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Bulgaria: Weaving confidence in Kuklen

14 May 2024

At the start of this year, Bulgarian MARIO grantee, the National Association for Social Cooperation and Partnership NSSSP-Kuklen launched a new project: ‘People with disabilities from the municipality of Kuklen keep traditions and the Bulgarian spirit’. Experts assessed 30 potential beneficiaries from various ethnic groups, aiming to empower them through creative workshops like weaving and knitting. Participants will showcase their creations at events like the Kapana craft fair, fostering self-esteem and social connections while promoting their talents to the community.

In January, experts of the association, a psychologist and a social worker involved in the project met with its potential beneficiaries – 30 people with disabilities from the area’s main ethnic groups – Bulgarians, Pomaks, Turks and Roma. The experts met and prepared an assessment of the possibilities of each participant from the city of Kuklen and the small mountain villages of Yavrovo, Ruen and Galabovo.

The project will give the participants an opportunity to express their creative abilities. In the course of the project, they will participate in a number of trainings in order to master crafts like weaving or knitting. They will make products under the guidance and support of craftsmen from the Craftsmen’s Guild and participate in the Craft Fair, and if they wish, they will be able to practice and develop their own business.

The weaving and knitting workshops will foster self-esteem and confidence as well as providing social contact for individuals who can experience isolation. They will have the opportunity to travel, to visit museums, both in the city of Plovdiv – the Street of Crafts in the Old Town, the Ethnographic Museum in the city of Plovdiv, and in the city of Gabrovo – the open-air Etar Ethnographic Museum. With some of the products they will make during the project, they will participate in Kapana, a craft fair in the creative district of Plovdiv, where residents and visitors alike, as well as the local authorities, will get to know their creative possibilities and potential.

Photo credit: National Association for Social Cooperation and Partnership – NSSSP.

This content is a guest post from one of our partner organizations about their work as part of our ‘Minorities, Accountability, Rights, Independence and Organisational Development’ (MARIO) programme. Learn more >

MARIO is funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (2021-27) of the European Union (ref: 101091387).