Encouraging New Visions
Training in Burgas, Bulgaria

March 2010


In its Orphans program, Integra Bulgaria often works in partnership with other organizations, including Agapedia Germany. They believe in sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and experience with others in Bulgaria and encouraging them in their work with children and orphans. One way they do this is by offering training across Bulgaria to people interested in childcare. In this way, they not only spread their know-how, they build a network of relationships that makes all involved better equipped to care for Bulgarian youth.


Recently Integra Bulgaria was invited to Burgas, a city on the Black Sea coast in eastern Bulgaria, to train some gifted people with an overflowing desire to help disadvantaged children. Through lively discussions, the staff learned more and more about the dreams of those they were training. When the staff mentioned Integra’s business training, they learned that the trainees had very similar goals for social development.
Their desire was to start a beauty salon that would train and ultimately employ young people from tough families, giving them a healthy future. They were overjoyed to hear about the business side of Integra’s mission, and saw several opportunities for partnership in the future.


The training focused on the main challenges facing the group in Burgas, which included working with integrity in a complicated bureaucratic system and sustaining an organization that could help the youth around them. The staff shared their own long history with navigating Bulgaria’s social system (especially regarding family-type orphan care) and possibilities within the European Union. Because the staff of Integra Bulgaria gained most of its knowledge through trial and error, they stressed the importance of trying new things and learning through each challenge.


Integra Bulgaria looks forward to maintaining a relationship with their new friends in Burgas, and expects that they will accomplish much as they grow and develop their program for helping young people in their area.