BNP Paribas in Bulgaria News & Press
June 29, 2012 -

Foundation BNP Paribas Bulgaria and National Music School “Ljubomir Pipkov” launch “SMART START” in Bulgaria

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“Music for Equal Chances” will support the development of disadvantaged children through professional music education

Based on its experience in the areas of artistic creation and social solidarity, the BNP Paribas Foundation in France launched Smart Start, a European-wide pioneer programme to promote social integration and education through the practice of the arts.

This European-wide programme has an annual budget of €160,000 and will support eight projects in eight countries over a three-year period. The eight projects selected will enable over 800 children and young people in precarious social situations or with disabilities to practice one of the following arts:

  • Music with the National Music School in Bulgaria, the Associazione Mus-e Roma Onlus in Italy and the Orquestra Geração in Portugal;
  • Film with the Fundación Voluntarios por Madrid in Spain;
  • Theatre, puppetry and circus arts with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Hellas in Greece and the Fundatia Parada in Romania;
  • Visual arts with Helium Arts in Ireland, and the Westminster City Council and PhotoView in the United Kingdom.
    All of these projects highlight the crucial role played by the practice of the arts in promoting social integration, personal fulfillment and achievement among young people.

In Bulgaria, the project is called “Music for Equal Chances” and is in cooperation with the renown National Music School “Ljubomir Pipkov”. The aim is to implement regular basic musical education and provide not only enjoyable moments but also life skills, professional music education and a possible realization to young disadvantaged children who will have better job opportunities and a serious chance to manage on their own in life. The program will provide over three years high quality professional know how in music education including solfeggio, singing and playing an instrument.

Beneficiaries of the project are ten young people from Mezdra Home for Handicapped “Faith, Hope and Love” and 20 children from Dren orphanage “Radost”. BNP Paribas Bulgaria has been supporting these social institutions since many years through various programs (Tennis for Everybody, One Day Out of the Orphanage), renovation and different donations, and has already established a longterm partnership. In the frame of the new initiative, all youngsters will attend lessons in solfeggio and will then have specialised courses in different groups: guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums, singing. In this way, the initiative will help to discover and develop talents among underprivileged children and establish contacts with professional music teachers.

Mr. Ullrich-Guenther Schubert, Chairman of Foundation BNP Paribas Bulgaria, commented on the project: “The program builds on the rigorous corporate philanthropy policy of BNP Paribas in Bulgaria and is in line with the global commitment of the Group BNP Paribas. Thanks to the generous support of BNP Paribas Foundation and our partner the National Music School, we are able to implement this sustainable initiative which has long-term positive effects on the emotional balance of disadvantaged children in Bulgaria and improves chances for personal and professional development.”

About the BNP Paribas Foundation
Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation endeavours to preserve and promote the artistic treasures of museums, to encourage creators and performers in disciplines that rarely attract aid from corporate support programmes and to fund research programmes in high technology sectors such as medical and environmental research. It also supports projects aimed at promoting education and social integration and assisting the disabled.
As the Group's philanthropic arm for nearly thirty years, the Foundation also coordinates BNP Paribas' philanthropy policy, thus ensuring the coherence of the sponsorship programmes conducted throughout the world by a network of local foundations, as well as by the Group's various business lines and subsidiaries.

About the Foundation BNP Paribas BulgariaAbout the Foundation BNP Paribas Bulgaria
In order to formally consolidate and reinforce its longstanding engagement to development of corporate philanthropy programs in the country, BNP Paribas Bulgaria has established in the end of 2010 a local foundation. The Foundation BNP Paribas Bulgaria was created in close cooperation with the BNP Paribas Foundation – the corner stone of the Group's philanthropy initiatives for the past 30 years.
The newly established entity structures BNP Paribas' projects in Bulgaria and strengthens existing programs. The aim is to contribute to Bulgaria's social and cultural development through strong and long-term partnerships in the areas of social inclusion, education, culture, environment, diversity.

About the National Music School “Ljubomir Pipkov”
The National Music School “Lyubomir Pipkov” is the oldest music educational institution in Bulgaria. It was established in 1904. In 2012 the school celebrates its 108th jubilee: a hundred and eight- years old traditions and hundreds of alumni – ambassadors of the Bulgarian music culture all over the world. The music pedagogical guild has created and strengthened during the years the position of the Bulgarian national school, famous for the master instrumentalists and the Bulgarian opera voices.
The unique about the school is the combination of academic education and professional preparation. National Music School “Lyubomir Pipkov” actively participates in national and European programs with which it gives opportunity for preservation of the Bulgarian traditions in the music art and for development and future personal realization of the school's alumni.

Press contacts:

Ms. Christiane Marier-Orlowski
Foundation BNP Paribas France
Tel.: + 33 (0) 1 57 43 91 01

Ms. Krasimira Antimova
Foundation BNP Paribas Bulgaria
Tel.: + 359 (0) 888 458 555

Ms. Zlatka Cholakova
National Music School “Ljubomir Pipkov”
Tel.: + 359 (0) 893 420 200