In early June 2023, a fundraising campaign was initiated to provide support for 15 individuals with disabilities. This time, the focus is not on raising funds for their medical rehabilitation, but on creating a different and enriching experience—a thrilling sea excursion.

At the core of this campaign are 15 young individuals who, despite having multiple permanent disabilities, courageously embarked on their first job journey in 2021. They undertook a range of roles, such as kitchen assistants, dishwashers, bakers and waiters, becoming valuable members of the support team at a bistro situated in the Varna city center. This bistro is a home of the Kredo Centre for Sheltered Employment, the first in Varna and the second in Bulgaria to provide adapted and sheltered workplaces for people with disabilities. This new employment opportunity has brought them the joy of transcending their “otherness,” freeing themselves from familial or institutional care, and integrating as equal members of society. However, it has also presented them with responsibilities such as adhering to schedules, working hours, acquiring new skills, and collaborating within a team. Although the beginning was challenging, marked by numerous hurdles and excitement, they persevered. Today, we witness their smiles, increased confidence, sociability, and enthusiasm for embracing new knowledge and emotions.

A group of students from Varna University of Management, volunteers from Bulgarian Red Cross, and other representatives from the NGO sector acknowledged their efforts and took the initiative to launch this purpose-driven endeavor. They came together during a short course focused on philanthropy and the utilization of the popular “crowdfunding” method for social causes. The course was organized as part of the Erasmus+ project “Culture of Giving and Social Inclusion.” Throughout the training, they acquired new knowledge and skills necessary for initiating charitable campaigns. Upon its conclusion, they selected a specific cause: providing an unforgettable maritime experience for these 15 disadvantaged young individuals, supporting their personal development and experiential learning. They meticulously developed a plan for implementation and promotion.

The campaign is currently in progress. The target amount is 1600 BGN, which will cover transportation from Varna to Balchik and back, a safe sea voyage, and a joint lunch for the target group and three of their companions. A significant portion of the required funds has already been raised with the support of kind-hearted individuals who recognize the benefits of this venture. Only an additional 500 BGN is needed to successfully conclude the campaign. You can contribute to both the target group and the campaign initiators by making a donation at https://platformata.bg/bg/kauzi/2087:nezabravimo-morsko-prezhivyavane-15-dushi-uvrezhdania/details/campaign.html until August 11, 2023.

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