National Network for Children presented for the ninth consecutive year the Golden Apple Awards that distinguish individuals, organizations and institutions with contribution to the well-being of Bulgarian children.
The ceremony was at the chamber hall Bulgaria in the presence of nearly 250 guests, friends and adherents of the cause.
The prizes were awarded in eight categories – Hero of Children, School, Hospital, Municipality, Journalist, Charity, Award for Contribution to the National Network for Children and Special Prize.
The Minister of Education and Science, Krasimir Valchev, the Minister of Social Policy, Biser Petkov and the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, Dr. Eleonora Lilova, were special guests of the event and greeted the participants.
George Bogdanov – Executive Director of the National Network for Children, was honored with a special prize for contribution to improving the children’s live in Bulgaria.
Nominations for the awards, with exception of the Hero of Children category, come from all 152 organizations – members of National Network for Children, working for children and families all over the country. The winners are selected by a special jury of experts and professionals.
This year the nominations for Hero of Children was 12. This category is open for nominations from the general public through the Golden Apple website. The choice of the winner in this category was made by the audience with online vote. This year nearly 2500 people voted.
Antonina Kenova was announced for “Hero of Children” 2019. She works to build a fair, innovative and quality education system. Antonina works actively to improve the application system for kindergartens, assists reporting of irregularities, makes civil investigations of problems and seeks dialogue with the institutions as part of the National Initiative Committee for Quality and Innovative Education. She advocates the rights of children with special needs in the education system and brings together many parents on these topics.
The award for „School“ was adjudged to the High school for fine arts “Prof. Nikolay Raynov”, Sofia. This is a really different school in which creativity is at the forefront, and students prefer to be in classroom rather than on vacation. Here teachers treat pupils as individuals, they are interested in their opinion and help them to develop their personality and skills. Friendly and welcoming environment has been created for children with special needs. The school has won an innovative school project with the idea to provide option for online learning from home for the absent pupils.
The award in the category “Hospital” was won by Neonatology Department at the Second Specialized Maternity Hospital “Sheinovo”, Sofia. The hospital carries out kangaroo care and develops a family-oriented approach. The maternity ward works in partnership with non-medical specialists who support families with premature babies.
The „Municipality“ Award went to the Municipality of Radnevo. Parents in the municipality are free of charge for nurseries and kindergartens and for baby kitchen. The municipality has developed a Strategy for Child and Family Support, based on an integrated approach and a functioning municipal structure.
The prize in the “Journalist” category was awarded to Lilyana Boyanova from the television bTV. Her long-standing work is devoted to social issues, children’s rights and their families. She reflects issues that raise public understanding of children’s rights and have the potential to lead to reforms in sectoral policies in Bulgaria. Lilyana Boyanova always tells the stories with respect to all points of view without looking for a sensation.
The “Charity” award was honored to „Fusion Academy“ and its founders. They support in kind and voluntary work to make every child grow safe, happy and loving in a family environment. The Academy works with the belief that all children are talented and must have opportunities for development, educates in civic activity their young alumni, changes attitudes toward giving.
The special award for Contribution to the National Network for Children was awarded to Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova – Executive Director of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association. She is a true mentor for people from the most vulnerable groups in society. The topics on which she works are related to the promotion and provision of adequate services in the field of reproductive health, information on various aspects of health education, sexual health, safe sex and contraception, and social gender equality.
The special prize was received by all architects and architectural studios who participated in the contest for the House for Children architectural concept – Studio De-arch OOD, Urban Viva EOOD, Another studio, Studio POV, Studio Proarch AD, Noviza EOOD.
Many children took part in the the event: youth network Megaphone, Colombina ballet formation, Natinal music high school “Lyubomir Pipkov”, Social Cirkus Tværs from Denmark and Mini art foundation.
This year’s awards were made by the ladies from the “Knit for the Bulgarian Children” page, who won the Golden Apple award in the “Hero of Children” category in 2017 and who creates beautiful, hand-knit toys for charity initiatives.
All nominations and awarded in different categories can be viewed on the website of the Golden Apple Awards http://www.1june.nmd.bg