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Five projects covering over 20 schools and kindergartens throughout the country won funding from the 8th edition of Mtel Еco Grant. The annual grant which provides aid to environmental protection education projects is part of the company’s Nature With a Future CSR programme.
The five projects will share the programme's budget which this year exceeds BGN 22,000. The maximum amount of aid for each approved participant was up to BGN 5,000.
The first application which will receive a grant from the programme is the Ecology and Environmental Protection municipal school club in the town of Lom. It covers 5 kindergartens and aims to promote volunteering in young people who would teach children in environmentally friendly behaviour.
The second approved applicant, Balkans Wildlife Society, will receive funding with a similar idea of developing an education programme for preschool children in big cities on nature and the environmental protection.
The third finalist in this year's Mtel Eco Grant is the Green Balkans Rescue Centre with the idea to support education in four specialised schools of veterinary medicine in Stara Zagora, Lovech, Dobrich and Kostenetz for the treatment of wild animals. The project envisages presentations and a video link during surgeries of wild animals that students will be able to watch "live".
Another project that will receive funding is Eco Community Foundation’s project for student guides in the two NATURA 2000 areas in Varshets and Berkovitsa who will familiarise tourists with biodiversity in the region.
Mtel Eco Grant’s jury also voted in favour of the Community Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development which envisages an information campaign in 10 schools and kindergartens in Varna and parts of Shabla and Kavarna on the damages incurred by chemical household products and their organic alternatives.
Assessment criteria included quality of the project, results and impact, budget and capacity of the organisation that suggested it.
The projects were evaluated by the following jury members: Kamen Kolev, Head of Access to Education and Development Support Department with the Ministry of Education and Science; Stefan Avramov, environmental expert with the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation; Elena Gantcheva, Head of WWF Bulgaria’s Charity Programme; Elitsa Barakova, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Charity Aid Foundation; Nikolaos Tsitiridis, journalist with Offnews; and Iliana Zaharieva, Corporate Communications Division Head with Mtel.
Nature With a Future is an annual donation programme which funds small yet valuable ideas in the field of ecology. Since its launch in 2008, it has funded 48 projects with over BGN 550,000. It is implemented with assistance from the Bulgarian Charity Aid Foundation.