Since opening the doors of its first centre in the Bulgarian town of Tran in 2014 and subsequently beginning to operate in local schools in the towns of Pernik and Peshtera in 2015, The Pink Foundation has worked to enact long-lasting positive change in the lives of hundreds of at-risk children and youth.

The Pink Foundation Transforms the Lives of At-Risk Bulgarian Youth with Afterschool Programmes
Children playing a game at a Pink afterschool activity. Photo: Pink Foundation Facebook

The Foundation targets children between the ages of three and eighteen. With its array of free afterschool programmes, Pink focuses on five key areas of young people’s development: socialisation, education, health and hygiene, community service and life skills.

The Pink Foundation Transforms the Lives of At-Risk Bulgarian Youth with Afterschool Programmes
Children learning English at a ‘Rockin’ English’ Club. Photo: Pink Foundation Facebook

The Pink Foundation runs a variety of activities for children of all ages, including ‘Rockin’ English’ clubs, where children have the chance to learn English through songs, games and art workshops, and a range of sport activities for children between the ages of seven and twelve. For older children, programmes such as the Help Yourself Club equip young people with life skills such as how to prepare meals on a budget or plan a trip. In addition, the organisation helps at-risk children access one-on-one meetings with psychologists, speech therapists or social workers.

The Foundation also provides young people with opportunities to gain new skills and improve their future prospects. For teenagers aged sixteen to eighteen, Pink offers a two-year cooking course, including a two-month summer internship, and assists the course participants in finding employment in restaurants and hotels after completing school. In the past, Pink has organised a professional manicure and pedicure course which enabled eight girls in Pernik to become EU certified nail technicians.

The Pink Foundation Transforms the Lives of At-Risk Bulgarian Youth with Afterschool Programmes
Community service volunteers painting benches at a local school. Photo: Pink Foundation Facebook

Pink encourages young people to participate in community service projects such as painting and cleaning in local schools and parks. These projects give teenagers the chance to improve their communities by volunteering and instils in them the value of helping others.

The Pink Foundation Transforms the Lives of At-Risk Bulgarian Youth with Afterschool Programmes
Pink Foundation delivering supplies to children’s homes. Photo: Pink Foundation Facebook

In response to the pandemic, the Pink Foundation delivered boxes of art and educational supplies as well as food directly to children’s homes, so that even in the face of restrictions regarding in-person activities, children would still have the resources to continue to partake in enriching activities.

“My tough childhood and lack of money drove me to study and work more. Now I want to help children at risk to develop their potential and to improve their lives through the Pink program,” said Albena Krusheva, the executive director of the Pink Foundation. “My goal is to show our children the wide range of possibilities to live better and step out of their fear, insecurity and low self-esteem. Hope, faith, efforts and persistence are the qualities that if every child develops in its character, life will be happier, healthier and more productive.”

Visit The Pink Foundation website to learn more about their work.

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