From 2 to 5 June 2014, in the town of Sozopol took place the forum “Sozopol – ancient and timeless, alive and accessible to all” within the League of Historical and Accessible Cities project of the European Foundation Centre, Brussels.
Sozopol Foundation was organizer of the forum. The event was held under the patronage of the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Bulgaria and Sozopol Municipality. Ms. Maria Orejas-Chantelot, Director of the Thematic networks of the European Foundation Centre and Ms. Silvia Balmas, Disability Thematic Networks Officer were official guests on the forum. Representatives of the Centre for Psychological Studies, Sozopol Municipality, non-governmental organizations working on the issues of people with disabilities, youth organizations and the local community took part in the forum.
Greetings were presented on behalf of Dr. Petar Stoyanovic, Minister of Culture, and Mr. Mincho Koralski, Executive Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The participants were also greeted by Mr. Svetoslav Glosov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber, and Ms. Petya Chapevova, Deputy Mayor of Sozopol. They emphasized on the merit of Sozopol Foundation for the provision of access for people with disabilities to cultural and natural heritage, and for the increase of involvement of Bulgarian civil society to their issues.
Mr. Ivan Karagyozov, Regional Director of the Centre for Psychological Studies, Burgas, Secretary General of the Mental League and General Counsel of the Movement of People with Disabilities in Washington, presented a certificate to Mr. Kiril Arnautski, Chairman of Sozopol Foundation, for activity of the Foundation for the integration of children and adults with physical, sensory and mental disabilities. This Certificate honours his contribution, as a supreme form of generosity and understanding, to the most vulnerable group in Bulgarian society – the people with disabilities.
Ms. Orehas and Mrs. Balmas presented the activity of the European Foundation Centre and focused on the League of Historical and Accessible Cities, its objectives, achievements and future tasks.
They introduced the participants to the work in the six historic European cities involved in the project: Avila (Spain), Turin and Luca (Italy), Viborg (Denmark), Mulhouse (France) and highlighted on the remarkable job, fulfilled in the town of Sozopol by Sozopol Foundation, thank to which the people with disabilities now have easy access to the cultural heritage of the ancient city.
Sozopol Foundation presented it’s participation in the League of Historical and Accessible Cities project of, the construction of Architectural and historic complex “Southern Fortress Wall and Tower” in Sozopol, and its effort to make the city an attractive and accessible place for people with special needs, as well as the future plans of the Foundation, related to the creation of even better accessibility to the unique history of our country.
The forum participants enjoyed a variety of cultural events that the maritime city offered them, including a number of Bulgarian and foreign exhibitions, as well as a rich concert program.