The project School of Arts and Crafts DIMITAR EKIMOV focuses on the proper care, education and integration of children from minority groups and parentless children. The objective is raising up self-fulfilled persons with well-shaped system of values and creative, contemporary perceptions of the world.The idea is to establish a school for Arts and Crafts for socially disadvantaged children, which will be the first of its kind both in Bulgaria and in the Balkan region.
The aim of the ”School for Arts and Crafts for Socially Disadvantaged Children” is to gather at one place poor and parentless children who posses distinguished skills and talents in arts.
The team of the BIS BARD Theatre Formation has made in-depth research and has worked with children at risk for the last ten years. The results from our work we now witness are quite important and encouraging: over 35% of the adolescents among the children at risk do possess intellectual capacity and technical skills high above the average, moreover every second child demonstrates a bright talent. It is perfectly clear that these young people, no matter whether they survive somehow in the specialized institutions or within the poor environment of their families, gradually lose these natural gifts and talents. This is why we want to turn their individual strengths into a powerful motor drive for their social and spiritual transformation, thus turning the negatives into positives. We are well assured that this could be achieved through careful and specialized care, education and training.
The idea for the founding of the „School for Arts and Crafts for Socially Disadvantaged Children“, which would be the first of its kind in Bulgaria, is now the main mission of our organization. We announced this mission statement in the public space once we have finished analyzing the results of our past projects and work, on which we currently build upon. We also feel confident having a clear vision on what immediate results and long-term effects to expect. We do believe that this initiative will be a huge step towards eliminating many of the negative events impeding these young people’s lives – segregation, lack of proper education, low level of literacy, raising crime rates and a number of other factors that also reflect on the overall discontent, anger and fear of the wider society towards these youngsters.
Besides, through this initiative we will stop the negative tendency in the development of ethnic minorities, who are locked in the closed cycle of social, cultural and public marginalization. Our idea is an alternative and long-term solution for positive transformation in the lives of young people at risk, which totally corresponds to the state policy of de-istitutionalisation. Yet we take into account the fact that our society is not quite ready to foster these unprivileged children who have beed isolated in institutions for decades. We know that these changes take time, patience, concern and wisdom. Our school is part of this long path ahead. The school itself will be a guarantee that the participating children will be raised as fully developed persons with stable system of values, creative thinking and modern perceptions. In the context of united Europe, Bulgaria happily being part of it, these would be the members of a better society
FOR THE SCHOOL
The school will function in the form of a school with full-board day care and housing from 1st to 12th grade – a concept borrowed from the good tradition of the European and world colleges that have proved their efficiency over time.
The curriculum will include (besides of course the mandatory general education disciplines) prioritised training in arts (theatre, music, dance, drawing), as well as training in the typical for Bulgaria crafts applied in contemporary business. Parallel to that the young people will be trained in all technical skills that accompany the respective creative field, which together with the acquired skills in crafts, will guarantee that after their graduation they will find jobs more easily.
The training will be mainly targeted at empowering the individual talents and personal abilities of the children, as well as developing the necessary skills for independent living and civic responsibility.
The training methodology we plan to use is based on the program of the suggestologist prof. Lozanov which has been widely applied in and outside Bulgaria, as well on some of the principles applied in the educational policy of the „Waldorf“ Schools. In its first year, the school shall start with opening two classes – preschool class and 1st grade class. Further, each year new kids will be enrolled in the preschool class till total of 170 – 200 children become students of the school. The educational team consisted by pedagogues and expert in the years to come will enlarge to 50-60 and the administration team and technical staff will become 25.
A special stress in the training program will be placed on the concept for sustainable development that will be implemented for the first time in a Bulgarian school – i.e. awareness and skills in preserving the soils, water management, raising ecologically sustainable crops and vegetation, bio-vegetable produce, waste management and recycling, etc. And again for the first time in Bulgaria the school buildings shall be reconstructed based on the sustainable development principle, very close to the active building standards. And we believe that it is clear for everyone that this shall be the first Creative and Green School in Bulgaria.