PROMYANATA (The Change) is in the modern, adequate and stimulating school environment!
The mission of Denitsa Shiligarska and Ivelina Ivanova from the Children and the City Foundation is to create an adequate and stimulating school environment for children and youth in Bulgaria, where they can learn to be responsible and build a positive culture.
The foundation started its work from school toilets, which are associated with the basic needs of children, their proper hygiene habits, as well as their health.
Denitsa is an urbanist, while Ivelina is an architect. After graduating from university, they returned to Bulgaria and got involved in various causes aimed at the urban environment on a local level.
In 2020, they won the Sofia Chooses civil competition initiated by the Sofia Municipality with their project "Sofia Chooses Children", aimed at improving school toilets. They are convinced that this process should be launched in many other premises in schools, because this is where children and youth in Bulgaria spend most of their time. At the same time, the school environment is currently unable to demonstrate to children why it is important to act responsibly toward it and does not provide an adequate and stimulating environment for their development. The foundation aims at developing a model for systemic involvement in school buildings in a way that would turn thespaces into efficient premises for children. These spaces may be school yards, gyms, classrooms, specialized cabinets, etc.
PROMYANATA (The Change) they seek to achieve:
Dentisa and Ivelina help children and youth in Bulgaria by improving and creating efficient school environments, starting with the school toilets.
Schools will be able to apply for targeted financing through competitions based on clearly communicated criteria - thus, the candidates will demonstrate their awareness of the problem and readiness to take action.
The foundation works with experts and the improving process is based on an architectural project, taking into account the volumes, distributions, maintenance, and aesthetics.
Projects should meet a set of environmental criteria - optimized use of natural resources and school consumables.
Working with the local community and securing their involvement, education and responsible acting towards the premises in the long-run is critical.
As part of the current programme (Sofia Chooses Children), Denitsa and Evelina work with 29 schools in Sofia, where 21,800 students are learning. All projects are about building easily accessible toilets for children with limited mobility. The decision which premises will be improved in each school is based on the needs and technical specifications. However, considering the limited resources and vulnerable groups, a preference is given to restrooms for the youngest students.
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