The BCause Foundation Presented Aggregated Results of the Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care Program 2023

The ninth edition of the Program implemented with the financial support of Philip Morris Bulgaria included more than 5,000 representatives of communities in the tobacco-producing regions of Bulgaria. The BCause Foundation announced the launch of the tenth edition of the Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care Program.

The BCause Foundation presented the aggregated results of the ninth edition of the Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care Program designed to provide support to the communities in the tobacco-producing regions during a special event held at DOZA Gallery in Sofia.

“The Program Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care is implemented in more than 26 villages and small towns where communities experience difficulties getting what people living in the big city take for granted – access to education, medical care, and support for starting a business. The feedback we get shows that we are on the right track and the Program is achieving its goals. Every year nearly 650 children take part in our education and adventure academies under the Program; medical examinations are provided to more than 2,500 senior citizens; around 100 entrepreneurs with business ideas are involved and 15 of them make it to the final stage and receive financial support for their business ideas. The children participating in the education and adventure academies reveal that the excellent educators working with them made them wish to study more, the teachers taking part in the teachers’ academy radically changed the ways in which they prepare and present their lessons and the senior citizens receiving medical examinations expressed their profound appreciation and gratitude. This Program would not have been complete without the active and enterprising people who participated in its Local Entrepreneur Academy module. Those people make the living environment in their settlements better and contribute to the development of their towns.”, said Elitsa Barakova, CEO of the BCause Foundation at the closing event during which the results of the ninth edition of the Program were presented.

The Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care event gathered media representatives, participants in the various program modules, organizers, and partners. The event was hosted by the actor and TV presenter Stefan Shterev.

“Everyone involved in the implementation of the Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care Program have big hearts and devote a lot of energy to making the lives of the people in the tobacco-producing regions better. We find inspiration in having supported the Program for 9 years and are thrilled to be celebrating the Program’s 10th anniversary in a short while. The small rural communities often remain on the periphery of the major issues of the day. The Program’s longevity over the years is a testament to the critical need for meaningful action focused on raising awareness, offering assistance and making a concerted effort to ensure that the senior citizens have access to medical care, children have access to education, teachers can advance their skills and young entrepreneurs can succeed in those regions.”, pointed out Dilyana Yakova, Regulations and Sustainability Manager at Philip Morris Bulgaria.

The aggregate results of the free medical examinations conducted by medical professionals from the member hospitals of the Bulgarian Hospital Association – General Hospital Medica Ruse, St. Sofia General Hospital and Higia General Hospital Pazardjik – were presented during the event. Dr Pavel Kastamanov, an orthopedic surgeon from St. Sofia General Hospital, shared his initial observations from the medical examinations and attorney Svilena Dimitrova, chairperson of the Bulgarian Hospital Association, said: “Once again this year the BHA became part of the lives of a group of people who, like all of us, require medical care, but who do not live in a big city. The data and the results show that prophylactics and prevention should remain a priority and that as in previous years the people in these regions look forward to the visits and the care of our doctors. I would like to thank the BCause Foundation and Philip Morris Bulgaria for their efforts and I hope that BHA will be actively involved in the next edition of the Program.”

The winners in the Local Entrepreneur Academy 7.0 joined Stefan Shterev on stage together with Yavor Gochev, Program Director of the Rinker Center of the BCause Foundation. Radost Vasileva and Dimitar Padarev from Do Sports With Me, Elitsa Petrova, founder of BOHO PRO, Stephany Zgureva from Plant Atelier, Stanislava Ivanova, founder of Nick’s Specialty Coffee, Yanitsa Karapencheva from HPR-Training, and Jeylyana Vrancheva and Mustafa Kyosov from Scandinavian Moss Decorations shared their experiences from the trainings and delivered the joint message of the finalists, which is that we must be bold and take the first step in order to realize our ideas and dreams. An unexpected guest came to the event. The veterinary psychologist and founder of HPR-Training Yanitsa Karapeneva was joined by the beautiful Dalmatian Naomi.

At the end of the event the host Stefan Shterev welcomed on stage Leta Panayotova, Teodor Vasilev and Yoanna Dimitrova from the Future Now Cultural Center – the organization running the education and adventure academies that the Summer of Joy, Autumn of Care Program traditionally starts with. This year 48 teachers completed the I Study With Love module, and 33 teachers participated in the Ready for First Grade module. “Education in smaller rural settlements is not a lost cause!”, Miglena Kostova, Deputy Headmaster of the Vasil Levski Elementary School in Dulovo and Alexandra Lecheva, Deputy Headmaster in charge of the curriculum, noted emotionally and with pride.
The founder and owner of Plant Atelier, Stephany Zgureva, created unique live decorations that the attendees and guests of the event could enjoy. She turns plants into perfect gifts for important personal or corporate occasions. The eco-friendly presents are a low-maintenance, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable choice that brings comfort to any home. Stephany is among the winners in Academy 7.0. After the event the attendees took living beauty home.
More than 4,101 children between the ages of 7 and 14 and 210 teachers participated in the Program throughout the previous nine years and in the lead-up to its tenth edition. Additionally, approximately 15,190 medical examinations of senior citizens residing in 25 small villages spread across 11 municipalities in six tobacco-growing regions were arranged. More than 400 business ideas were submitted, 94 entrepreneurial teams were trained and 32 received grants totaling BGN195 000. Over the course of the Program’s nine years of existence Phillip Morris Bulgaria has invested around BGN2 million in the Program.
Partners of the BCause Foundation and its Rinker Center for entrepreneurship and education are the Future Now Cultural Center (chitalishte), the Bulgarian Hospital Association and the local municipal administrations.