Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear colleagues and friends,It is a great pleasure to be here with you today and briefly present our NGO, called “Democratic Association Iskam da znam (I want to know)”.

I am one of the NGO’s founders. 14 years ago, a few enthusiastic women united to work for civil society development in the district of Shumen, as well as on a national and European level, supporting the European citizenship and promoting European values.

At the moment, our organization is a member of the Public Council of the Commission for Interaction with NGOs and Complaints of Citizens in the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. Our field of competence in the Public Council is: “Civil Society Development”.  It involves expressing the expert opinions in the process of creating laws. In this way we help members of the Bulgarian National Assembly to make important legislative decisions.

Our organization was founded in 2004 in Shumen, which is one of the 27 regional towns in Bulgaria. It is situated in the North-Eastern region of the country, near the seaside – approximately 80 kilometers west from Varna, which is famous as the sea capital of Bulgaria. The district of Shumen has a big advantage – a lot of historical and cultural attractions are situated in it. I will mention a few of them – the ancient Bulgarian capitals – Pliska and Veliki Preslav. These both attractions are situated in the district of Shumen.

Since the beginning to nowadays our non-governmental organization has implemented a lot of activities and projects, financed the European, national and local funds. I would like to draw your attention only to a small part of the projects which we are proud of as they have important social results:

Under one of our projects we crated Strategy against aggression among children and students aged 15 to 18. This strategy is based on the Bus-Durke’s methods in approaching aggression and it is focused on fighting the aggression by ignoring the ineffective traditional school practices. Under the project for Strategy creating, we published a guide for teachers, introducing innovative models of interactive education for prevention of aggression at school, by placing the aggressor in the victim’s shoes during the process of simulation in the classroom. Due to our expert’s work we made the Strategy document that contains measures and activities for prevention, as well as a long-term and a short-term plan of their implementation on a local level. Our local Parliament in Shumen approved the Strategy two years ago and now the measures are attached to many projects on a local level, made by local authorities, NGOs and schools, with the financial contribution of the Municipality’s budget.

Finally, I would like to point out our role in strengthening justice, fighting corruption and spreading a good practice of civil monitoring on implementing the laws by the court, authorities and public institutions. We have created tools and methodology for conducting civil observations. The monitoring that our NGO has arranged is made by our volunteers who we trained to implement observations on the work of institutions and court cases. We have reported the results of the civil observations paying attention to recommendations for improving the transparency and effectiveness of the court and public institutions.

Thank you for your attention!