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Each year the internship program of the Bulgarian NGOs Information Portal provides an opportunity for 10 talented and aspiring students from Bulgarian universities to learn about the activities of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through first-hand experience, to identify socially significant causes, to become part of them, to promote them and to adopt public commitment as an integral part of their personal and professional growth.
The civic organizations in Bulgaria are of key importance for the development of many public domains – child and adult care, protection of human rights, transparency and good governance, protection of the environment, etc. Studies show that those who sought assistance and from NGOs highly appreciate their role and contribution. At the same time the popularity of NGOs among people that have not benefited from their services remains low. Formal Bulgarian education still focuses exclusively on the development of professional competencies and skills while it neglects the significance of young people’s social engagement as a way for their professional realization. Thus the most talented students, those with promising potential to contribute to the development of civic organizations, remain isolated from them.
The internships in the NGO Portal are for a month. The interns undergo brief trainings about the civil sector and creative writing, led by experts from the Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL), as well as from the editors of the Portal. Then they examine the work of NGOs in the areas that are most interesting to them. They choose organizations and causes and prepare their own materials. The texts of our trainees are among the most visited publications in the Portal. Besides increasing the confidence and popularity of their authors, they provide the much needed public visibility of the organizations and the practical results of their work.
Until now more than 30 students have completed the programme. Many of them still continue to work as volunteers with BCNL and the organizations that they have covered. Those that have already graduated and have found their own career paths in companies, public administrations, municipalities, and other places share with us that being part of the programme contributes greatly for the success in their work.
The interest in the internship programs of the NGO Portal is high, but unfortunately we cannot accommodate many candidates, no matter how motivated, inspired and talented they are – we don’t have enough resources. The amounts needed are small - for each trainee we need 500 levs to cover the cost of his/her stay, workplace, travel, training and editorial assistance, as well as financial incentives for the best.
Help us raise 1500 levа (767 euro) to train three more interns by the end of 2016.
About NGOBG.info portal
The information portal for NGOs in Bulgaria is created in 2010. It contains the richest database of active civil organizations (close to 6000 NGOs from around the country) as well as a comprehensive news section that is updated daily. The core expenses for its functioning are covered by donor programmes. The NGO portal is administered by the Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law, which is created in 2001. It works for the development of the civil society by providing support for preparation and implementation of acts and policies. It provides hundreds of consultations annually to individuals and organizations. It leads the only Bulgaria Summer School for NGOs and encourages social entrepreneurship for civil organizations.