For 8 years now, the employees of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 have been actively contributing to the cause of the Alternative Children’s Social Rehabilitation and Integration Center
Everyday life for children with autism and their families is neither ordinary nor easy. There is a special place in the region of Stara Zagora where they can always find support, understanding and opportunity for development. For 16 years, the center of the Alternative 55 Association offers alternative methods for integrating children with special educational needs and helps them and their loved ones.
Every year the association celebrates the World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, with a series of activities. This year was no exception. For two weeks – from March 14 to April 2, specialists from the center and representatives of partner organizations held information days, lectures, art workshops, occupational therapy classes, storytelling and sports activities with children visiting the rehabilitation and integration center.
Alternative Center, which is the first such center in southern Bulgaria, relies on state funding that is often insufficient for the full range of activities of the organization, which works with 25 children and their families from Stara Zagora and neighboring regions. Donors offer help, and one of the long-term partners of the association is ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 – the company that operates one of the largest power plants in the Maritsa basin.
We have been working with the Alternative Center since 2014. This is among the most long-lasting and favorite causes for our employees in our corporate payroll donation program. Our employees can donate an amount of their choice every month, and the company doubles it – and by doing so we enhance the amount of compassion that people from Alternative Center bestow to children with special educational needs.Nevena Dimitrova, Communications and CSR Specialist at ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3
During the 8-year partnership, the funds donated by the employees of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 are over BGN 60000, and the company, for its part, has doubled this amount, so that the total value of the support is over BGN 120000. The amount may seem modest, but thanks to these funds, Alternative Center has managed to finance many of its main initiatives.
One of the most significant projects of the Alternative Association and ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 implemented in 2017, was the Assist project thanks to the specialized visual communication system purchased with the support of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP. The innovative equipment supports the ability to communicate, learn, develop and integrate with the help of the latest technologies and thus improves the quality of life of children with generalized developmental disorders. ‘New technologies offer endless opportunities to improve our lives. In the case of children with autism, they are especially important because they provide very good opportunities for personal development and real integration. In our company we apply innovative technologies in our work every day and it is especially important for us to support such projects’, shares Nevena Dimitrova.
‘This year, on the occasion of April 2, we presented the center with specialized psychological literature to help the team maintain its knowledge and expertise up-to-date with the latest trends,” says Nevena Dimitrova. In addition to donating funds, the employees of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 have repeatedly supported the cause of Alternative Association through voluntary work too.’
The active involvement of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 employees in the payroll donation program and the participation of the company’s employees as volunteers in various social initiatives in the region was acknowledged with the presentation of the BCause Silver Badge 2021 – Responsible Company, Responsible Employees award of the BCause Foundation.
ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 is one of the largest corporate donors in the Stara Zagora region. For the last 10 years the company has invested over BGN 10 million in improving the living environment of the people in the region of Galabovo and Stara Zagora. The sustainable results of the long-term work with local communities have been recognized over the years – the 2017 Municipal Donor Award of the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, the 2018 Corporate Donor Award of the Bulgarian Donor Forum, and the Business Honoris Causa Award in 2022.