- The man whose spirit, energy and idealism have steered the Centr e for Social Practices for a decade amid the storms of civil society, in local communities, villages, mountains, rivers and hills where people speak Bulgarian, Turk and Roma and worship in churches, mosques and in the open air. Officially a resident of the village of Mind y a , in the Balkan mountain range, Dr Dainov boasts a First from Oxford in Modern History and is a member of the Ancient House of Congregation of Doctors and Regent Masters of the University of Oxford .
- The author of a trunkfull of books on politics, government and society, he believes that thinking is only the prelude to doing. This belief, combined with his passionate advocacy of freedom and self-government has naturally led to his conviction that “civil society” is something good and also simple to explain: i.e. the way to have a decent country is to ensure that it functions bottom-up, and that everyone gets involved and represented in the decisions about the common future.
- Dr Dainov also teaches political philosophy and social practices at New Bulgarian University and continues to play lead guitar in Sofia-based rock and blues groups. He regularly testifies in Parliament hearings (in the photograph – testifying at a hearing of the Parliamentary Commission for Civil Society in April 2004).
Star sign - Taurus; favorite song of all times - Theme for the
Imaginary Western, Mountain
Pancheva, Executive Director
- She likes to sit on two-three chairs and juggle with as many
tasks just to prove that this is not only possible but also quite
natural. In order to manage the unmanageable, she is forced to
be a man in her head, a child in her heart and a woman in her
appearance. She loves watching the sea, drinking coffee and smoking
cigarettes - apparently this constitutes the main part of her
duties as a director. In the office she bring her son's toys,
at home she brings the next book to be edited. She believes that
she has discovered the secret of happiness - all good things are
made on slow fire and with a lot of love.
Star sign - Scorpio; favorite song of all times - July Morning,
Kolova, Programme Coordinator
- A fiery redhead, she studies the Bulgarian Muslims, deals with
the bureaucracy in New Bulgarian University and the European Commission,
does field studies and goes shopping with equal passion. When
she smiles it's like the sun coming out of a dark cloud, but when
she is mad the office of the Center of Social Practices sinks
under deep snow-drifts. Maybe because her diploma work is on the
Crusades, she is one of the knights on our round table who embarks
nobly and with no hesitation on fights defending just causes -
the institution of the Ombudsman, the minority rights and many
others. Lili is like the jazz - if you have to ask what she is
like, you'll never understand.
Star sign - Capricorn; favorite song of all times - I'm Qualified
To Satisfy You, Barry White
Ivancheva, Project Coordinator
- In order to improve society, from an earliest age Julia decided
to study speech therapy. Later, realizing that "The rain
in Spain…", wherever it chooses to fall, and even if pronounced
perfectly, does not change things, took on a second degree course
- political science at New Bulgarian University, where we from
the CSP found and recruited her. Calm and quiet, Julia is able
to find any information on any subject, writes on the PC at astronomic
speeds and is the ablest driver in the organization. Do not either
underestimate her, or miss the chance to get to know her. Or else…
she'll prescribe those elocution lessons to you also.
Star Sign: Libra; favourite song of all time - Hotel California
by the Eagles
- Most of us have a serious reason to doubt as to what contains
more information - the library of the White House or Rumi's head.
The speed with which she gives competent opinions on various issues
equals only the speed with which she calculates and orientates
herself in the most entangled budgets. Despite her two humanitarian
degrees in the field of history and philosophy, the accountancy
takes the upper hand in Roumie and the results are always accurate
and different from the usual answer 42, which the rest in office
give. The queen of calculators, the mistress of receipts, Rumi
is our sensible harbor where 2 and 2 always makes 4.
Star sign - Aquarius; favorite song of all times - Sunrise, Asia
No human endeavour is possible with leaders alone. You can only
be in the lead if there is a mass of people around you prepared
to share their energy and commitment. For the Centre for Social
Practices, this mass of people is the young volunteer corps, students
from New Bulgarian University. Working with us, they combine academic
training with practical know-how and in this way are guaranteed
to have a strong spirit in a strong body, or at the very least -
to evade the trap of narrow academic specialization. Some not only
help with our on-site work, but then decide to stay in the ranks
of the non-government organizations, making the choice in favour
of hard but satisfying work - a field where you can actually see
the results of your intervention. Others choose other paths, but
all carry with them the contagion of independence of spirit, empathy
and solidarity of the civil society activists.
At the moment, the core of the volunteer corps is comprised by: