Gerb Sofia 1Project: ‘Sofia, a city of social commitment: Good practices for the inclusion of people with intellectual difficulties’ Objective of the project: Implement good practices related to the social inclusion and equality of people with intellectual difficulties, and promote Sofia as a city which supports the integration of people with intellectual difficulties. The project will include volunteering placements in support of cultural institutions, projects and initiatives, will help improve the access to culture and the inclusion of people with intellectual difficulties in the cultural life of Sofia, and will foster community initiatives related to culture and social inclusion.

Activities: 1. Volunteers will be placed to work at Sofia Library and other cultural institutions or organizations, as well as at festivals and cultural events; 2. Souvenirs will be produced to showcase the skills of people with intellectual difficulties; 3. People with intellectual difficulties will join cultural events; 4. The Worlds Day Care Centre will host the Bibliobus as part of an Open Doors Day event; 5. Initiatives aimed at promoting the project will be carried out. Programa Evropa Logo 1Financing organization: Sofia Municipality Programme Europe

Duration of the project: 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2018

The project is implemented with the kind support of Sofia City Library.

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logo programa 2 cveten bgProject: ‘Equal access to art for people with intellectual difficulties’

Objective of the project:

The project will enable people with intellectual difficulties join on an equal footing the cultural celebrations during the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council. Actual experiences will be transformed into an accessible publication, unique to Bulgaria, which will allow many people with intellectual difficulties and resource-aided students broaden their access to art and culture.


1. Visit cultural events and accompany people with intellectual difficulties
10 events of various genres will be visited by 35 persons. Volunteers will be engaged to facilitate this activity.

2. Produce an easily understandable publication on the cultural events
The publication will be printed in 400 copies and will be disseminated free of charge to social services in Sofia and across the country, to resource teachers and resource schools.

3. Discussion forum on Equal Participation in Cultural Processes
Participants will share their views and experiences over the project. A dialogue will be invoked on how to provide more opportunities for the inclusion of people with intellectual difficulties in cultural life on an equal basis.

4. Promote the project activities.

Financing organisation: The Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality

Duration of the project: 1 January 2018 to 30 November 2018

Duration of the project: July 2017–April 2018

IMG 7931 resProject: ‘Independent living’ Objective of the project:

The project consists of positive advocacy activities carried out in Sofia to promote the ‘National Civilian Initiative 7000’. The Initiative aims to abolish the institute of interdiction and foster the adoption of a Natural Persons and Support Measures Act. The advocacy events will promote the cause for independent and fulfilled life of people with intellectual difficulties by fostering visibility of disabled people and focusing on their abilities.


1. Active promotion of the civil rights of people with intellectual difficulties among the citizens of Sofia;
2. Special project ion in Cinema House of the film ‘Miracle’ for the target audience;
3. A Friendship March in May 2018.

Financing organisation: Bulgarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (BAPID).
The project activities take place in May–October 2018.

art is for everyone

Project: ‘Art is for everyone! Creative lab for persons with intellectual disabilities’

Objective of the project:

The project involves persons with intellectual disabilities and young artists interested in promoting social inclusion in the cultural field. The two groups will be introduced to each other and will be involved in collaborative art making.

The project aims to promote good practices and build a Balkan network of professionals interested in the implementation and further development of the model.

Activities and key outcomes:

A creative lab will be set up through involvement of social workers and psychologists in order to encourage involvement, experimentation and collaboration and to facilitate reflection on the experience.

Four different groups of artists – musicians, visual artists, photographers and filmmakers – will experiment in making art together with persons with intellectual disabilities.

There will be three thematic modules: music, photography and fine arts. Each module will include five to six workshops and/or presentations of the created artworks between the artists and the persons with intellectual disabilities.

The film crew will produce four videos: three clips about each of the modules and a video, covering the whole project. The videos will present particular opportunities for active participation of persons with intellectual disabilities in art making and some of the benefits that such collaboration brings to professional artists.

The current project will be implemented together with the project ‘Knowledge dissemination activities’ that involves artists from Greece and / or Romania. They will participate in the modules described and will also join the final workshop for presentation of project results.

Leading Partner: Creators Association

Financing organisation: Goethe-Institut Bulgarien

Duration of the project: December 2017 – September 2018

An open call to participants from Greece and Romania for a two-day residency in Sofia, Bulgaria. Maria’s World Foundation and Creators Association invite artists, social workers, psychologists and art therapists to join our Creative Lab for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Read more:

IMG 3047

Project: 'Catering services provided by people with intellectual difficulties'

The overall objective of the project is to promote the sustainable development of the catering services which Maria's World Foundation provides through its Sheltered Café 'Worlds'. In particular, the project will open additional opportunities for supported employment to young people with intellectual difficulties.

Maria's World Foundation's Business plan for the development of a Sheltered Café and catering services is among the best five business plans approved in the framework of 'Entrepreneurship for non-profit organisations 2017', a programme organised by the Bulgarian Centre for Not-For-Profit Law and supported by America for Bulgaria Foundation and by UniCredit Foundation.

The Sheltered Café is the first of its kind in Sofia. Staffed by appropriately trained and skilled clients of the Day Care Centre, the Café offers a relaxed ambience, house-made food and excellent service. The Café also operates beyond its own ground by providing catering services for various occasions and events.

This project is driven exactly by the immense demand for and the great potential of catering services. The project will make this activity sustainable and will help expand our capacity by covering the wage costs for a second professional chef. The new chef will also function as an occupational therapist and participate in each phase of the process – from preparing the food to the hands-on performance of each catering assignment in the field.

Financing organisation: Programme 'Entrepreneurship for non-profit organisations' organised by the Bulgarian Centre for Not-For-Profit Law with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation and by UniCredit Foundation.

EU flag-Erasmus vect POSProject: 'Development and implementation of a programme to improve the quality of training in occupational and social skills for adults with intellectual difficulties'

The project is aimed at improving the quality of training in occupational and social skills for independent life of adults with intellectual difficulties at the Worlds Day Care Centre.

The target audience of the project will be the full-time employees and collaborators of the Day Care Centre. The participants will also take part in three working visits for exchanging experiences with partners having long-established practices in supporting people with intellectual difficulties in Ireland, Romania and Norway or France.

The participants will benefit from the project by enhancing their knowledge on how to organise the various activities and ateliers at the Day Care Centre, by strengthening their competences to conduct occupational sessions/practices, promote working mentorship and develop social entrepreneurship activities, and by mastering new methods and approaches for addressing the needs of people with intellectual difficulties. The envisaged wide dissemination of information about the project and the implementation of good practices will contribute to the promotion of European principles and values in respect of people with intellectual difficulties and to the development of a professional community capable of working in the context of the new paradigm, which is based on the rights of disabled people and on their perception as gifted individuals capable of being active participants in society. Financing organisation: Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union Duration of the project: from 1 November 2016 until 30 April 2018

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Project: 'Societies- Support of CSOs in empowering technical skills, inclusion of people with disabilities and EU standards in South-East Europe'

Partners: Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albanian Association for Psychotherapy, CoDe Albania COHERENT DEVELOPMENT ALBANIA, Association for mutual assistance in mental distress TK "Fenix", Association supporting persons with developmental disabilities "Our house", Bulgarian Center For Not-For-Profit Law, Caritas Albania, Caritas Bulgaria, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Kosovo, Caritas Montenegro, Caritas Serbia, Handikos, Kosovar Centre for Self-Help (KCSH), Maria's World Foundation, Paraplegic Association Bar, Psicologi per i Popoli nel Mondo.

Project objective: to improve the capacities of CSOs in South East Europe (SEE) in managing social inclusion processes and in promoting social inclusion policies, through an efficient dialogue with Public Authorities during the decision-making processes.

Maria's World Foundation will participate in the project as a partner in trainings, workshops and conferences aimed at achieving the specific objective: Strengthening the CSOs' skills in promoting the social inclusion of people with disabilities and mental disorders: capacity building, exchange of knowledge, regional networking, managing of social inclusion initiatives and services, monitoring and evaluating of the social impact.

Donor: European Union

Project period: January 2016 – December 2019

Read more about our completed projects.

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