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Strengthening the Bread Houses Network in Bulgaria

International Council for Cultural Centers

  • Program Civil Society
  • Program Area Special Initiatives
  • Grant Amount $150,000
  • Grant Period July 1, 2016–June 30, 2018
  • Location Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Geographic Focus Bulgaria

About this grant

The program goal is to strengthen the participation of marginalized groups and individuals in the lives of their communities throughout Bulgaria. To this end, the International Council for Cultural Centers will expand and strengthen its network of bread houses in Bulgaria, support the transformation of two bread houses into successful social enterprises, and develop a Web-based, practice-oriented training program for social entrepreneurs. Bread houses are community centers that host bread baking and various other activities for groups of people of very diverse backgrounds, thus encouraging relationships across ethnic and religious origins and social status. The model has been successful in increasing the social capital in communities and strengthening civic spirit as well as increasing the skills, self-esteem, and employability of the participating individuals. During the past grant period, the grantee improved the physical space, strengthened the team capacities, and expanded the programs and services in nine bread houses in eight of the largest cities in Bulgaria; successfully transformed two of the bread houses into self-sustainable social enterprises; and promoted the bread house model in nine new cities and towns. Since its establishment in 2008 in Sofia, Bulgaria, the grantee has been developing bread houses around the world, and now they exist in 18 countries.