National Network for Children is organizing the Golden Apple Awards for the tenth consecutive year. The awards are given to individuals, organizations and institutions with contribution to the well-being of Bulgarian children.
The awards were presented on June 1st at a special ceremony held online. The hosts of the event were Maria Sylvester and Georgi Keremidarski from the Megaphone youth network.
“10 years is a little and a lot. For ten years now, the awards have distinguished the heroes of children in Bulgaria. “The Golden Apple is a symbol of what we do every day for the well-being of Bulgarian children, and right now they need support and protection more than ever,” said Georgi Bogdanov, executive director of National Network for Children.
The Golden Apple Awards are traditionally given in the categories “Children’s Hero”, “School”, “Hospital”, “Municipality”, “Journalist”, “Charity”, “Special Award” and Award for overall contribution.
This year, for the first time, National Network for Children introduced a new category – “Children’s Organization”. The purpose of the award is to recognize civic organizations whose activities have had a positive impact on children and families in the fields of health, education, justice, charity and children’s rights. This category, as “Hero of the Children”, was open for nomination and voting by the general public, and more than 3,400 participants have submitted their proposals.
The tenth, jubilee edition of the Golden Apple, received a total of 47 nominations.
In the other categories, nearly 150 member organizations of National Network for Children submitted nominations. The jury, which had the difficult task of choosing the winners, included: Alexandra Mircheva – Coalition Education 2030, Yuliana Koleva – National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, Dr. Boyana Petkova, Elena Atanasova – UNICEF Bulgaria, Krassimira Velichkova – Director of Bulgarian Donors’ Forum, Alexey Pamporov – sociologist from the Institute for the Study of Society at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Irina Nedeva – President of the Association of European Journalists and Teodora Petkova – Chief Executive Officer of Unicredit Bulbank. The jury also included young people from „Megaphone“.
The winners in the Golden Apple 2020 are:
Category “School” – School of Agriculture “St. George the Victorious ”, Suvorovo.
The high school was chosen as a favorite because of the integration of high-tech solutions in education, the dedicated teaching team and the focus on the practical professional training of students.
Category “Municipality” – Nikola Kozlevo municipality, Shoumen district
Nikola Kozlevo Municipality won the award for a systematic approach and care for vulnerable groups, implemented infrastructure projects for the benefit of children and the policy against dropping out of school and support for children at risk.
Category “Journalist” – Yovka Yovcheva, “Darik” radio
A journalist with many years of experience, Yovka Yovcheva won the award for her professional and objective work on important topics related to children and families, and for her journalistic ethics.
Сategory „Charity“: Bcause Foundation
The platform develops many different donation programs and is a mediator between donors and those in need. Thanks to the activities of the foundation, many sick children and children at risk find support.
This year, Golden Apple did not receive nominations in this category. This is a clear sign of the big problem in children’s health. There is still no modern children’s hospital in Bulgaria. Despite the favorable developments on the topic and the promise of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to support the construction of a new, modern children’s hospital, we are aware that the battle is yet to come. We hope that next year this category will find its worthy winner.
Golden Apple Special Award: Dnevnik newspaper
This year the winner is Dnevnik, whose methodical work in the field of children’s and human rights, the fight against propaganda and disinformation, is an example of professionalism and journalistic ethics.
Special award for overall contribution to the work of National Network for Children: Deyan Kolev, Chairman of the Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance Amalipe
The award is given for his long-term efforts to unite teachers, principals, mediators, activists, civic organizations so that hundreds of children can go to school and feel accepted and part of a community.
Children’s organization: Life with Down Syndrome Foundation.
The diligent and professional work of the Foundation changes the public attitudes towards children with Down syndrome and helps their full integration. Last but not least, they give hope to the children themselves and encourage them to develop their potential.
Children’s Hero: Anna Yoncheva, Georgi Peykov and Mihail Nikolov
The “Different” photo project grew into the “Let’s Play Together” initiative, with which they create swings that give children with disabilities a chance to have fun with their peers.