Gerb Sofia 1Project: ‘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

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.

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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

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