WHO WE ARE
We are a Bulgarian non-governmental organisation established for private benefit (company case 266/2013).
Reflective Learning Bulgaria Association was established in 2013 to contribute to flexible and modern education and training of professionals in helping professions who work with vulnerable children, families and social groups.
The founders of the Association are experts with extensive professional and academic experience in the field of social work and support for professionals in the health, education and social spheres. We are practitioners working with at-risk groups and vulnerable people and their families. We work in partnership with experts and university professors with different profiles and experience in research, analysis, evaluation and methodological products.
‘WE DO NOT LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE, WE LEARN FROM REFLECTING ON EXPERIENCE. ”(JOHN DEWEY).
Why reflective learning?
Because we want to provoke and support the personal growth of individuals, groups, communities, professionals and organisations at various stages of their development. And because we believe that reflecting on (personal) experience and experiences is at the heart of understanding and growing, of accepting and generating new ideas, and of developing everyone’s individual capacity.
WHY REFLECTIVE LEARNING?
- helping society to overcome social and educational sphere issues;
- assisting in the self-realisation of members of society;
- building cultural and spiritual values among children and their families, as well as students and professionals working with them;
- learning about the achievements in social work and education in other countries;
- development and affirmation of the principles of social work among professionals and in society;
- stimulating the desire for better qualifications and knowledge acquisition by children, their families and students;
- achieving integration of disadvantaged members of society;
- providing easy access to knowledge and information, according to the specific needs of professionals;
The association works to achieve its goals by:
- promoting national and world ethical and professional values in the field of education and social work;
- acquainting society with various aspects of the issue in easy-to-understand ways;
- organising discussions, symposia, meetings, roundtables, seminars, trainings and others;
- consulting and supervising organisations, teams and professional communities and individuals in the field of social work;
- preparing and implementing research programmes, projects and initiatives; developing and implementing projects in the field of social work – independently or jointly with related local and / or foreign governmental and non-governmental organisations and academic institutions;
- developing training needs assessment systems, creating training programs, systems for assessing the quality and effectiveness of training programmes.
Since 2004 Donika Angelova-Popova holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work with a specialisation in Social Work from the Smith College School of Social Work, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from New Bulgarian University, Sofia, as well as is a graduate assistant in psychodrama at the Bulgarian Association of Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy.
Donika Angelova-Popova has over 15 years of practical experience as a clinical social worker and researcher with an interest in working with children and families, individually and in groups, as well as practical experience in the agency “The Home for Little Wanderers”, offering 20 support programs for Children, Families and Communities in Boston, MA, USA. She has experience in managing the Centre for Children at Risk and Their Families, funded by the PHARE program as a consultant in child and adolescent psychology, developing training programmes, leading self-help groups and psychodrama groups, as well as conducting research.
Donika Angelova-Popova has over 7 years of experience in practising the method “Relational psychomotor skills” in a kindergarten, with children aged 3-6 years. She has trained in Positive Reflective Practices (PAAR) at Reflective Learning International and NBU, Sofia and has five years of experience in the playback theatre troupe “Orpheus”. She has been working in the Association since 2018.
LinkedIn profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/donika-angelova-0538a9156/
member of the Management Board
She graduated from Veliko Tarnovo University with a degree in Psychology. She graduated from New Bulgarian University with a master’s degree in psycho-social intervention for children and families.
She has many years of experience working with children and families at risk, gained in the state child protection system. She also has experience of working with people who have experienced violence, is a practitioner in the assessment and support of early childhood development and a practising psychologist consultant. She works in the psycho-dynamic paradigm, with interests in the field of mental trauma and its impact on the quality of life, relationships and personal fulfilment.
Regular member of the Society of Psychologists in Bulgaria, practising psychologist certified to work with EMDR.
Milena Marinova works in support of women diagnosed with endometriosis and is a partner of the Endometriosis and Reproductive Health Foundation. She is a partner of the Association of Parents of Children with Epilepsy, where she has been consulting and conducting training for several years. Milena has specific and rich experience in crisis intervention, incl. as a consultant to a national hotline to help patients with chronic diseases in the face of an epidemic at the National Patient Organization.
She has been working in the Association since 2018 – her main field of work is the preparation of training programmes, conducting training and supervision.
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/milena-marinova-aa4a9a25/
member of the Management Board
Marusya Tsvetkova has a master’s degree in economics and over 15 years of experience in project development and management with the majority in the social field.
From her professional experience Marusya Tsvetkova has gained knowledge for policy making at the local and national level, as well as experience as a trainer on the topics of project development and management. She has experience in the evaluation and analysis of projects, programmes and various civic initiatives.
She has been working in the Association since 2020, as his main field of work is project development.
Reflective Learning Bulgaria was originally established as a Bulgarian subsidiary of Reflective Learning International, an organisation in the United Kingdom founded by Tony Ghaye. Initially, he trained as a school teacher, and later retrained as an organisational strategist and positive psychologist. He is a world leader in the development of leadership based on strengths with many articles and academic publications. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the international and multidisciplinary journal Reflective Practice, published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, UK. He teaches at several universities in Europe, the Far East and Australia.
Tony Ghaye created the research methodology: Participatory and Appreciative Action Research (PAAR). This is a research method, a version of the Action Research methodology, which simultaneously explores the strengths of the practice and thus improves it, and which includes positive reflection to study the research questions: “What successes have we achieved, how can we strengthen them and make them sustainable so that we can build a better future based on what has already been achieved. ” (Ghaye, 2008). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623940802475827
The association participates in various research projects related to the process of deinstitutionalization of child care and evaluations of the process of closing specialised institutions.
In 2018, the management of the Association was taken over by a completely new team, which develops the organisation in the direction of training, supervision and psychological counselling. The association partners in the implementation of various projects and initiatives.
Today we function as an independent Bulgarian non-governmental organisation.
The association is a member of the “Partnership for Learning and Action” – LAP, which is a network for the exchange of ideas and implementation of good practices, which works to prevent sexual exploitation of children. The partnership brings together stakeholders and institutions with experience in activities to prevent violence, exploitation and abuse.
The association is a member of the Child Protection Hub for South-East Europe – an interactive platform for professionals. Here we exchange experience and knowledge, learn from each other, offer and receive support.FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ChildProtectionHub/