Programs, Projects, Activities
MAJOR PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Over the last 21 years the Cyril and Methodius Foundation has been in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Japan and the Japan Foundation in carrying out a very intensive academic exchange, as well as in a program which aims to present Japanese culture in Bulgaria. The Japanese Embassy in Sofia and the Foundation jointly select the candidates for the Japanese state Monbusho scholarships for scientific work in Japanese universities and research centers in all scientific fields, and also for Bachelor’s degrees at Japanese universities. Up to now, more than 350 people have been awarded such scholarships.
The Japanese state has invested over 10 million BGN for this purpose. In partnership with the Japanese Embassy in Bulgaria, the Foundation has launched a rhetoric competition and a Japanese language Proficiency Test, as well as events presenting key aspects of Japanese culture – tea ceremony, ikebana, etc.
United World Colleges
This is one of the most prestigious chains of colleges, established under the Presidency of Lord Mountbatten and subsequently presided over by Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela and Queen Noor. Over the last 25 years the Foundation has sent more than 110 talented young Bulgarians to the United World Colleges Chain. The funds for their education exceed 4 million BGN. Our quality selection and the prestige of the college chain ensured these young people full scholarships for over 10 million USD in the most prestigious American universities, i.e. Harvard, Princeton, etc.
North-American Educational Program
Ever since 1990 the “Education” Expert Committee at the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation has been considering applications for financial assistance in line with individual educational student and post-graduate projects in the USA. The Foundation has granted financial assistance to over 500 people who continued their education in some of the most prestigious universities there. It has invested almost 500,000 USD in total for this purpose. The funds accumulated by the recipient educational institutions in the form of scholarships exceed the impressive amount of 5 million USD. One of the first scholarship students in this program was , who later became the founder of the American Foundation for Bulgaria.
“Dr. Ilko Eskenazi” Memorial Fund
Since it was established in 1994, the Fund has had over 100 scholarship students in law and economics. Ever since the year 2005, the Fund has held annual competitions for the “Dr. Ilko Eskenazi – Bulgaria and the European Union – Law and Economics” awards. The competi-tion aims at honouring and awarding written works in the fields of Law and Economics, related to the integration of Bulgaria and its EU membership. The participants are young people below the age of 30.
“Stefan Tanev” Scholarship
In the year 2002, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of higher education in Journalism in Bulgaria and because of the fact that the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation is now located in the home of the prominent Bulgarian journalist Stefan Tanev – Chief Editor of the “Utro” (‘Morning’) newspaper for many years, the Foundation set up a student scholarship bearing his name. The scholarship amounting to 100 BGN monthly is awarded for one academic year to a student of Journalism at the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University in Sofia.
Scholarships for Bulgarian students in Russia
The program is intended for a full course of study and focuses on students who are doing their studies in the field of Mathematics and Informatics. It was launched in the 2003-2004 academic year. The Russian state ensures full scholarship. This program is made possible by the personal initiative of Academician Albert Anatolievich Likhanov, President of the Russian Children’s Fund and member of the Executive Board of the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation.
“Time of Parting” Scholarships
The St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation is administering two undergraduate scholarships “Time of Parting”, whose fund is provided by novelist and academician Anton Donchev. It is the donor’s will to support talented Bulgarian young people from the Smolyan district, who have just started their higher education studies in the fields of Bulgarian Language and Literature and History.
“Gipson” Scholarships for students in Bulgaria
Owing to the generous endowment made by Nelly and Robert Gipson, US citizens, in cooperation with the American Foundation for Bulgaria, in 2004 our Foundation distributed scholarships for first year students who have been enrolled in any of the universities in Bulgaria and are in financial need. Each year we support 100 students. The total number of people who have been supported during their four year bachelor studies is more than 200. The scholarship is 200 BGN per month (2,000 per academic year) and is subject to reconsideration at the end of each semester and renewed upon proof of academic achievement and the social needs’ record of the family. Despite of the economic crisis the family continued their financial support. The financial assistance up to now amounts to over 800,000 BGN and is endowed by Nelly and Robert Gipson. This private initiative is a significant act of civil society, yet in the same time one of the few addressing in such a big scale the social and the educational sphere. The program was initiated by Mrs. Nellie Lozanova, who had been supported by the Foundation years ago. Married now to Mr. Robert Gipson, a businessman with a special attitude towards young people and their education, they contacted the Foundation after the recommendation of H.E. Mr. James Pardew, then the Ambassador of the United States to Bulgaria. The Foundation is in the basis of the programme design. Following the example set by the Gipson’s, Mr. Joan Abduljalil and his parents set up scholarships for orphans studying in Bulgarian Higher Education Institutions. The contributors donated 8,000 BGN to the Foundation for the education of two students over a period of 4 years. We are also thankful for the generosity of FAMA Consulting Ltd for the support of two more students.
“Integration of children from minority backgrounds” Project
The implementation of the project was made possible through the partnership with Nova Zagora Municipality. It is funded by the Council of Europe Development Bank which endowed 150,000 EUR and was only feasible thanks to the support of Mr. , member of the Board of the Foundation. The major objective of the project is to prepare the preschool children of the Roma population in the 6th district of the town of Stara Zagora to make a successful start in first grade at school. 112,000 EUR of the total fund is allotted for the repair of three kindergartens in the municipality.
SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS AND SPECIALIZATIONS
It has been 20 years now that the Bulgarian-German academic exchange has been a working project implemented by the Foundation in co-operationwith the Embassy of Germany and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The perfect organization allowed for almost 2500 people to be sent to Germany over that period.
During the past years the Foundation has taken over the administration of two more programs in cooperation with DAAD:
- scholarship students from Bulgaria in line with the partnership between DAAD, the Technical University in Dresden and the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” within the framework of the ZEDES program (Center for German and European Studies).
- 80 scholarship students from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo along the lines of co-operation with the Technical University – the FDIBA program and the German program at the Institute of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy.
The administration of the candidate selection procedures for post-graduate scholarships and scholarships for specialization in all fields of knowledge, entrusted upon the Foundation by the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation, is reliable proof of the transparency of the selection procedures. The Cyril and Methodius Foundation uses its own funds to carry out the selection procedures as well as to publicise this opportunity for students.
This is an on-going program which aims at finding and encouraging pedagogical staff. After nationwide competitions and in co-operation with the Unions of Mathematicians, Chemists, Biologists and Physicists, the Foundation presents its award to teachers who have contributed to the process of identifying and encouraging young talents in the respective fields. Up to now, more than 200 teachers have been presented with the award. At the end of 2002, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Foundation and following the proposal made by the German circle of friends to the Foundation, an Award was established to honour the achievements of teachers in the field of humanitarian studies. The program is established on the principle of competition and provides for the honouring of teachers who have made a significant contribution to the process of identifying and encouraging talented young people in the field of humanitarian knowledge. Since 2005, following the decision of the Council, the award has been bearing the name of the Honorary President of the Foundation, Prof. Dr. . The four awards are presented to the best teachers in Bulgarian Language and Literature, the Classical Languages, German and Spanish. The competition is held in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and representatives of the educational departments of the Embassies of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Spain. The awards are presented annually on the occasion of the National Enlighteners Day. The award fund is provided by the German circle of friends of the Foundation. Jointly with the Plovdiv Municipality, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Humanities High-school in Plovdiv, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Theological Seminary in Plovdiv and the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Secondary General School in Plovdiv, the Foundation restored and continued the tradition of the annual celebrations in honour of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius on May 11.
Students’ Mathematics and Informatics Institute
The Students’ Mathematics and Informatics Institute was founded as an initiative related to the acknowledgement of the year 2000 – the world year of Mathematics. Its basic function is to encourage individual research work among high-school students in the field of Mathematics and Informatics. Founders of the Students Institute are the Union of Mathematicians in Bulgaria, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation, the “Evrika” Foundation and the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The Foundation has invested 80,000 BGN in the activities of the Students’ Institute. Within the framework of this program, jointly with the Union of the Mathematicians and the Institute of Mathematics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Foundation annually supports the participation of two Bulgarian students in the prestigious Research Science Institute, organized by the Center for Excellence in Education, USA, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Prof. Andrei Danchev” Memorial Scholarship
The memorial scholarship program after the name of Prof.Andrei Danchev was established jointly with the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The program encourages the academic growth of young professionals in the field of English Language Studies, with a view to the ever more successful integration of Bulgarian humanities into international humanitarian studies.
“Dr. ” Fund
Founded in September 1993, the “Dr. ” Charity Fund pursues its major objective; namely, to encourage outstanding graduates of the Panagiurishte High School.
“The Use of Information Technologies in Education” Competition
In May 2006, 33 teams were recognized and awarded at an official ceremony after the national competition “The Use of Information Technologies in Education” was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and Rotary International (District 2480). The event attracted the interest of the Bulgarian mass-media. The 60,000 BGN program fund was granted by Nelly and Robert Gipson – through The American Foundation for Bulgaria (28,000 BGN), by the Foundation (5,000 BGN) and by the Rotary clubs in Bulgaria (27,000 BGN). More than 650 people took part in the charity event with their personal donations.
PROGRAMS IN THE FIELD OF CULTURE
The “Visual Arts” Program Committee is chaired by Acad. and the “Music” Program Committee is chaired by Prof. . Numerous applications for financial assistance have been considered and granted. The support for the participation in major festivals and contests is ongoing.
Ever since it was established in 1982, the Foundation has been fostering the progress of young Bulgarian musical talents. All prominent musicians since then have actually been scholarship students with the Foundation: Mila Georgieva, Vasko Vasilev, Vesko Pantaleev-Eskenazi, Yana Deshkova, , Anna Stoycheva, Lora Chekoratova, the conductor Rosen Milanov, Pavel Minev and many others. Among the events that have attracted the greatest international interest are the “Musical Treasures from Bulgaria” concerts, organized with the support and efforts of our friends and featuring Foundation scholarship students in Carnegie Hall, New York, in the World Bank headquarters in Washington and Gettysburg. We wish to thank Prof. , (Mannes College of Music, USA), Member of the Council of the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation, producer and mastermind of the events. There is no other Bulgarian cultural program in the USA of such quality and duration. Prof. Dokovska also established, and granted the funds, for a student scholarship for a piano-student from the National Musical School “L. Pipkov” in memory of the prominent Bulgarian music teacher Lidia Kuteva. In the field of musical activities, the Foundation has made it a tradition to provide financial support for the “Pancho Vladigerov” Competition for Violinists and Pianists, held in Shumen. We also support the “Young Musical Talents” contest, organized by the National Musical School “L. Pipkov” in Sofia. The Foundation patronizes the participation of young musicians in international contests and master classes. Within the framework of “Apolonia”, the Foundation has supported the appearance of Prof. in solo concerts; concerts of the participants in Prof. ’s master class, as well as a joint concert of Prof. and the renowned opera singer Stefka Evstatieva.
National competition for young Bulgarian artists
Ever since it was established, the Foundation, jointly with the Union of Bulgarian Artists, has been supporting the “Citė des Arts” in Paris, with the help of which dozens Bulgarian artists have been given the chance to work in the Montmartre studios. The Foundation has allotted around 100,000 USD for this purpose. Over the last five years we have been conducting the annual National Competition for Young Bulgarian Artists and Critics with an award fund of 10,000 USD – which was set up on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Foundation. More than 100 young artists – painters, graphic artists, sculptors and critics, below the age of 35 – take part in the competition each year. There is no other art competition in Bulgaria with an award fund of similar value. The competent hanging-committee is presided by Acad. .
“Prof. ” Program
The master class of Prof. – the world-famous Bulgarian violinist – which has become a tradition over the years – is held in Arkutino or Primorsko. The most prominent young Bulgarian violinists have participated in these classes and have gone on to successfully conquer the stages worldwide.
Programs in the field of culture, patronized by Mr.
The Foundation acknowledges with great appreciation the endowments made by Mr. which amount to a total of over 250,000 EUR. It is the donor’s will that this money be used for widening the scope of the programs implemented by the Foundation in the sphere of culture, as well as for the repair of the third floor of the National Gallery of Art. The expert Committee, presided by Acad. , selected various project works of Bulgarian artists, patronized exhibitions and financed catalogues and publishing activities. In 2007, it financed the Bulgarian participation in the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2009 we transferred 25,000 Euro to the Municipality of Sofia following the will of Mr. Voeten to support a home for orphans. With the financial support of Mr. Voeten the Shmirgela Workshop was financed, as well as the biennale in Pleven, a number of master classes conducted by world famous instrumentalists and extraordinary teachers as G.Lipkind, S.Russev, B.Vodenicharov, D.Takova and S.Klincharova. The successful results achieved under this program wouldn’t have been achieved without the professional and creative cooperation of Acad. . Mr. received the highest state recognition and was awarded with the “Stara Planina” First Order Medal.
Stefan Tanev’s “Diary”
Parallel to the scholarship bearing the name of Stefan Tanev, together with his heirs, the Foundation is co-financing the unique edition of his personal diary. The diary was published in 2006 and was formally presented before the Bulgarian public in the National Library “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”.
CONTACTS WITH SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS
The St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation takes an active part in the life of the Third Sector in Bulgaria.Being one of the initiators and supporters of the idea for establishing a Bulgarian Donor’s Forum, the Foundation became its co-founder and continued participating actively in its activities. The Foundation works in partnership with different organizations for the launching of new initiatives and for the implementation of numerous projects. We are actively collaborating with the Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation, which we are co-founders of, together with the American Foundation for Bulgaria, with the “Evrika” Foundation, and with a number of artists’ unions as well as many other organizations of the Third Sector.
The Foundation is a Member of the European Foundation Center (EFC). As a result of the purposeful efforts made over the years of membership in the EFC, the interest in financing initiatives in Bulgaria has grown. As a result of the possibilities for a constructive dialogue with government agencies, with corporate and private donors, our Foundation is renowned for its trustworthiness and prestige. Over the years, jointly with the Humboldt Union in Bulgaria, we have patronized the organization of numerous international scientific conferences in different fields of study, funded by the “Alexander von Humboldt” Foundation, Germany.
“Leonardo Da Vinci – scientist and inventor” Exhibition
The Foundation is participating in the organization of the “Leonardo Da Vinci – scientist and inventor” exhibition in Bulgaria as a partner of the Institute for Cultural Exchange in Tubingen, Germany. It was an exceptionally large-scale project, which brought together the Sofia Municipality, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science. A large-scale advertising campaign was launched, 6 multimedia programs were translated into and presented in Bulgarian, copies of which were given to 3,000 Bulgarian schools. This project demonstrated the Foundation as a trustworthy and reliable partner in the organizing of largescaleEuropean initiatives in Bulgaria.
Dr. George Atkinson’s official visit
Owing to Ms. Joann DiGennaro and her support for the Foundation, we organized the visit of Dr. George Atkinson, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State of the USA. The formal meetings at “St. Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the American University in Bulgaria and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were a contribution to the future realization of yet new creative relations. As a result of the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, efforts shall be made in the direction of concluding a cooperation agreement between Bulgaria and the USA in the field of research and technologies.
The Information Centers network activity over the years has been quite successful. The Center in Sofia is visited by around 150 people daily. The readers have access to reference books as well as to standardized test preparation materials. Self-study textbooks on standardized tests can also be purchased.Group and individual consultations, concerning the provisioned opportunities for continuing one’s higher education abroad, the application process, the standardized tests, etc. are all held on a daily basis. The centers in Plovdiv, Varna and Rousse not only function as libraries and reading- rooms, but also host consultations and registration for the standardized tests.