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Bulgarian Santa for the Orphans in Africa

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Bulgarian Santa for the Orphans in Africa
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I am a great believer in the potential of Africa, its vibrant nature, resources, culture, traditions and people make it the most diverse continent in the World. Africa is often referred to as the “Mother Continent” due to it being the oldest inhabited continent, humans have lived in Africa since 5 million years ago, it is proven that much of the early human evolution started here.
The people factor remains Africa’s most valuable resource; the current population of Africa is approximately 1,352,968,000 based on the latest United Nations estimates. The African people are still guided by the moral virtues of the past, where family and faith are the lead characteristics of the nations across the continent. Despite the strong heredity principles and belief systems most of the people in African face serious well-being challenges with health, education, poverty and freedom of choice.
As the festive season approaches and this hardest for humanity year comes to a close, I would like to introduce you to a remarkable person with a “Big Heart” who also shares my passion and love for Africa, its people and especially the young generation.
His name is Daniel Delibashev a 39 year old, Bulgarian, whose mission is to bring smiles to countless African orphans through his Charity foundation “Smile for Africa”.
Daniel spent his childhood living in a village in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains. He moved to Sofia when he was 17 years old, completed a Bachelor’s degree in Finance at the University of National and World Economy and did his Master’s program in Bank Management at the New Bulgarian University. After pursuing a career in banking and finance, he decided to combine his hobbies of travelling the world and getting to know people from different cultures, while doing international charity work. Find out how this has now become his mission, cause and work in this exclusive interview with Daniel, who is currently in an orphanage he set up in Kampala, Uganda:

A-CHOICES: How and when was the idea born for your foundation “Smile
for Africa”?

DANIEL: The idea to establish a foundation was born just before I became a volunteer in Ghana in 2017. I told my friends and acquaintances that I was going to take up this challenge and asked them to help me buy the basic necessities for the orphanage where I was going to volunteer, many of them immediately agreed to support me with donations. At that moment, I decided that if I wanted to help further, I had to establish a foundation which would be an important step towards achieving better results in providing food and health care for those children. Thus, after I not only witnessed, but lived in the same challenging conditions as the children there did, I was convinced that I would never stop helping people in Africa and that such a foundation was needed more
than ever.


A-CHOICES: Daniel, why Africa?
DANIEL: Gut feeling! The past and current hardship of Mother Africa resulting in a lot of suffering, as well as the inexplicable and mutual love between us are all deeply rooted in this gut feeling.

A-CHOICES: What have you already achieved in your past visits to Africa and what do you hope to accomplish now and in 2021? 

DANIEL: We have committed to various activities and projects in Uganda and Ghana, such as food and water supply, education, medical care, daily needs, improving the living conditions, cultural activities and others. Apart from that, we contribute to the generation with positive emotions by giving attention, hope, love and smiles to the people here.

The aim that we would like to accomplish in 2021 is to build a school here in Uganda. In addition to that, we are planning to build a kindergarten and bedrooms, serving as a shelter for orphans and abandoned children.
Even though we do not have specific projects in other countries on the agenda, I hope that in the next 1-2 years we will expand our work to other regions in Africa .

A-CHOICES: What are the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, are many children currently affected locally? 

DANIEL: COVID-19 has impact on almost every child here. They have been receiving education solely through TV channels for more than 7 months now. However, the children who have access to a TV/internet connection are very few. Most of the adolescents and adults live off activities that have been restricted due to the pandemic and this has made their survival even more difficult.

A-CHOICES: What similarities and differences have you found between the African and Bulgarian people and culture? 

DANIEL: One of the similarities between Bulgaria and Africa is that both nations crave for a better life and a change in the political status quo. The continuous protests in both countries serve as evidence for that. In terms of the cultural similarities, I can say that we have been discovering more and more similarities in the last couple of months. Our partner groups and organizations in Uganda managed to touch the hearts of millions of Bulgarians around the world through performing various Bulgarian songs and dances. In return, the Bulgarian people’s positive reactions have made the Africans more than happy and have encouraged them to continue learning new things and prepare new performances. 

Here are a lot of differences between Africa and Bulgaria and also between Africa and Europe (and not only) in general. The sense of life, happiness, and gratefulness are quite different. And this difference gave more meaning to my life in Africa, where the material security is very low, but the feeling of happiness is based on the relationships between the people and especially between the children. 

A-CHOICES: What is the most valuable lesson that you would like to pass on to the orphans that you work with? 

DANIEL: The most valuable lesson that I would like to pass on to the orphans that I work with is that happiness does not come from the material things. On the contrary, the more material possessions one has, the more one serves them as a slave. And even though I have had the chance to see both of these worlds – with and without possessions and I can see the difference between them, I suppose it is difficult for these children to sense the difference, as the only material things they have is several pieces of clothing hidden in their backpacks. And unfortunately, some of them do not even have that.  

A-CHOICES: What Christmas miracle are you wishing for?

DANIEL: Everything that these kids receive is a small miracle, including having roof over their heads, receiving food, being healthy, having the love of the people who take care of them – things that millions of children in Africa do not have. I can see the joy they express even when they get a candy and this makes me think that even one candy is some sort of a miracle for them. Every child dreams of a little something which will make him/her infinitely happy. However, we do not have many opportunities to fulfil the Christmas dreams of these kids, as their daily needs are our priority at the moment.  

We sometimes manage to provide them with toothbrushes and toothpastes, as well as with rubber shoes and towels. Nevertheless, I am certain that my wish for a Christmas miracle will come true and through the generosity and good will of well-wishers we will bring a lot of children’s smiles while receiving gifts from Santa Claus for the first time in their life.

My deepest gratitude and appreciation goes to this brave, young man Daniel Delibashev, who has single-handedly embarked on a charitable mission to bring a “Smile for Africa”.  

To support Daniel in his mission and contribute to a small Christmas miracle that will bring a big smile, please follow this link:

https://smileforafrica.eu/donate 

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Best festive wishes to all A-Choices readers around the Globe.

Author: Albena Jones

albenajones@yahoo.co.uk