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Public relations section
• More than BGN 10 000 raised for building of the 5-kilometer eco-trail along the Devinska river valley
• 3 eco-trails built with funds raised in the initiative – in the Rila Mountains, the Rhodope Mountains and the Shoumen Plateau
Raiffeisenbank financed the construction of the eco-trail Struilitsa-Kaleto-Lakata in the preserved area of “Devinska River Valley” in the Rhodope Mountains as part of the “Choose to Help” 2011 donation initiative.
A total of BGN 10 300 was raised for the building of the eco-trail from donations of 85 Raiffeisen Group employees, from donations made directly to the organizations’ accounts and from donation SMS messages, and to every donation of its employees Raiffeisenbank added BGN 100.
The funds from the campaign helped the marking of a 5-kilometer eco-trail, the repairing of the “Kaleto” mountain shelter and the passage leading to it, the refitting of benches, tables and alcoves, as well as 3 bridges and 2 suspension bridges; information panels describing the biological diversity in the region was also places.
The eco-trail located in the preserved area of “Devinska River Valley” – one of the territories in the Rhodope Mountains that was most recently pronounced as protected – in 2002 by proposal of an initiative committee of local residents. The area was announced as protected with the purpose of preserving the habitat of protected and rare plant and animal species and the remarkable rock structures and formations, and of presenting the opportunity for scientific research, education activities and environmental monitoring. The protected area covers 136.73 hectares, including a part of the Devinska river canyon. It is situated in the territory of the town of Devin and is managed by the Izvora State-run Hunting Reserve. From an ecotourist point of view, most interesting is the canyon, which shelters one of the best preserved ecosystems in the Bulgarian mountains with the depth of more than 900 m. Here, there are fields of a number of protected endemities and relicts like the Rhodope Revival Plant (Haberlea Rhodopensis), the Rhodope Toothwort (Lathraea rodopaea), Campanula Lanata, Galanthus Nivalis, Seseli Rhodopeaum, etc.
Raiffeisenbank’s third campaign Choose to Help raised BGN 387,102. The campaign took place in the period of November 2011 – January 2012 and supported 22 projects in the spheres of healthcare, social services, environmental protection and culture and education, for which 2897 employees of the Raiffeisen Group in Bulgaria made personal donations. In the last three years the initiative has supported nearly 90 projects with over BGN 1.16 million for helping sick children, old people, socially disadvantaged people, and also cultural, educational and environmental projects. In this period, thanks to the funds raised in the campaign, three eco-trails were built – in the Rila Monastery Nature Park, the Shoumen Plateau Natural Park and the one in the Rhodope Mountains.
The website of the initiative – www.izberi.rbb.bg – remains active for donations. It also contains the reports of the organizations included in the campaign of how the donated funds have been spent.