During July PINK collaborated on a project with tourist agency WorkerBee Tours and the Bulgarian Tourist Union. This humanitarian project involved the renovation of three mountain cabins. Young people from the PINK program in Bulgaria and volunteers from abroad took part in this initiative. A principle founder of PINK, Mr. Bob Faber got the idea, and inspiration for the project after he came across the cabins during a fund-raising walk following the longest trek across Bulgaria – the Kom-Emine trek (Bob`s Big Trek). The trek meanders across the entire Balkan mountain range with many cabins strung out along the way. Many of the cabins are in poor repair due to the lack of funding, support and man power. The cabins renovated through this project are called Kashana, Pleven and Benkovski. The first one – Kashana – was almost destroyed by fire in 2017. Five children and four adults led by Kosio (PINK`s coordinator in Peshtera ) spent a week at the cabin in the service of the manager – Ivalio. The group did a thorough cleanup of the property taking fallen debris from the fire out of the basement, stacking bricks to be reused, as well as piling wood for the winter heating. It was a difficult task, accomplished through team work and effort because of which the project completed on time. Ivailo was very satisfied with the results, as were everyone involved even though the happiness was tinged with sadness when it was time to leave.
The second cabin which got the attention of the team was Pleven. There where thirteen volunteers, inclusive of children from the PINK program who were aided by a further six (3 from UK, 2 from US, 1 from Japan) cleaning and doing laundry. All these preparations were to help the manager of the cabin get ready for the big Folklore Gathering (aka Sabor) which took place at the cabin and its surroundings. The work also included digging a trench for an internet cable to run from the town of Aprtiltsi up to the cabin. The team also had fun picking herbs for tea and mushroom hunting while having a break from their work.
The third cabin renovated was Benkovski. Three teenagers from Tran and three from Pernik together with few adults helped with painting the inside floors, fixtures and the outside of the cabin. The children also did a lot of cooking, practicing it with the chef. During the week they went on several hikes including the nearby reservoir and up to the nearby peak where there are panoramic views of the valley.
One of the main focuses of PINK is to teach the children to love to help and work, teach them how to engage in different activities while helping society and the environment, help them build good habits, skills, responsibility and discipline and finally – work in a team. This was the first initiative of this kind that PINK has been involved with. There are six more similar projects planned for next year. Gallery