The work of Mission Salvation Foundation is directed into two main streams:
1. Social and charitable projects
2. Cultural and educational projects
The leading motivation in the social activity is the support for people in unequal and vulnerable social and material conditions, people unable to use their rights, victims of discriminating practices and circumstances, such as: single parent families, large families, convicts, refugees and people seeking protection in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. The engagement of Mission Salvation with this type of people is accompanied by pursuit to create an environment for complete and adequate involvement in the modern society and active life, efforts to bring down to nothing the deprived conditions which made these people vulnerable.
By its cultural and educational platform, the Foundation is aiming to discover, encourage and develop the creative and scientific potential, providing adequate environment and equal opportunities, as well as a constructive atmosphere of upbringing, values and overall development of personality. The two main work streams of Mission Salvation Foundation are closely connected and supplement each other in their functions.
The work of Mission Salvation Foundation in regards with single parent and large families aims to provide conditions and opportunities for social protection, equality of rights, complete children’s development and optimizing of relationships in the family and out of it. A set of measures have been developed in support of these families and their stress is on:
• overcoming of prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination in its different forms and reduction of their presence;
• development of certain social and behavioral skills in children and parents and affirmation of family values;
• averting and prevention of the low level of education and social isolation;
• providing of financial stability and professional realization;
• children with knowledge, skills and interests in the area of education, sports, art and culture.
The activity which Mission Salvation Foundation develops amongst convicts and ex-convicts has 18 years of history. Teams of volunteers from the foundation are visiting weekly Sofia Central Prison and ЗО Kazichene, where in personal and group meetings they have been working for reformation of character, formation and affirmation of value system, personality orientation and consolidation, psychological support e restoration of family relationships, overall re-socialization, improving quality of life in the penitentiary facilities, care and support for the children of families of convicts. Thanks for the many years of experience, consistency and social support, Mission Salvation Foundation is enjoying the favor and the good references of the Ministry of Justice and General Administration of Serving Penalties.
With similar goals, at the end of 2012 Mission Salvation Foundation marked the beginning of its active work with refugees and people seeking protection in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. Through visits at refugee’s camps and integration centers a building up process has been carried out for meeting needs and necessities in the spiritual and material aspects, change of value system, culture, educational and creative development, establishing and strengthening of relationships, support and mutual aid, social adjustment and adequate participation in modern society. Developing this activity, our direct involvement and profound empathy for these people in difficult and vulnerable circumstances made it possible to establish good practice with proven effectiveness and results, which were highly esteemed by the administration of Refugees State Agency, part of the Ministry Council, and in the beginning of 2015 Mission Salvation Foundation was invited to sign a termless agreement for mutual collaboration.
The project “Transition through art and knowledge” is a further development of the work of Mission Salvation Foundation and expresses the strong aspirations to create conditions for effective integration, easier adapting and adequate opportunities for creative and educational growth of the participants, as well as setting premises for social and cultural acceptance and hospitable attitude from the Bulgarian society. This project gives a chance to the participants to find their cultural identity through art, and by knowledge of the environment and practical skills to be able to live their lives on their own and the future of their children. Presenting and improving the image of the refugees and getting to know the problems of a vulnerable group of people, who are looking for a new beginning, will actively provoke the civil awareness and initiative thinking, they will affirm some good
practices for creating awareness, assistance and support. The opportunities will be optimized amongst the vulnerable groups of people and the personal motivation and self affirmation will increase.
The project “Transition through art and knowledge” is being financed within the framework for support of NGO in Bulgaria through the Financial mechanism of the European Economical Space 2009-2014.
The provided activities in the project are being conducted on the grounds of the Center for integration in the city district of Ocvha Koupel and the “Palace of happy people” cultural and educational center, and their aim is to assist and distribute mechanisms for self-help and solidarity, training and groups for mutual aid, providing a platform for multi cultural dialog through concerts, public discussions and seminars.
The need to create is a part of every human being. It is very strongly manifested in children and young people. The positive emotions and the liberating impact of the creative work reduce the tension and stimulate personal expression, self-confidence and self esteem. The magic of art is to materialize one’s emotions by their own means of expression – inspiring and challenging experience. The opportunity to create and participate in group activities makes them more communicative and makes easier the collaboration and formation of closer relationships. That’s why, a few of the activities are fine and applied arts, learning skills for a musical instrument, singing groups for children and youth, contemporary dancing. At the end of each term, provided two concerts are taking place, where participants of the art workshops are performing together with Bulgarian students from the Center for Culture and Education “Palace of happy people”.
A key moment in the process of integration is the overcoming of the language barrier. Studying of the Bulgarian language created the opportunity to better adapt in the conditions of the Bulgarian society and makes easier the overcoming of social and cross-cultural differences. This by itself makes the premise for the participants to successfully realize their intentions in relation to lifestyle, job, etc. in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. Within the work frame of the project there are three groups for studying Bulgarian language: pre-school; children of school age; youth and adults.
For the purpose of improving the qualification or participants and given professional orientation, provided are some activities such as: training seminar for entrepreneurship; info-training seminar in regards to the labor market in Bulgaria and Europe; computer skills training; professional training for house keepers and tailoring. The trainings are comprised of theoretical and practical preparation, looking at possibilities for development and give directions and advices concerning good practices in the specific area.
Work in the social and psychological area has been planned organized in the form of family groups for mutual aid, where the participants are having the opportunity to share personal experiences, problems, difficulties, confronting differences, hindering factors. The main goal is to render psychological assistance and to give opportunities for self-observation and self analysis, which would suggest options for overcoming of certain circumstances and stimulate positive attitudes and adjustment towards the environment and family. Participation in such groups renders emotional support, feeling of solidarity and empathy, strengthens and restores relationships, increases the self-confidence and self-esteem, brings fulfillment.
By holding public discussion-seminars, a forum will be provided to consider the issues of the refugees and their respective possible solutions. The public presentation of these discussions will increase the awareness and will bring out of the dark to the open groups of immigrants or individual precedents; it will improve the coordination between institutions and interested parties; it will stimulate the activity of the civil society and it engagement. The meetings envision to engage the participation of different organizations and movements, who support refugees, representatives of government institutions and representatives of the interested parties from the target group.
Parallel to the whole activity part of the project, is being build an informative platform for solidarity and self assistance, which provides possibilities for communication, sharing and finding of information related to refugees and people seeking protection in the territory of Bulgaria, organizations and movements supporting the refugees, donors and volunteers.
“To be an answer” is a motto, which accompanies the many years of experience of Mission Salvation Foundation. It’s a motto, which is an expression for the relentlessness of the team at the foundation. It is the one that motivates when being in front of any closed door in the search of new way. It inspires when it is difficult to move forward. It is the one, that gives courage in the search of the truth.