How to Engage With a Local Community – Bulgaria’s Example Proactivity
Before a disaster strikes, proactive measures are essential. They are found in the voluntary role of Geotechmin: it corrects river beds, lays pipes for draining the slopes; restores power transmission line; designs water conduit for irrigation; designs the reconstruction and rehabilitation of village roads.
Preventive help is also concealed behind the crushed stone fractions provided by Ognyanovo-K for the needs of road maintenance in the municipalities where the firm operates.
Every pit has a limited period of operation. For this reason DPM Chelopech is planning measures for ensuring a smooth transition after completion of their activity. With the cooperation of the local community they make provision for the needs of infrastructure, business, sport, and culture. Such awareness is based on the maxim business is impossible to develop in societies in decline.
After a natural disaster strikes, all eyes are always staring at the state and the local businesses. The faster and often more adequate help always comes from the companies.
With materials and funds but also with the work of volunteers, Devnya Cement supported the affected people of the devastating floods at Asparuhovo Quarter and Dobrich Town in 2014. The company dispatched immediately indispensable equipment and materials in the critical first days after the floods. Tons of mud and sludge were hauled from the streets and from the affected people’s houses, so that they could come back to their normal way of living.
It is normal to rely on Maritsa East Mines when heavy rains flood the houses in the towns of Radnevo and Galabovo. In December 2014, the prompt and adequate response of its teams got under control the crisis caused by the floods in both municipalities. The company ensured quick and secure power supply from its own substation in order to overcome the temporary regime of power supply for Galabovo.
Additionally, the company demonstrated national empathy by donating 46 000 l of water and 120 pairs of rubber boots to the affected people and the volunteers in Varna, Dobrich, and Mizia – which are 260 km away from the Mines.
A specific feature of the mining companies’ CSR programs in Bulgaria is the support for restoration or new building of churches and monasteries. There is an unwritten rule that the companies donate products of their own main activity to such causes and projects. For example, Ognyanovo-K supported the restoration and construction of churches and monasteries in Bulgaria (the famous Rila Monastery) and in FYR Macedonia (Radovish). The Geotechmin Group built up two churches in the capital Sofia, and Geotrading restored a 135-year old church in the country.
Since 2012 nearly 9,000 books were donated by Ellatzite-Med to kindergartens, schools and cultural clubs. Organized under the project “Culture and national identity” many poetry evenings and literary readings, as well as exhibitions became long expected events for the local people.
A future without knowledge on the local history is a sad future. This was the reason for Ognyanovo-K to support more than 10 publication of local history and folklore literature.
Focus on the growing generation is extremely strong among the BCMG companies. Under interesting projects, they endeavour to preserve traditions, to share knowledge, and to educate the youth.
Under the “An apple for health” Initiative of Geotechmin, students are planting apple saplings on school terrains in areas where no such plants have existed for 30 years now. This is the second phase of another project under which more than 20 000 saplings were planted between 2011 and 2014.
Forestation is an activity in which volunteers from Devnya Cement set an example when marking the International Earth Day (22 April): 25 volunteers planted 31 young trees in the town of Devnya and another 19 were donated for planting throughout the town. The 2015 World Environment Day, was also marked by Devnya Cement and local children. Twenty five students had an environment lesson in the open air.
In order to encourage the alternative movement in the city of Burgas, Devnya Cement built a new bike lane where the latest innovative drainage concrete of the company is used.
Panagyurishte Municipality and Asarel-Medet each year grant scholarships to local gifted children. The “Star Class” Project is part of the donation contract between the company and the local authorities since 2012.
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