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Public relations section
Raiffeisenbank’s donation campaign Choose to Help raised BGN 8,100 in support for the project of the P.U.L.S. Foundation in the town of Pernik for rendering help to women and children who have suffered abuse. The funds were raised from the personal donations of 60 employees of the Raiffeisen Group, from donations made directly to the foundation’s accounts and from SMS contributions, as well as from the bank, which added BGN 100 to every donation of an employee.
The money collected in the campaign is financing the activity of the foundation for putting up a shelter for women and children who have suffered violence and abuse.
According to data from the P.U.L.S. Foundation, since the beginning of its activity in 1999 till the end of 2011 more than 5,000 people have sought help from the foundation’s experts and therapists, the number increasing every year. P.U.L.S. Foundation offers accommodation at a crisis center and a rehabilitation program, which includes individual psychological consulting and treatment of traumas, self-help groups, skill training, work therapy. Groups of young people help for the transformation of the aggressive and destructive tendencies into a creative process and self knowledge. Only in 2011 the foundation made more than 3,000 consultations and rendered help to 968 abused people, 57% them being women, 33% children and about 10% men.
The women who sought help were usually victims of domestic violence, trafficking or were mothers or other relatives of victims of violence. The men were mostly fathers or relatives of abused children, while the children who visited the foundation were sent there by their kindergartens, schools or school mates and friends. A new practice for the P.U.L.S. Foundation, as well as for Bulgaria, is the work with violators. The most frequent problems of the clients are related to psychological abuse, followed by physical and sexual violation, and these people are given long-term therapy, crisis interventions, consultations, social mediation and work with institutions. In 2011, 248 legal consultations were organized and 40 legal proceedings were initiated in support of abused women and children.
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.
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.