural projects at national and international level.

Following the request of H.E. Mrs. Caridad Yamira Cueto Milián – Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Sozopol Foundation prepared a design and provided advertising banners for the Festival.

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Banners will be prominently displayed during the Festival, promoting the partnership and commitment of the two institutions related to the wonderful Youth Festival of Arts “The Muses”.

On June 18, 2019 in the office of the Sozopol Foundation was received a letter of thanks with Ref. No UN / ECE CLT / WHC / EUR / 19/4306 / 28.05.2019, in connection with the Foundation’s expressed sympathy with the citizens of Paris and the French people over the terrible disaster – the fire broke the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the masterpieces of cultural heritage included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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In the thank-you letter, Mr. Ernesto Otone, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO on Culture,

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has written:

„Dear Sir,

On behalf of the Director-General, I would like to express my gratitude for your letter of 24 April, by which you kindly expressed the sympathy and support of your Foundation, as well as your own, regarding the damage sustained to the La cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, a component of the World Heritage site “Paris, the Seine Coast”.
My colleagues and I sincerely appreciate your sentiments and we are convinced that the cathedral will be restored in accordance with the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Rest assured that UNESCO remains committed to assisting the French Republic to restore this invaluable heritage.

Thank you for your continued collaboration and support in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, I remain,

Yours faithfully
Ernesto Ottone R.“

The courtesy of Mr. Ernesto Otone, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, reiterates the sympathy and activity of the Sozopol Foundation in terms of preservation, maintenance and promotion of the world cultural heritage, part of which is Architectural Historical Complex “South Fortress and Tower”, Sozopol, Bulgaria.

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On June 12, 2019, Sozopol Foundation, following strictly the defined Guidelines for Application under the Program of ZERO PROJECT, presented the Project “Knowledge for All”, developed and implemented by the Foundation. The project proposal fully responds to the main themes of the Program “Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies 2020”.

The project is the result of the active work of Sozopol Foundation since its establishment in December 2002 to the present moment. The activities are implemented and are being implemented on the territory of the Ancient Town of Apolonia National Archaeological Reserve, Sozopol, Bulgaria.

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Accessibility guide card for the Reserve
Innovative practices and innovative policies under the project are targeted at all people: local and tourists visiting the Reserve (children, the elderly and people with disabilities, regardless of the type of disability).

Cultural information and training center

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Archaeological museum
Photo taken from the central entrance of the Orthodox church “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”


The accessible route in the Ancient Town of Apollonia Archaeological Reserve, which was has been established in the past years, and the educational and informal educational initiative for people with disabilities, whose disability does not allow their full participation in the acquisition of information, is a pilot innovative practice. It could serve as an example of many ancient cities and reserves in the world, where it is developed in small volumes or even absent. Sozopol Foundation’s specialists, who will provide the information, are trained to respond in different situations to the individual and personality characteristics of the disabled.

Cultural information and training center

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Photo from near

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Cultural information and training center – Halls

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Cultural information and training center – Halls

The implementation of the large-scale project “Knowledge for All” was attended by a number of people with different disabilities, with Sozopol Foundation having permanent contacts with the Agency for People with Disabilities of the Government of Bulgaria and the Center for Psychological Studies, Burgas. Thanks to their active assistance, methodological support and ensuring the participation of people with disabilities, the set goals and the expected results were achieved. Throughout the years of implementation, all forms of funding are used, with the largest share of projects funded under EU programs.

11 12 Mr. Mincho Koralski – Director of the Agency for Disabled People Part of people with disabilities participating in the project activities

At present, there is no information that the activities of the large-scale project are replicated in full volume, which is part of its uniqueness. The project can be replicated in many places in the world, but we need to emphasize that very good coordination and partnership is required between the government sector, the local government, the non-government sector, business and civil society.

The common goals of project: “Knowledge for All“ for the next years are the finalization of the large-scale idea, the maintenance by all stakeholders of the already implemented activities and the obtaining of the much-needed for all sustainability. Sozopol Foundation considers that this pilot practice can serve as an example for many destinations.

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Provided accessibility along the street “South Panoramic Alley”

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Provided accessibility along the street “South Panoramic Alley”

Many awards, media coverage and worldwide recognitions concerning the nominated practice have recognized the active work of Sozopol Foundation. They are reflected on our website. Thanks to the activity of the Foundation, the “Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex”

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Halls in the complex created by Sozopol Foundation

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Halls in the complex created by Sozopol Foundation

has received earned recognition from the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2015 and has become a world-wide tourist destination accessible to people with disabilities.

21 22 A general photo of all participants after the end of the official ceremony of the the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for 2015 Mr. Graham Miller – Main Judge and mrs. Lyubov Draganova – International projects expert of Sozopol Foundation




The created accessible environment allows anyone who visits the Reserve to immerse in a unique atmosphere. To feel the spirit of the centuries-old city, to see, to hear, to feel the sea, the wonderful city park, the Orthodox church “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, the Archaeological Museum, the street “South Panoramic Alley”, the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historic Complex and last, but not least – the Cultural Information and Training Center, where besides full information about the Reserve an interactive information / lectures and discussions, information documentaries, event theater, etc., offered in appropriate ways to all target groups will be provided.

At present, Sozopol Foundation participates in the development and subsequent implementation of a number of national and international projects. The experience gained over the years in implementing the activities of the large project gives us confidence and grounds that our active work as a leading international non-governmental organization in the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage as well as providing an accessible environment for this heritage for people with disabilities, children and the elderly will be beneficial to all sites subject to intervention on future project initiatives.

One of the projects that Sozopol Foundation is currently developing is “Expansion of a viewing platform for observation of a fortress system, spectacular lighting, decorative flower gardens and a panoramic alley – Second stage”. The project is an upgrade and achievement of a sustainability in the provision of tourist services in the Ancient Town of Apollonia National Archaeological Reserve.

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Panoramic photos of viewpoints to monitor the fortress system

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Access from the South Panoramic Street to the viewpoint

27 28 Mounted platform for people with disabilities Picture from near of the wonderful viewing platform

The viewing platform for the observation of the fortress system, its spectacular lighting, decorative flower gardens and the panoramic alley аре one of the most preferred places for visiting and recreation on the territory of the Ancient Town of Apollonia National Archaeological Reserve. Every year they are visited by almost all tourists and guests of the town of Sozopol.

During the Soleil Francophone Festival in Sozopol on June 5, 2019, Her Excellency Tamara Liluashvili, Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia in Bulgaria, visited the created by Sozopol Foundation Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historical Complex. Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairperson of Sozopol Foundation, introduced Mr. Tamara Liluashvili with the rich cultural and historical past of Apolonia – Sozopol.

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H. E. Tamara Liluashvili – Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia in Bulgaria
and Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairperson of Sozopol Foundation in the Sozopol Foundation’s office

In a spontaneous and friendly conversation, Mr. Kiril Arnautski and Mrs. Tamara Liluashvili discussed the developed by Sozopol Foundation in partnership with the Cultural Heritage and Environment Research Center, State University, Ilia, Tbilisi, Georgia, project “Argonauts cultural journey – establishment of a common cultural environment in the Black Sea Basin region” under the ENI CBC Black Sea 2014-2020 Program.

They both expressed their unanimous opinion that the realization of the project will contribute to the strengthening and development of the potential of the cross-border cooperation and will help to overcome the borders between the countries in the cross-border Black Sea region.
H. E. Tamara Liluashvili expressed her admiration for the implemented activities by Sozopol Foundation, which have been seen and done over the years, for the restoration and preservation of our rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and in the book for impressions of the complex, she wrote:

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„Dear Kiril,

Thank you for your kind hospitality. The museum was very interesting and informative. Thank you also for your love for Georgia and Georgian people. It’s always nice to meet people like yourself, who speak highly of Georgia. I hope that in the near future we the Georgian Embassy in Sofia will have the opportunity to collaborate on different projects.

With most respect and regards,
Tamara Liluashvili
Ambassador of Georgia to Bulgaria
5 June 2019”

Mrs. Tamara Liluashvili wished greater success to Sozopol Foundation in its noble aims of preserving the natural and cultural heritage and providing an accessible environment to this heritage by officially inviting Mr. Kiril Arnautski to visit the Embassy of the Republic of Georgia in Sofia.

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The second transnational workshop of the project partners under project “Entrepreneurs of Cultural Heritage”, acronym “CHEER”, Ref. № 2018-IDE02-KA205-0051 was held was held on 28 and 29 May 2019.

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Innsbruck, Austria

The project is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus + Program. During the implementation of the project activities, all partners are actively involved in:
Germany – “Center for Intercultural Education and Work”, Latvia – “Creative Ideas”, Austria – “Verein Multicultural – Tyrolean Integration Center”, Bulgaria – Sozopol Foundation, Romania – “Millennium Center” Association and Greece – “Consulting company IDEC”.

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On behalf of Sozopol Foundation active participation in the meeting had eng. Mitya Dimitrov, Project Coordinator from the Bulgarian side and Mr. Boris Valev, Expert International Programs and Projects.

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From right to left: Eng. Mitya Dimitrov, Mr. Boris Valev

During the discussions between the partners, it was a pleasure to underline the achieved results of the implemented project activities at the present moment. The forthcoming implementation tasks were discussed in detail.
All partners expressed and reaffirmed their commitment and motivation for the successful implementation of the project, with a strong emphasis on the identified regions of action and the potential for the development of civil society organizations and entrepreneurship in the field of cultural heritage.

By the invitation of Mr. Rumen Radev – The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay – UNESCO Director-General, was on an official visit to our country on the 23rd and 24th May. On May 23, they met, discussing a number of issues related to the activities undertaken by UNESCO and the active participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in them.

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Mrs. Audrey Azoulay and Mr. Rumen Radev

During the day, the UNESCO Director General held a lecture on “UNESCO and the Challenges of the 21st Century” at the Sofia University Aula.

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The building of Sofia University

Before the beginning of the lecture, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay was represented by the Rector of the University – Prof. Dr. Anastas Gerdzhikov.

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Prof. Dr. Anastas Gerdzhikov

During the lecture in front of the crowded aula, Mrs. Azoulay presented very thoroughly the basic and global guidelines on which the World Organization actively works with the help of the member states and the non-governmental sector.

In the hall as an official guest, invited by the Sofia University leadership,

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was Mr. Kiril Arnautski – Chairperson of Sozopol Foundation – a Bulgarian NGO with consultative status with UNESCO.

4 5 Mrs. Audrey Azoulay The aula with the invited guests

In an informal conversation after the lecture, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay and Mr. Kiril Arnautski discussed the importance of the World Organization and the activities of the non-governmental sector in the world, and in particular the great activity of Sozopol Foundation,

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Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, Mrs. Ivelina Kyutchukova and Mr. Kiril Arnautski

Mrs. Audrey Azoulay expressed his gratitude as Director-General of UNESCO for the activities and good involvement of Sozopol Foundation in all initiatives of the World Organization.

On 24 May, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay took part in the celebrations and events organized in honor of the two primary school teachers, St. St. Cyril and Methodius, who created the Bulgarian alphabet, which served as a basis for many other Slavic nations.

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One of the events held in the intensive program of Mrs. Audrey Azoulay and Mr. Rumen Radev was their visit to the National Museum of History.

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Meeting with an old Bulgarian custom

Together with the permanent exhibitions and exhibits, the high guests were acquainted with the specially prepared exhibition of the Spiritual Mirror Association with Chairperson Mrs. Tatyana Kostadinova.

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Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, Mr. Rumen Radev and Mrs. Tatyana Kostadinova

In the exhibition were presented works of: Creative workshop from the town of Chiprovtsi, Creative workshop from the town of Sevlievo, Creative studio “Fairy world” – Sofia, Creative studio from the village of Kurtovo Konare

11 12 Creative workshop from the town of Chiprovtsi Creative workshop from the town of Sevlievo



13 14 Creative studio “Fairy world” –
Sofia
Creative studio from the village
of Kurtovo Konare



During the visit, Mr. Kiril Arnautski introduced Mr. Rumen Radev with the active work of the Foundation, as the first Bulgarian NGO in a consultative partnership with UNESCO. Mr. Arnautski invited Mr. Radev to visit the town of Sozopol and the Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Architectural and Historical Complex, a world tourist destination, created by the Foundation. Mr. Radev expressed his admiration for the active work of Sozopol Foundation at national and international level and accepted the invitation.

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Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Mrs. Ivelina Kyutchukova and Mr. Rumen Radev

After the guests had a look at the exhibitions and exposures, a photo of all of them was taken.

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The participants in the exhibition of Spiritual Mirror Association with Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Mr. Rumen Radev and Mrs. Audrey Azoulay

Before leaving, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay wished Mr. Kiril Arnautski a greater successes to the Foundation as an consultative partner of the World Organization.

On May 14, 2019, in the solemn hall of the University of National and World Economy (Sofia University), a dissertation thesis on the acquisition of the educational and scientific degree “PhD” of Miss Nevena Arnautskaya took place.

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The theme of the dissertation is “Role of the cultural heritage for sustainable destination development” with the scientific leader Prof. Tanya Parusheva – Chief scientific adviser at the Sozopol Foundation and lecturer at the Department of Tourism Economics at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) – Sofia.

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From left to right: Prof. Dr. Tanya Parusheva – Chief Scientific consultant,
Miss Nevena Arnautsk

The honorable scientific jury expressed very graciously about the thesis prepared and defended by Miss Arnaut. With full unanimity, she decided to award her the educational and scientific degree “PhD”, a scientific subject “Economics and Management (Tourism)”.

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The jury from left to right:
Prof. Dr. Manol Ribov – President of the Bulgarian Chamber of Education, Science and Culture;
Prof. Mariana Yaneva, PhD – Director of Public Communication Program at the Bulgarian Chamber of Education, Science and Culture;
Prof. Dr. Stoyan Marinov – Member of the Management Board of the Varna Chamber of Tourism and Dean of the Faculty of Management at the University of Economics, Varna;
Prof. Dr. Tanya Dubeva – Professor in Professional Field 3.9. Tourism, Head of the Department of Economics and Organization of Tourism at the University of Economics, Varna.

After successful defense of the dissertation thesis and the acquisition of the educational and scientific degree “doctor” Mrs. Nevena Arnautska was congratulated by her colleagues, future and present PhD students and guests attending the event.

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Viewing platform with a ramp for people with disabilities – view from the south panorama alley

The Sozopol Foundation started the development of a project: “Expansion of a viewing platform for observation of a fortress system, decorative flower gardens and a panorama alley – Second stage”.

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View from a viewing area to the fortress system of Sozopol

The project is a natural extension of projects already implemented by the Sozopol Foundation. This is an upgrade and sustainability in the provision of tourist services in the National Archaeological Reserve “The Ancient City of Apolonia”.

6 7 Panoramic view and architectural and historical complex “Southern fortress wall and tower”

The viewing platform for observation of a fortress system, decorative flower gardens and a panorama alley and the architectural and historical complex “South fortress wall and tower” are some of the most preferred places for visiting and recreation on the territory of the National Archaeological Reserve “The Ancient City of Apolonia”. Every year they are visited by almost all tourists and guests of the town of Sozopol.

The immediate proximity of the two destinations allows all visitors to the reserve to enjoy its unique natural and cultural-historical landmarks.

Developed under “Erasmus +”, Key Activity 2: “Innovation Collaboration and Good Practice Exchange”.

Partners on the project proposal with Ref. No 2019-1-BG01-KA204-062526 are: Sozopol Foundation, Bulgaria; Center for Intercultural Education and Work, Ahrnesburg, Germany; Institute for Educational Center – Adult Education (IDEC), Pireus, Greece; Center for Multicultural and Tyrolean Integration, Innsbruck, Austria; Creative ideas association, Latvia.

Technical course

The activities envisaged for implementation are: expanding the opportunities for open and accessible education and innovative practices of unemployed older people; New approaches to support competitiveness and employment in the partner countries’ target territories by creating a methodological framework for the effective implementation of social entrepreneurship in cultural tourism; Supporting good understanding and responsiveness to the social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the target groups.

This clear acknowledgment and confirmation of the active national and international activity of the Sozopol Foundation motivates us to continue working hard by observing the Unesco Directives concerning the preservation, preservation and presentation of the rich global tangible and intangible cultural heritage.