Dilyana Gyurova – fellow from Bulgaria
Dilyana (Diki) Gyurova is working for CONCORDIA Bulgaria Foundation in Sofia since it funded in 2008. Initially she worked as a Deputy Director and since 2012 as an Executive Director. Mrs. Gyurova is managing the overall work of the organization in Bulgaria starting from the pedagogical aspects and establishment of a certain organizational culture till networking, communication, budgeting and fundraising.
Mrs. Gyurova previous working experience is in the field of social work with elderly people, and also in national and international volunteering projects within the peace organization Service Civil International and its Bulgarian branch Cooperation for Voluntary Service.
CONCORDIA is an independent international organization that supports children, young people and partly elderly in Romania, in the Republic of Moldova and in Bulgaria. The social services in Sofia are provided to homeless young adults, to neglected children and their families, being about 90% from the Roma ethnic minority. Community organizing and support belong to the priorities of her organization CONCORDIA Bulgaria Foundation, so she and her team in Sofia are very interested in the exchange program and quite ambitious about the field work and its outcomes.
Their target groups for the current social services are homeless young adults (very often former orphanage children) as well as children and families from several marginalized Roma communities in the city of Sofia – the districts Orlandovtzi and Malashevtzi with population of up to several hundred people and no official information as many of them don’t have a proper housing and thus also don’t have permanent addresses nor jobs. This is where also the future plans for Community organizing are focused with the main aim to support the Roma families so that they can provide better care and education to their own children and thus to achieve a smaller number of neglected children, school drop-outs etc. The field work is planned to be conducted in cooperation with mobile social workers’ teams of CONCORDIA and partner organizations acting in the particular districts and Dilyana finds this as very challenging and a great opportunity at the same time.
Mrs. Gyurova holds two Masters’ Degree; first is in Social Work obtained at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and second – in Accounting and Controlling from the University for National and World economy in Sofia. Also Dilyana (or Diki as she is mostly known among fellow trainers and volunteers) has some experience as a non-formal education trainer in youth work, volunteering projects, human rights education and other topics, mostly gained from working with international youth groups. Her own long term volunteering project back in 2003 was also in the field of Human rights education in Germany. Apart from English, Mrs. Gyurova speaks German and in the last years she learned some basic Romanian. She has good knowledge of Russian and French too but unfortunately she doesn’t get many chances to practice.
Mrs. Gyurova has never visited the U.S. before. She is really excited about this learning opportunity. Some of the topics that are of greatest interest in the overall program of the Exchange are Organizational development, Direct action and Fundraising.
In her free time Mrs. Gyurova enjoys playing, cooking and drawing with her children as well as doing some Yogalates or karaoke singing.
Dilyana will be having her internship at Seed House (Wichita, Kansas) together with Claudia Popa and Monika Jurikova