About 45 children, between the ages of 7 and 16, of energy workers from ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP saw where their mom and dad work. The initiative is part of the Proud of My Parents’ Work project. It is implemented in 20 major Bulgarian companies that are members of the Bulgarian Network of the UN Global Compact. It is the largest non-governmental organisation globally dedicated to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.
The 20 companies that join the 7th edition of the Proud of My Parents’ Work are A1, Amer Sports, Assarel Medet, Aurubis Bulgaria, Metal Technology Group, DZI, Doverie Briko, IOV Bulgaria, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP, Melexis, Neochim, UBB, Overgas, Postbank, Solvay Sodi, Sopharma, Steel Industry, TechnoLogica, Transpress and Chaos Group. 1200 children were part of this year’s edition of the initiative.
The purpose of the organisation is to discuss and seek solutions to significant social problems, such as the problem of the quality of education in our country. The lack of connection between education and the real business, the lack of career education and the orientation of students towards their future jobs are among the issues, which the companies from the Bulgarian Network are also looking for solutions.
There is an alarming trend at the moment among many young people for choosing a place to study instead of choosing a profession to pursue in the future. This is because at school they are not able to get acquainted with different professions, to understand what personal qualities, knowledge and skills a person needs to be successful in them.
Therefore, the main goal of the Proud of My Parents’ Work project is to show adolescents that work is a necessity and a value that everyone can be useful for the community, no matter what profession they practice. Children acquire new information that helps them in their future career orientation, especially for the older ones – and in choosing the right education and profession.
The companies implementing this project have something in common – they are all proud of their contribution to the community and believe that their employees are their most valuable asset.
In this regard, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP is somewhat a veteran, being among the first 3 companies that started the project. This is the 7th consecutive time visits to the plant are organised. This explains why some of the children had already been here, but there were some who entered the power plant for the first time. They were greeted by Director Quinto di Ferdinando, who explained to them that the plant produces between 8 and 10% of the electricity in Bulgaria.
Then, as real workers, the children went through safety training and put on their helmets and safety goggles to visit the turbine workshop and control room. Their hosts explained that the noise the turbine room is as loud as a jet taking off, so the children were given earplugs. Chift head Delyan Dechev, who has been working at the plant for 23 years, brought his children Theodora, in grade 9, and Ivan, into grade 4 from Stara Zagora to see his place of work. With them was their first cousin Ivanina, also in 4th grade.
The second-grader Nikola, whose father Nikolay Zhelev works as an absorber operator for the desulphurisation plant, came from Harmanli. Other children came from Galabovo and Radnevo, where their families live.
The day was especially exciting for veteran retiree Raicho Dzhambov from Galabovo. He came with his son Genady, whose workplace today is the Control room of the plant, and his granddaughter, Ralitsa. Raicho began work on January 2, 1976, when the plant was only a construction site and did not even have a director appointed. Raicho Dzhambov worked at the power plant for many years.
“I retired in 2000 and haven’t been here since then. It’s interesting to see how my former workplace has changed,” the 76-year-old man did not hide his excitement.
And if for Raycho Dzhambov ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP is the past, for the 10th grader Denis Koev from the Electrical Engineering Vocational High School in Stara Zagora, the plant’s headquarter is surely his future job. The boy already knows that he wants to become an energy engineer and willingly assist the hosts in explaining to their guests about the coal burned by the plant, the power generation process, and what a thermal power plant, such as a TPP-3, actually is.
One of the hosts’ tasks was to prevent the children from getting bored. Therefore, in addition to visit to the control room, they were also given a tour of the desulphurisation units. Experts from the Green Balkans Wildlife Rescue Center in Stara Zagora also took part, and released about 50 ducks and other birds raised and treated by them, together with the children.
And this is no coincidence, because the energy workers voluntarily support the work of Green Balkans, as one of the five initiatives that receive monthly support from the workers. Their monthly wages are deducted by an amount that they themselves determine and given as charity to the five initiatives, chosen by them.