On 16 February 2012, Georgi Draganov, Managing Director of STIHL and VIKING/STIHL Sales Manager in Bulgaria, presented a cheque for € 7,000 to SOS Children's Village representatives at the Veliko Tarnovo SOS Children's Village. The head of SOS Children's Villages in Bulgaria, Plamen Stoyanov, was delighted and expressed his thanks for this valuable contribution, saying: "We are extremely pleased and honoured that VIKING has decided to continue actively supporting our family strengthening programme and is thereby playing a key role in helping families in need. This will help secure the continuation of the institutions founded in 2008."
High unemployment is one of the main causes for social problems in families, as the financial resources needed to cover their daily needs are unavailable. Consequently, children are often "handed over" to state-run homes. In order to ensure that the children can stay with their families, SOS Children's Village has taken action by establishing so-called "Family strengthening programmes". Here, parents not only receive the financial means for food, clothing, rent, school materials etc., but also support with finding employment and visits to public authorities. This has helped to ensure that children are able to attend school regularly.
Implementation of the family strengthening programme is only possible if it is supported by a great many people and if business enterprises play their part. VIKING, the gardening tool manufacturer based in Langkampfen/Tyrol, has supported SOS Children's Village since 2005. In recent years, they have mainly supported Austrian SOS Children's Villages. VIKING is part of the STIHL Group and produces lawn mowers, garden shredders and other gardening power tools.
SOS Children's Village has been active in Bulgaria since 1990. Currently it has ten institutions, at which 735 children/teenagers and their families are provided with support and assistance.
Illustrations (VIKING/free of charge):
Image "Cheque": Georgi Draganov (Managing Director of STIHL and VIKING in Bulgaria, centre) presents a cheque to the amount of € 7,000 to Albena Prokopieva (left) and Plamen Stoyanov (right) from the Bulgarian SOS Children's Villages, in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.
Image "Children": Gardening tool manufacturer VIKING, a sponsorship partner of SOS Children's Village since 2005, is supporting the SOS Children's Village family strengthening programme in Bulgaria in 2012.