“Kneading” the world around us

The project aims to address the need for a various art-therapeutic daily activities for children, young people and adults with General Development Disorder and their families.
The activities are aimed to make participants feel emotionally charged, respected, active and capable. The kneading improves fine motor skills and orientation, and the made bakery products bring satisfaction, as they are perceived as evidence of participants’
efficiency and developed skills. This increases confidence, self-belief
abilities, self-esteem and a sense of personal effectiveness in everyday life.

Period for implementation: March 2020 – November 2020

Financing organization: Sofia Municipality Program “Social Innovations”

‘Rethinking inclusion’

The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) is a collaborative funding initiative of currently twenty-five grant-making foundations, hosted in the Network of European Foundations (NEF).

For the project ‘Rethinking inclusion’ the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) has partnered with Impact Hub to identify socially innovative solutions (project, process, service, practice) located in an EU, EFTA or Western Balkan country that address inclusion challenges that concern young migrant men (around 18-35 years old) and migrant women with a whole-of-society approach. With this call, EPIM hopes to support their impact assessment and scalability in a way that can inform European inclusion policies, funding and practice.

Up to 20 shortlisted solutions participated in a case study analysis where social impact experts took a closer look at the essence and impact of the solution as well as possible scaling opportunities. Up to 8 solutions were selected to be matched with stakeholders interested in adapting the solution in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal or Sweden. Selected pairs were awarded with capacity support grants of up to 30,000 EUR to prepare for the scaling/transfer of the solution. Among the awarded is Bread House Network which will aim to strengthen its social replication model. More on the initiative and the other awarded organizations, here.

Period for implementation: 9 months, January-September 2020

We Are All Made of the Same Dough

The project foresees regular bread making sessions with children from the refugee community and children from the local population. The idea of the program is to offer children a space to share with each other what excites them, ask the questions they want, get to know each other and remove the barriers that are placed between them by the fears and prejudices in our society. All this done through the kneading of bread on diverse and useful topics.

Period for implementation: July 2019- July 2020

Financing organization: Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria through Telus International

V.I.V.A. social inclusion via social entrepreneurship

Visually Impaired youth with Vested Autonomy or VIVA is a project funded by the European Commission which aims at providing visually impaired young people with opportunities for better professional and personal development via social entrepreneurial skills.

During the first project meeting, which took place in the city of Volos with the kind hospitality of the Greek partners from the University of Thessaly, the partner organizations could meet and discuss how to collectively develop a training program on social entrepreneurship for visually impaired young people. The training program will focus on the development of leadership, inter-cultural and entrepreneurial skills. Key methods to support the training process will be the innovative program Bread in the Dark and The Game: Bakers without borders offered by the Bread Houses Network as well as a team-building practice based on drama techniques.

What the partner organizations would like to achieve with this training program is that the v.i. young people improve their self-knowledge and awareness, achieve better understanding of available resources, improve their confidence and motivation, and identify opportunities for professional development with the acquired new skills.

The first training is scheduled for the middle of November at the Sofia Bread House.


Duration of the project:  1/5/2019- 30/11/2020

Partners: Ofensiva Tinerilor- Romania, University of Thessaly- Greece, NRCB- Bulgaria, FDCBPCS- Bulgaria, I3C- Bulgaria, Unione Italiana Ciechi ed Ipovedenti- Italy, Arteveldehogeschool- Blegium, National Institute for the blind, visually impaired and deafblind- Iceland

DIVE 3: Zero to One > 1 to N

“DIVE 3: Zero to One > 1 to N” is a capacity building project financed by the European Union, under the Erasmus plus program, capacity building in the field of youth.

The project will be implemented in a period of 12 months (1.01. – 31.12.2019) and includes partners coming from the following countries: Macedonia – Youth Alliance Krusevo, Romania – EuroDEMOS, Greece – Association of Active Youth of Florina, Peru–Social Work Lab, Costa Rica – ACI – Costa Rica, South Africa – Belle & Co, Portugal – Intercultural Association for All, Italy – Demostene Study centre for promotion of Human development, Slovenia – N.K.L., Poland – Association of the European Centre for Youth Initiatives (ECIM), Bulgaria – International council for cultural centres, Nicaragua – Association Club of Young environmentalists.

Main aim of the project is to empower youth to counteract youth unemployment by building capacity in creating new kind of jobs and promoting the entrepreneurial and innovative mind. The transfer of experience will be realized through the cooperation of the international consortium composed of 12 partners from three different continents.

The project comprises of Partnership building activities in Florina, Greece, Study visits in Slovenia and South Africa and the conduct of several national activities.

“SAVE – Speak out against violence”

The main beneficiaries of the project are refugees and asylum seekers and the aim is to target cases regarding gender-based violence (GBV) and other types of violence via direct programs (individual support and group awareness raising and GBV prevention activities) for survivors/or persons at risk.

Period of implementation:  – 

Financing organization: Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria through UNICEF

Diverse together – sharing bread and stories

“Diverse together – sharing bread and stories” is a partner project of Bread Houses Network and Multi Kulti Collective as part of which the citizens of Plovdiv, Varna and Sofia will rediscover the cultural diversity of their cities. Between March and June 2019 each of the three biggest Bulgarian cities will host three open culinary events. During the events foreign chefs will not only present recipes for bread and pastry products but will also share their “Bulgarian” story – what brought them to Bulgaria and what motivated them to stay here. While revealing why they chose to live here and what attracts them to this country, the chefs will share funny stories of being a foreigner in “our world” as well as what are the challenges they need to face.

Each event will be open for 30 participants, who’ll follow the recipes of the chefs to prepare the dishes and will be actively engaged in the discovery of their stories and cultures. One third of the participants will be from unprivileged groups and the entrance for them will be free.

More about the events here.

Partner: Multi Kulti Collective Association

Period of implementation:  February 2019 – July 2019

Financing organization: Foundation Plovdiv 2019

Theatre pitching for employment


Together with six partners from Europe, Bread Houses Network, part of International Council for Cultural Centers is starting on 1st of November 2018, a new project financed from European Commissions’s  Erasmus+ programme for education, training, youth and sports, with mediation of the Agency for mobility and EU programmes.

Publicly know under its acronym “The Pitch”, this project is an international partnership in non-formal education of adults (full title: “Theatre Pitching for employment”).

The acronym of the project is based on a famous presentation method, so-called “pitching”, or, a method of short presentation which is usually used in business and which serves for a quick presentation of a person, project or organisation. The method itself limits the “pitch” (pitching of an idea) to a very short time (3 minutes or less, which helps presenters to learn how to present themselves, their project or organisation in a focused, interesting and active manner. In that, theatre, drama and acting skills are of a crucial importance. Individuals who do not posses such skills have difficulties presenting themselves to potential employers, and when we add negative prejudice which people from marginalised groups experience in the labour market – these flaws become an unbridgeable  gap that demotivates them from participating in the labour market.

With marginalised groups in mind, partners have decided to connect the presentation pitching method with educational theatre, in order to:

  • educated those individuals and increase their soft skills (which are often crucial in the labour market, for example, at the job interview),
  • be mutually educated (peer education among educators), including their EU Key Competences,
  • and offer a new educational-cultural content by which we will enrich the non-formal education competences of partner organisations, and explore the possibilities of a greater inclusion of the theatre pitching method into (non)formal education and labour market education in Europe.

Accordingly, this partnership is dedicated to the social and labour market inclusion of marginalised groups (e.g. people with disability, unemployed, stigmatised people, ethnic and/or religion minorities); exchange of expert knowledge, methods and skills among educators who work with marginalised groups by means of non-formal education; and increase of the visibility of marginalised groups issues as well as the increase of use of theatre pitching method in the European non-formal education.

Seven versatile and complementary partners – all of whom work in non-formal education, but in their own, specific way (from an University to a bread house) – plan to achieve those objectives by organising seven international activities of non-formal learning, i.e., theatre pitching workshops with 84 participants, including individuals from marginalised groups (people with disability, minorities  and alike). Each workshop will be structured in accordance with theatre pitching, but each partner will include their local, specific method by which they will enrich the knowledge and skills of educators from other partner organisations. After the educational theatre pitching workshop, participants will present their ideas (projects) and themselves at the final “Pitching Forum” which will be open for the public. These Theatre Pitching Forums will become a theatre of ideas in which actors will present their ideas for projects that will benefit the local community and help connecting it with the EU. Also, these Pitching Forums will be recorded and shown live on The Pitch YouTube Channel and partner’s social media, with a goal of making theatre pitching method more popular.

Alongside the video presentations, partners will write down their experiences and transfer their knowledge in the eManual – through with all other interested parties will be able to recreate the theatre pitching process and implement this useful method in their own work.

Additional formal information about the project can be found on the official Erasmus+ webpage -> here.

Project Partners:

Baking Bread for Health and Social Development

Between April and December 2018, the Sofia Bread House in cooperation with the Health and Social Development Foundation (HESED) is organizing 10 educational bread makings for children between 4 and 8 years old from the Sofia district “Fakulteta” with a predominant population of Roma origin. Approximately 20 children will be involved in the project. The meetings will take place at the HESED organization’s Health and Social Center for Development of the Roma Community – located in the “Faculteta” district as well as in the Sofia Bread House.

The meetings are based on the innovative methods of the Bread Houses Network: Theater of Crumbs, Kitchen Music and Fun Culinary. They engage children with culinary and creative activities and are devoted to various educational topics related to the world around us, such as seasons, important holidays, family, friendships, but also future professions, ecology and healthy eating. The themes are presented in an attractive way in order to provoke the imagination and creativity of the participants, but also to improve their communication skills.

Period of implementation: April – December 2018

Financing institution:  International Women’s Club in Sofia

Like at home – we make bread, we share, we play

In March 2018 the project “Psychosocial activities with women and children, refugees and asylum-seekers housed in the regional reception centers of the State Agency for Refugees in Sofia” was launched. It’s implemented by the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria in partnership with the Bread Houses Network. “Like at home – we make bread, we share, we play” is the working title of the initiative. It consists in creative culinary activities with women and children from the regional reception centers. The project includes 12 group activities which will be held in the period March-July 2018. The events are based on the Bread Houses Network’s method “Theater of Crumbs” and are located in the Sofia Bread House.

Six of the events are intended for women from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. During the events, the participants are involved in culinary activities that are typical for their culture. At the same time they are given the space to spend time and to share experiences outside of their usual every day environment at the regional reception centers. Simultaneously with the activities for women, educational and creative activities, led by an animator are held for their children.

The target group of the other 6 events are refugee and asylum seekers children. They take part in a serie of educational sessions which improve their social adaptation, develop their social skills and their ability to speak Bulgarian. While the children are engaged in making bread and other culinary products, their mothers participate in information meetings. They receive information about opportunities for social support and have the chance to discuss specific cases related to the living conditions in the regional reception centers.

Period of implementation: March – July 2018

Financing organisations: International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Fund for Asylum, Migration and Integration of the European Commission.

We are all made from the same dough

In November 2017 the project titled We are all made from the same dough started. It is implemented by the Sofia Bread House together with the Council of Refugee Women Association in Bulgaria. As part of the project, children between 7 and 11 years of age from the refugee (Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq) and the local communities participate in a series of educational activities. While the children make bread and friendships with their peers, their parents have the chance to get to know each other.

The goal of the project is that the participating children learn to accept people from different countries and cultures, as well as to develop their social skills and interest towards the world around them. Moreover, the events aim at overcoming prejudice and stereotypes through direct contact and cooperation.

Every bread-making event is based on the Bread Houses Network method the Theatre of Crumbs and has a concrete theme related to the surrounding world – the changes of nature during autumn, family, holidays and dishes of different cultures, etc. During the workshops participants draw in flour and create bread figures, but most importantly, they share stories and experiences, as well as specific differences of their countries.  For the preparation of the bread-making, a picture dictionary in three languages (Bulgarian, Arabic and English) is used. The tool is called The world around us and is a product of the Association for Pedagogical and Social Assistance for Children /APSAC/ FICE-Bulgaria.

The events are 2 hours long and are being held with the support of a Bulgarian-Arabic translator. Seven children from the refugee community and 7 from the local community participate in every event. Some of the participants participate in all the events and some are taking part only in a few of the events.

Period of implementation: November 2017 – January 2018.

Financing organisation: United Nations High Commission for Refugees


B(re)aking Bread and Borders 

The purpose of the project is to lead to overcoming stereotypes between the main minority groups in Bulgaria. It aims to ensure a cozy and safe space where points of unity will be created and intercultural cooperation will be established. The project will address the challenge of shortening the “social distances” between young representatives of 4 ethnic traditional minorities groups in Bulgaria – Turkish, Roma, Armenian and Jewish, as well as new minority groups from different Arabic countries and Bulgarian young people.

The project will consist of workshops with the representatives of 5 ethnic minorities and native Bulgarians aged 16 to 26 years. The Bulgarian participants will be selected from 2 schools in Sofia and youth organizations. 5 mixed groups will take part  workshops and 15 community bread making workshops will be carried out in total. The workshops activities will be based on the Bread Houses Network community bread-making methods which will be adapted for social integration of minorities.

Period of implementation: November 2017 – October 2018

Financing organisation: Niwano Peace Foundation

Bread IN the Dark – We Knead to Mix!

The purpose of the project is social inclusion and personal transformation of visually impaired people through the Bread IN the Dark method for community cohesion and bread making with sighted people. Bread in the Dark events is to connect sight-impaired facilitators with sighted people in 100% darkened environment where the mixed group engages in bread-making as a catalyst for dialogue on various existential questions, experienced tangibly through the processes of kneading bread as metaphors for life.

The project includes training and group work with visually impaired and sighted people, mixed Bread IN the Dark bread making events, darkening of the Sofia Bread House to ensure 100 % darkened environment.

Period of implementation: August 2017 – January 2018

Financing organisation: Vivacom Regional Grant 

Strengthening the Bread Houses Network in Bulgaria

The goal of the project is to strengthen the participation of marginalized groups and individuals in their communities throughout Bulgaria. To this end, the International Council for Cultural Centers will expand and strengthen its network of bread houses in Bulgaria, increase the capacity of the local bread house coordinators to implement projects and engage marginalized groups, and explore the possibilities of turning bread houses into successful social enterprises.

Period of implementation: 2012 – June 2018

Financing organisation: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 

Creation of Community Social Bakery “Bread House” in the city of Gabrovo, Bulgaria

On 1st July 2014, the International Council of Cultural Centers was officially supported by the Trust for Social Alternative Foundation for a period of 1 year for the project “Community Social Bakery “Bread House” – creating a model and capacity of a social enterprise. The gratuitous financial support amounts to 63 680 BGN which will support the training and employment of young people and orphans of Roma origin, as well as will be used for the purchase of bakery equipment.

Period of implementation: July 1st, 2014 – July 1st, 2015

Financing organisation: Trust for Social Achievement


The goals of the project are to include visually-impaired and sighted people in creating new a new kind of “visual art” – tactile art –experienced through touch and senses other than vision, inspiring the social integration of blind people. The Bread Houses’ community baking methods were a central part of the project, and in cooperation with the Spanish National Association of the Blind in Barcelona, we organized innovative workshops with mixed groups, whose result is our on-going program Bread in the Dark, which we now expand as social enterprise network led by blind people.

Period of implementation: 2011 – 2012

Financing organisation: European Cultural Foundation

Bread for Social Change

The project addressed the permanent social exclusion and marginalization of vulnerable groups in society through bread kneading. 20 community bread kneading events were held under the project with the participation of people with disabilities, children and the Roma in the city of Plovdiv. The joint events helped the participants mingle, overcome and accept the cultural and religious differences between them. The sessions provided information about the origin of bread, bread types, traditional decoration and preparation. The main activities were community kneading and the Bread Crumble Theatre and they can be used for similar groups. The two activities boosted the self-assessment and individual potential of the participants. A guide was published on the activities and their effect. Support Association and the Bulgarian Red Cross were the partners.

Period of implementation: 2014

Financing organisation: Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009 – 2014