The Balkan Heritage Foundation
55,000,000 People 1, 800 ,000 Years of Human
505,000 Square Kilometers 12 Countries
6 Seas 1 Peninsula
The Balkan Heritage Foundation (BHF) is a Bulgarian public, non-profit, non-governmental organization. It was established in 2008 by a team of a cross-institutional program implementing archaeological field schools other cultural resource management projects since 2003. Its head office is situated in Stara Zagora and another front office (the one of the Balkan Heritage Field School) is located in the capital Sofia. Four branches of the foundation exist in Varna, Mezek, Dragoman and Emona (Bulgaria).
The Balkan Heritage Foundation’s mission is to support the protection, conservation, management and promotion of cultural and historical (both tangible and intangible) heritage of Southeastern Europe as precondition for sustainable development of the region.
The Balkan Heritage Foundation collaborates on local and global level with universities, museums, research institutes, media, business companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations. It raises funds and consequently funds projects implemented by research institutes and scientific teams, universities, museums, municipalities and local communities.
The Balkan Heritage Foundation seeks to:
- enhance the utilization of cultural heritage and improvement of the management of cultural heritage as preconditions for sustainable development in SE Europe;
- facilitate the global “access”, both direct and virtual, to the Balkan heritage especially for international scholars, students, donors and tourists;
- raise the level of global cooperation and exchange of ideas, know-how, expertise and resources concerning Balkan heritage;
- foster unification of the heritage nomenclature (terms, periods, names etc.) and online publications of capital fundamental writings and summaries concerning Balkan archaeology, art, history and culture in English- especially those which concern civilizations, cultures, sites and artifacts that are globally less known;
- build and develop links among major Balkan heritage stake-holders.
Advocacy and Voluntarism Program
Exchange of volunteer and professionals – 2 long-term volunteer exchanges hosting an American and an Australian volunteer in the period 2012-2014. A dozen small-scale volunteers and professionals exchange projects were realized within the period 2009-2013 predominantly with participants from Bulgaria, USA, Canada and Japan supporting the realization of archaeological and conservation projects in Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Volunteer work camps supporting cultural heritage protection – in cooperation with Stara Zagora Regional Museum of History, municipalities of Dragoman and Svilengrad (Bulgaria) and Youth Cultural Center Bitola (Macedonia).In 2008-2009 four work camps took place in Bitola (Macedonia), Stara Zagora, Dragoman and Mezek (Bulgaria). App. 40 volunteers contributed to the undergoing study projects (esp. excavations in Stara Zagora and Bitola as well as an expedition in Dragoman area) and maintenance of local cultural sites and tourist facilities (in Stara Zagora and Mezek).
Campaigns for raising public awareness on local heritage issues in Stara Zagora (2008) and Mezek (2009), Bulgaria.
Development of regional strategies for the utilization and management of cultural heritage and development of cultural tourism for municipalities of Svilengrad and Dragoman, Bulgaria.