In 2013, the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, and YBI collaborated on the development of a new program in Bulgaria. In 2015, the pilot launched in the industrial city of Stara Zagora with support from the Stara Zagora Community Foundation, the municipality, a local business association, and the global energy company, ContourGlobal.
Just a few hundred meters from ancient Roman ruins in the center city, 30 youth—two-thirds women—studied cosmetology, hospitality, and construction with an emphasis on home-based work so that participants would be able to care for their children while working. Roma youth—a marginalized group in Bulgaria—comprised most of the participants, and 90% of them had not completed high school. 100% of graduates were placed into jobs, internships, or school. The second pilot is beginning in early 2017.
For more information about the YouthBuild Program in Bulgaria: See our partners page.