Looking back on 2015 there were a number of successful initiatives that we as an Association participated in, but none more so than the massive increase in the awareness of and participation in Marriage Week 2015.
This was the fourth consecutive year that Society and Values Association were actively involved in Marriage week and comparing year on year statistics, 2015 saw more than twice as many married couples opting to deepen and strengthen their marriages by participating in the daily challenges. A highlight of the campaign was the written feedback received from some of the couples, that shared how Marriage Week had refreshed their relationship and deepened their resolve to devote more time to one another.
During Marriage Week 2015 we had the opportunity to speak more about the value of marriage and focus on the institution of marriage with the media. Over the course of nine days, we made nine live television appearances and gave a number of interviews on National radio. Marriage week was extensively broadcast through the media with a number of radio stations, news agencies, newspapers and online media and magazines actively participating in the week. More than 50 000 people were reached throguh social media.
Another major breakthrough in 2015 was for the first time Churches from three branches of Christianity joined in on the Marriage Week initiative. Many churches in Sofia and across Bulgaria held services and prayer events dedicated to marriage and as result of their participation, hundreds of new couples were able to particpate in Marriage Week. This involvement, coupled with the businesses and organisations who responded with special offers and discounts for participants of Marriage Week via Facebook certainly assisted in making Marriage Week 2015 a phenomenal success.
An additional initiative where SVA was able to make its mark in 2015, was when we managed to stop the attempts by MP Stefan Kenov to legalize prostitution in Bulgaria. With the support of over 25 non-governmental organisations and more than 1200 citizens, we were able to send an Open letter to the institutions, which caught the interest of the media. As a result of this pressure, Mr Kenov publicly apologized to those Bulgarian citizens whose values had been endangered and assured them that this bill would not be passed in this Parliament.
During Autum of 2015, SVA made an appeal via a letter to the government to reject the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights in the field of marriage and family in our country. The letter was sent in response to the unjust decision adopted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the calse Oliari and Others v. Italy.
Further to this SVA also initiated a letter petitioning the prevention of legalized marijuana in Bulgaria. In the petition, we detailed the serious and potentially detrimental consequences that legalizing marijuana could have on our Society.
Society and Values Association took part in campaigns for the protection of life and prevention of Human Trafficking in Bulgaria as well as in serveral European initiatives defending marriage and family.
In 2015, SVA released its first printed brochures detailing the activities of the Association in both Bulgarian and in English. This gave the opportunity to introduce SVA to more citizens.
SVA continues to monitor important issues, distribute educational materials and keep society informed about what is happening around them via our newsletter and Facebook page.
All that we have and continue to do, has only been made possible by SVA’s steadfast team of supporters who stand in solidarity with Society and Values Association in our resolve that ‘the protection of human life, dignity and freedom of the individual, marriage and family are the foundations of any healthy society and deserve to be defended!’
Our organization is entirely supported by the voluntary donations of its members and supporters. It is a huge challenge for us, because as a society, Bulgaria still lacks a culture of donation – especially for this kind of cause – erring on the side of “somebody else will do it or it can be done without me”. Sadly this is far from the truth as nobody and nothing in life can be taken for granted – success especially at a society level, depends on each of us individually.
We believe that it is worthwhile to build a society founded on strong values and strong families. Please help us now if you want to see that. Your donation to the civil association will be appreciated.
“Society and Values Association” account* at Allianz Bank IBAN: BG53BUIN95611000470068 BIC: BUINBGSForvia Pay Pal.
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Society and Values Association
* Payments by bank transfer from abroad can be made to: First Investment Bank, BIC: FINVBGSF, IBAN: BG42FINV91501200027789 (BGN)