Civil Association

About the organization

The BALKAN FORUM Civil Association is a Bulgarian Non-government Organization /NGO/, registered according to the Bulgarian legislation "Persons and Family Law", Verdict of the Kardjali Regional Court No. 194, according to the Case No: 106/ 21.03.1997. Tax Registration No 1096400329 / April 04/97. Statistic No. 108026585 U. The Association was created in January 97.

Prominent persons from the spheres of culture, art, education and business, reached an agreement to unify their possibilities and they founded the "Balkan Forum" Association. They are all highly respected and educated persons, with high social prestige, and with considerable practical experience in resolving important problems in all aspects of life. Knowing well the problems of the population in this Region, the founders decided to help create better living conditions and to assist the building of a stable democratic civil society.

The main goals of the association are to improve and encourage the interethnic relations in the regions with mixed religious population. According to the rules of the Association our efforts are accomplished by:

The "Balkan Forum" Civil Association enjoys a very good collaboration and relations with The Municipality of Kardjali; the Government and governmental institutions; The National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria; and many NGOs inside the country and abroad.

The Association members accepted a five-year program for their activity development, which involves institutional stability, tracing out the strategic aims and realization of 25 top projects, directly concerning the citizens of the Rhodope Mountain Region.

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Realized projects last year (short description)

  1. Project: "CHILDREN'S THEATRICAL STUDIO " - including free training in actors mastery and stenography for talented children from poor families and children from different ethnic groups. 24 children are separated into two groups of 12. After the training 12 performances will be played in various towns and villages in the Region. King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium) and Open Society Foundation (Sofia) donate the project.
  2. Project: "INTERETHNIC RELATIONSHIPS IN CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE CIVIL DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY" - including: creating a "Model for harmonious interethnic relationships in the Eastern Rhodopes" and a Program for the decrease of the migration processes. The Democracy Network Program (USAID) donated the project.
  3. Project: "INFORMATION NETWORK ACHIEVEMENT ABOUT THE ETHNIC GROUPS PROBLEMS IN THE EAST RHODOPES AND THEIR PRACTICAL RESOLUTION" - Fulfilling this project, our Association assists for establishing, training and practical support of eight Social Councils in East Rhodope Region. Easier resolving the problems of the local citizens is the main aim of the project. Here we worked in collaboration with all Mayors of main regional cities. Democracy Commission Grants to U.S. Embassy in Sofia donated the project
  4. Project: "SELF AND MUTUAL AID FOR DISABLED AND FOR SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS" - This is a new, alternative approach for the help of socially needy people and disabled persons in the Region, through production processes. The Balkan Forum CA has bought a stock of textile from The Union of Blind in Bulgaria. 18 work places available only for the disabled from Kardjali were opened. These people had produced several kinds of household linen and baby diapers for a six-month period. This production was donated to The Homes of Orphan Children, and Hospitals. Civil Society Development Foundation (Phare Program) donated the project.
  5. Project: "CHANCE OF EDUCATION" - This project helped the preparation of candidate students from poor families, living in outlying districts of Eastern Rhodopes. We invited six associate professors from Sofia University for a 12-day period to teach them. The Balkan Forum Association organized this project with our own resources, volunteers, and representatives of private business circles.
  6. Project: "DAILY CENTER FOR DISABLED CHILDREN" - In association with the Municipality of Kardjali, the "Balkan Forum" created a center where eight children live. Professional psychologists and teachers look after them. Charity Know How Fond Great Britain) donated part of the project.


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Important Note - New Association:

During the realization of the Balkan Forum project activities the staff of the Association and the teams of the projects had the chance to meet and talk both with the common people, managers and leaders from the region. The unemployment and the lack of economic stability are the basic reasons for the interethnic tensions and migrations. At all meetings opinions were shared about the immediate necessity to concentrate many efforts for the regional economic and small and middle size business development. Paying attention to the basic needs and desires of the local population, Balkan Forum Civil Association took a decision to create a new main department - Regional Economic Development. Because Balkan Forum Civil Association works in many different spheres and has different kind of activities, we want to separate this department. In our opinion, the best way for building up this section is to create a new type of organization. That's why we initiated creation and legal registration of new, independent Organization named "Regional Economic Development and Investment Agency - Kardjali", where Balkan Forum participates.

Contact Information

BULGARIA, 6600 Kardjali, 23 "Trakia" Blvd., Block "Nov jivot", entrance B

Phone: 359 361 / 3 83 85, 2 27 21; 359 799 62427;

Fax: 359 361 / 2 27 21

E-mail: and

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Ilko Vakarelov - Executive Director

Anita Tagarova - Chief Accountant


Pavel Petkov - Co-ordinator

Krasimira Nedeva - Office Assistant


Margarita Karamihova Ph.D. - Consultant

Stanislava Georgieva - Public Relations


Diana Marinova - Translator

Peicho Pashov - Program Co-ordinator


Dimitar Ignatov - Project Manager

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    Last updated: June 03/1998

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