Mutual Aid Reports

“We’re at war” said the prime minister of Bulgaria

            We aren’t sure which line of defense we will be on. We don’t know whether we will be right on the front with the medics or behind them but one thing is certain- we will be there! Fourteen volunteers from Bulgaria and abroad (Portugal, France, Spain, Latvia, and Tunisia) stand behind this statement. Their work and tasks are organized by the two NGOs in Kazanlak – United avant-garde Artist and Youth Development Center – Mutual  Aid. The two organisations help the national coronavirus task force and the mayor of the town in promoting, complying with and implementing the anti-pandemic measures under acts of the Minister of Health. Unfortunately, the two volunteers which we were expecting from Russia and Belgium were unable to join us because of the declared state of emergency on March 13. Therefore we reached out to the Bulgarian National Agency, which administers the projects of the European Solidarity Corps (HRDG) for assistance. From a professional standpoint their answer was borderline negligent. After sending a second letter with further clarification of the situation that we were in, we got an e-mail saying that an answer would be given within the determined by the law time deadline. But which law determines said deadline? Aren’t we all working under extraordinary circumstances, isn’t the country in a state of emergency? Do we follow the regular laws or the ones that have been adopted after the state of emergency was declared? At the same time that same Bulgarian National Agency demanded that all NPOs consult their volunteering organizations regarding the numbers of their volunteers, and the deadline for that was given with a one day notice. And yes, we met the deadline. And yes, we do work as if there is a war. But this is just how we in the NPO sector do things. Meanwhile what do the officials in this war do? They sabotage! It’s been a week now and we still have not got our answer.

            “Today, the world faces a great challenge. A war that takes a lot of innocent lives.  We must do everything in our power to protect the lives and health of the Bulgarian people. As difficult as it may be now, I am sure that Bulgarians will once again show their strength responsibility and discipline. This is how we will deal with this menace and how we will all return to our normal way of living. I am impressed with the heroism of all the doctors, nurses, orderlies, medical workersm policemen, volunteers and everyone else that is on first-line”. This is what B. Borisov, the prime minister of the Republic of Bulgaria wrote in his profile on Facebook. We Are grateful that he acknowledges all the work we and everybody else has done but what we need right now is help, not careless officials who instead of working to help us, work against us. Still, we continue to bring food, medicine and other goods that the elderly people that live alone or people with disabilities need. We continue to take shifts on the emergency telephones in Kazanlak municipality. We are grateful for the equipment we have been provided with in order to protect ourselves, and we thank the people that provided it for us. We continue to put up information flyers, even though “well-meaning” citizens tear them apart. We shot and edited this video for you! We hope you will support us !!! We are the Volunteer Team – Visit us!

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