Participation in the European Year for Development 2015

ARCI is a partner of the Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPMR) in the project "European Year for Development 2015 (EGR 2015)", National Work Programme for Bulgaria, funded by the European Commission on the National Work Programme of the Member States of the European Year for development 2015 and Beneficiary - the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Experts of the Association organized and conducted three information meetings on the ERG 2015, Goals for sustainable development and global education. The events were implemented in October 2015. in the towns of Haskovo, Silistra and Lovech. Participation in them took more than 100 teachers, directors of schools and kindergartens, representatives of Regional Inspectorate of Education and others.

Visit of a play in theater

ARCI in partnership with the Satirical Theater "Aleko Konstantinov", Sofia implemented a joint initiative that brought together around the stage children and young people from different social groups. We are empathetic with the understanding that the access to culture is a true mark of the civilization of any society, particularly gently and sensitive for modeling in early childhood.

On 12.14.2014 at 11.30 am more than 200 spectators - children and parents of the refugee centers in Sofia, SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria and other educational and social institutions in the capital visited the Satirical Theater. They had fun together with the actors of the play "The noise of the willows" on the novel by Kenneth Grahame.

The spectacle, unique in its bright tone and cheerful attitude towards the world emits huge love for life, for nature, every living thing. As we nurture positively and tolerant attitude between each other irrespective of our individual diversity. This innovative initiative launched new models for attracting children towards art. The project partners will continue to work on the implementation of such events and in 2015, as part of the socially responsible behavior of both organizations.

Opening of the exhibition "Eyes of Hope"

The official opening of the exhibition took place on March 26th, 2014 at the National Library "St. Cyril and Methodius". The exhibition was visited by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova- mayor of Sofia, ambassadors, representatives of governmental institutions and many citizens and guests of the capital. At the opening refugee children from Syria welcomed the guests with Bulgarian rose labeled "Hope" and performed Bulgarian national and Syrian folk songs. The exhibition generated wide response and excitement among the visitors, because no one can remain indifferent to the horror,experienced by banished people from their homeland.

The exhibition was shown in the town of Plovdiv, hosted by the gallery "Trakart"

In September 2014 the exhibition was presented at the VII International festival of young in art "Via Pontica" in the city of Balchik. The pictures were arranged at the Art Gallery and sparked the interest of locals and tourists.

It is in the planning process other visits to the exhibition and in other cities of Bulgaria.

Participation in the VI International Festival Via Pontica 2013

In September 2013 ARCI and the Association "Common-STEP" participated in the VI International festival of young people in art "Via Pontica" in the town of Balchik. Along with the National Academy of Arts - Sofia, Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, the National Music Academy " Prof. Pancho Vladigerov", the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts "K. Sarafov", New Bulgarian University, Institute "Cervantes "- Sofia, Folklore Ensemble "Trakia" presented exhibitions: "Hope for Syrian children", “Syria - more than two years demonic war - destruction, suffering and hope" and an exhibition of paintings by children refugees in Bulgaria under the motto" Bulgaria - Open Door to the World". We assisted the participation of two Syrian youths in the festival - Linda Ibrahim and Ricardo Ibrahim, who presented traditional musical impressions.

Exhibition “Eyes of Hope”

The initiative for the exhibition “Eyes of Hope” aroused in the summer of 2013. Association “Alliance for Regional and Civil Initiatives” (ARCI) and Common Step in collaboration with the photographer Vasil Karkelanov and the journalist Nidal Klaif coalesced around the idea that we could not be reluctant and that we had to inform the Bulgarian society in one way or another of the humanitarian echo of the events in Syria, sending hundreds of thousands people away from their homeland, searching for salvation and protection all around the world.

What happens with the mothers, fathers, families, what are children’s dreams, what is their hope for the future, when they have lost their relatives, home and country?

All these questions moved us and the emotional fund was so strong, that could not be stopped neither by the chemical attack threats, nor by the continuous bombings and the risk for own safety, which are more than possible in Syria.

We received support and consideration for implementing of the exhibition of the UN Refugee Agency in Bulgaria

So, in August 2013 Vasil Karkelanov and Nidal Klaif travelled to Syria, where during 10 days lived in refugee camps nearby the Turkish - Syrian border and “imprinted” on film the everyday life of their inhabitants. They filmed more than 2500 frames and captured the tears and smiles, the pain and happiness, the destruction and hope, the death and giving birth to new life of the youngest childрen till the oldest adults.

Part of the photos are made in the region Jabal al-Zawiya, where children left without their parents during the war are living in caves under the remains of an ancient city.


Vasil Karkelanov: “We traveled to the area of Jabal al-Zawiya, where the caves below the ruins of an ancient city were inhabited mostly by children who lost relatives in the war. The children of Syria. They had seen and experienced prematurely much pain and suffering, bringing to their eyes wisdom of a sort, but at too high a cost. I saw hope in their eyes as well, though. Hope that there will be "Tomorrow." A Tomorrow, when I will be home. When I can go to school without fear. When I can have lunch. When again someone will kiss me goodnight.
Children play, and whose eyes are laughing shortly after they have cried. The most beautiful children I've ever seen”

Nidal Klaif: “What is happening in Syria can happen anywhere. As citizens in the world we should not close our eyes to what is happening in Syria when not affecting us directly. These people, mostly children, are not just a numbers. They are people like us - are faces, stories, dreams and relatives who loved. From a moral and humane point of view we are all obliged to take a global civil position as to introduce the society with cruelty and effects of the civil wars and conflicts”

„COMMON STEP“: “Mankind will not perish due to lack of great deeds but due to lack of small kindnesses. A great deed is only a roof as walls are built of small kindnesses’ bricks”

Tsvetelina Neshkova, Association “ARCI”: „Eyes of hope“ is the responsibility, which we, adults, have towards the youngest so that they can realize their biggest dream “Grow up!”.

Donation campaign, supporting refugees

In December 2012 Association "ARCI" in partnership with "Agency for European integration" - Haskovo and "Free Syria" club launched a campaign for provision of humanitarian aid to asylum seekers in Bulgaria and in support of refugees from Syria looking for shelter and salvation in the refugee camps for accommodation outside their home country.

The campaign included collecting of clothes, shoes, blankets, medicines, sanitary - hygienic materials, utensils, books and toys for children and others. Hundreds of Bulgarian citizens reacted to the calls for support and up till now continue to help as they can. The campaign joined companies who provided medicines, foods and transport services for the transportation of collected materials.