U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Program Funds Help Build Family Education Center in the Municipality of Rakitovo

On Tuesday, July 21, Col John Didonna, Jr, Commander, 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard, and Rakitovo Mayor Mr. Lyubomir Petkov will inaugurate the recently built Family Education Center in the Municipality of Rakitovo.

The U.S. Government invested $250,000 USD in this project. The new facility offers three classrooms, a multipurpose room, a kitchen, bathrooms and a storage area. The Center’s staff engage more than 500 students from grades 5 thru 8 in extracurricular activities such as music and dances,  acting master classes, nature protection,  and soccer, and they provide after class tutoring on  various school subjects and health lectures. The Center is also a venue for information campaigns оn education, grants and tolerance, and classes for improvement of professional skills. The Center works with around 700 parents on encouraging social inclusion, enrollment of their children in mixed schools, providing assistance in the job application process, and providing lectures on public health, intercultural education and preservation of Roma identity, among others.

In the last five years, the U.S. government has invested more than $3 million USD in Humanitarian Assistance Program projects in Bulgaria. These projects often bring together American and Bulgarian military troops, who jointly volunteer their labor.  Also under this program, the U.S. government partners with non-governmental organizations and local Bulgarian firms to fulfill these projects in accordance with Bulgaria’s social and economic development strategy.

Media are invited to cover the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will take place at the Familiy Education Center, from 1100 a.m. until 1230 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. The facility is located at 28, Vela Peeva Street, Town of Rakitovo.