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Staff

Georgi Apostolov (Applied Research and Communications Fund) has been the coordinator of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre since its creation in 2005. He has over 15 years of experience as a journalist, editor and correspondent for the Bulgarian News Agency and other Bulgarian and international media. In the recent years, he has been in charge of many initiatives countering the online content and conduct, which is illegal or abusive to the children. He leads campaigns and trainings aiming to increase the digital and media literacy among children, minors, parents and professionals who work with children and their families, and to enhance their capacity to prevent or react in cases of online abuse of children.

Marko Hajdinjak (Applied Research and Communications Fund) is a researcher and expert with over 10 years of experience in the work with minorities and vulnerable communities. His responsibilities include the development of the research methodology and the conduct of quantitative and qualitative research on the behaviour and skills of young people online. He participates in trainings, which aim to promote the safe and responsible online behaviour among adolescents. Marko Hajdinjak is in charge of the adaptation, dissemination and auditing of schools for the European online safety label eSafety, which is represented in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre. Since October 2016, Marko is the national coordinator for the European research network EU Kids Online.

Lubomir Sirkov (Applied Research and Communications Fund) is a senior analyst for the National Hotline for fighting illegal and harmful for children content and conduct in Internet. Lubomir Sirkov analyses the incoming signals and liaises with national and international bodies, Internet providers and social networking sites for the quickest possible removal of inappropriate online content, apprehension of people involved in child abuse, and identification of underage victims in order to protect them from future harm. He participates in trainings of the International Association of Internet Hotlines INHOPE, Interpol, Internet Watch Foundation.

Petar Kanchev (Applied Research and Communications Fund) is an expert of the Safer Internet program at ARC Fund. He has an MSc degree in Cognitive Science, acquired from New Bulgarian University. Petar has a two-year experience as a financial analyst for Avery Dennison Inc. in Leiden, The Netherlands. He went through the two-year Teach for Bulgaria program, teaching Psychology, Logic, Law, Philosophy, and English as a Second Language in the Agro-Technical Professional High School in Zlatica, Bulgaria. His responsibilities for the Safer Internet program include: scientific and applied research related to the online behavior of children; organizing and conducting critical thinking and media/digital literacy trainings for children and youth; developing, testing, publishing, and applying innovative methods, related to the integration of digital and media literacy into the Bulgarian national school curriculum.

Emanuil Georgiev (Applied Research and Communications Fund) is an expert of the Safer Internet program at ARC Fund. He has an PhD degree in Cultural Studies and MA degree in Philosophy, acquired from Sofia University. He was a member  of interdisciplinary scientific teams. He has scientific publications in the field of Philosophy and Cultural Studies. He taught philosophy, psychology, ethics, citizenship, PSHE in numerous primary and high schools. He went through two-year Teach for Bulgaria program. His responsibilities for the Safer Internet program include: scientific and applied research related to the online behavior of children, supporting Youth Panel of Safer Internet program, organizing and conducting media/digital literacy training for children and youth.

Tsveta Brestnichka (Association Parents) is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Association Parents. She has participated in the work of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre since 2008. She is involved in the initiatives against the illegal or abusive content and behaviour for children online. She organizes and leads trainings, which aim to increase digital and media literacy among children and minors, as well as to increase the skills of parents and teachers in prevention of undesired behaviour of children and minors online.

Yana Aleksieva (Association Parents) is an expert at the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre, where she works as an educator and psychologist. She graduated from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” with a master’s degree in Children’s and adolescents’ school psychology. She is a member of the Psychology society and Positive psychotherapy society. She is a certified educator for the Thomas Gordon “Successful parents training” programme.

Marieta Radulova (Association Parents) is an expert at the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre. Her main activities are consultations and analysis of signals, which are received on the Centre’s helpline. She also contributes to developing of training methodology and educational materials and resources, related to the safe use of the Internet.

Evelina Lafchiiska (Association Parents) is an expert of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre. Her activity is related to the analysis of signals, which are received on the Helpline for online safety, the development of methodologies and the organisation of trainings for the prevention of online risks for children, adolescents and professionals.

Boyko Tsenkov (Association Parents) has a degree in Psychology from the New Bulgarian University and is one of the experts of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre. His main activities include the processing and analysis of signals, received at the Helpline of the Centre, as well as participation in the development of methodologies and trainings for the prevention of online risks for children, teenagers and professionals.

Public Council

The work of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre is monitored and facilitated by the Public Council on safer internet use, which includes representatives from the key national, private and non-governmental institutions and organisations, which are working towards building a safer and more positive Internet environment for children and adolescents.

Members of the Public Council:

Chairman: Representative of the Parliamentary Committee for Children, Youths and Sports

Deputy Chairman: Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection

Deputy Chairman: Executive director of the Society for Electronic Communications

Ministry of Education and Science

Ministry of Interior

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications

Sofia Municipality

Internet Society - Bulgaria

Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT)

Cisco Systems

Law and Internet Foundation

Association Parents

Kabinata

Partners Bulgaria Foundation

Bulgarian Federation for Electronic Sport

Gender Education, Research and Technologies

Vivacom

Mtel

Telenor Bulgaria

Microsoft Bulgaria

Center for the Study of Democracy

National Network for Children

Digital National Coalition

Digital Kidz Foundation

Justine Tomms, university professor and online media professional

Annual reports

The Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre prepares annual reports, which contain information about its activities and achieved results. The annual reports contain statistics of the signals received on the Hotline and on the Helpline, as well as the measures taken to address these signals. Here you can see the annual reports of the Centre from the last years:

 
Report for 2016 (1,7 MB) pdf Report for 2015 (1,4 MB) 453kB
Report for 2014 (453 kB)  Report for 2013 (691 kB) 453kB
Report for 2012 (959 kB) 453kB Report for 2011 (555 kB) 453kB
Report for 2010 (430 kB) 453kB Report for 2009 (618 kB) 453kB
Report for 2008 (715 kB) 453kB

 

Network

Two vast international networks – the European Union’s Insafe network and the International Association of Internet Hotlines INHOPE – work under the framework of the European Commission’s Better Internet for Kids Programme.


1. European Union’s Insafe network consists of 30 national Safer Internet Centres. The network helps the members to share information, experience and materials among each other, and to organise common activities, initiatives and teachings. Bulgaria joined Insafe in 2008, when the Applied Research and Communications Fund established a Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre in consortium with Association Parents, the Bulgarian Federation for Electronic Sportand DeConi advertising agency, and with co-funding from the European Commission. Each national Safer Internet Centre includes a helpline, where children, adolescents, parents, teachers and professionals can receive advice and consultations on a given Internet-related issue through phone or online channels of communication and. All consultants at the Bulgarian helpline are psychologists working at the Association Parents.


2. International Association of Internet Hotlines INHOPE was created in line with the 1999 Action Plan for Safer Internet of the European Union. Since then, the network has been continuously expanding and now stretches beyond the EU borders, featuring members such as Australia, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, the USA, and Japan. In 2015, INHOPE had 45 members. The Bulgarian Hotline started work in 2006.


The INHOPE network makes it easier to forward the received signals to the partner hotline in a country, where the illegal or harmful for children online content is hosted, as well as to obtain the quicker response by law-enforcement bodies in those countries. Every national Hotline has an agreement for cooperation with the law-enforcement and the entire network is successfully cooperating with Interpol. The members of the network share information and experience in order to increase the overall effectiveness of the Hotlines.

 

Projects

The Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre has implemented numerous projects, devoted to the creation of a positive and safer Internet environment for children and adolescents and the development of their skills to deal with the online challenges.

From digital competence to digital citizenship: encouraging civil participation through building capacity of future teachers to teach digital and media literacy

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2016–2017
This project aims to increase the democratization of public life in Bulgaria through the development of early digital and media literacy in children – these are skills, without which the participation in today's public and political life is not possible. The expected results from the project include: the creation of a methodology for training university students, an increase in the skills of university students to create innovative courses and the creation of useful resources for practicing teachers.

Empowering children in the digital age through early digital literacy development

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2015-2018
The project is funded by the OAK Foundation and aims to advance the rights of the children by increasing their early digital literacy through supporting schools and families. The project will develop a pilot model for teaching digital literacy in primary schools, which will improve children’s skills to cope with risky situations and help them to enjoy the opportunities for learning, creativity and socialization offered by the digital technologies. Additional support will be provided to families to further foster the digital literacy of small children.

National campaign for counteracting contemporary methods of gender-based violence

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2015-2016
The project is funded by Norway Grants Programme. The reason for the campaign is that issues such as early sexualisation, the lack of parental control over the child’s Internet use, as well as the fact that children are increasingly exposed to online content unsuitable for their age, consolidate the stereotypes about the roles of the two sexes. These stereotypes, reinforced by the sexualized media and information environment, lead to the adoption of models and behaviour in which gender-based violence is perceived as something normal. The campaign, including a variety of awareness raising materials, is developed in active cooperation with a youth panel, consisting of volunteers aged between 15 and 17.

Safenet.bg: Safeguarding and empowering children and youth online

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2015-2016
This project supports and upgrades the functioning of the National Safer Internet Centre. It facilitates the main services of the Centre: an awareness node for empowering children, parents, carers and teachers to use internet in a better and safer way; online and telephone helpline service for consultations and dealing with harmful contact; and a hotline for receiving reports on child sexual abuse material and other illegal and harmful for children online content and conduct. It was financed by the Connecting Europe Facility – Telecommunications programme of the European Commission.

Children, teachers and parents against hate speech and discrimination

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2014-2016
The project aims to develop a methodology for increasing the social and cultural skills of children at an early stage of their education through an interactive presentation of the educational materials. The methodology was developed by primary school teachers and consists of 3 elements: teaching a lesson in class, giving out homework, which is to be completed with a parent, and organisation of a school event for students, teachers and parents. The methodology aims to develop 10 key skills in children: following rules, conflict solving, team work, using “I” messages, recognition of emotions, realising the power of words, critical thinking, understanding the activities, self-asserting behaviour, tolerance. Each lesson includes skills training for the positive and responsible use of the Web, as it is the Web and social media where children most often come across negative models promoting racism and hate speech.

Cyberscout programme

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2014-2015
For the purposes of this project, the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre created a network of cyberscout teams. In Smolyan, Vidin, Shumen, Pleven and Targovishte, students who are also members of Children’s Police Academies of the Ministry of Interior, were educated about the most common online risks, the ways to prevent them, as well as to pass on what they have learned to their peers. In addition, their teachers were also introduced to the programme and the ways in which they could cooperate with the students and help them organise different events related to online safety. The programme is financed by Telenor Bulgaria and is realised with the help of the Ministry of Interior.

Digital International Media Literacy eBook Project DIMLE

Coordinated by Webster University, Missouri, USA
Duration: 2014-2015
During the course of the project, the book of professor Art Silverblat “Media literacy: how to interpret media messages” was translated and adapted to fit the Bulgarian media context. The book targets university students, professionals and wide audiences. Based on the science theory, the book offers a very practical course on media literacy, which transforms the passive academic knowledge into a dynamic practical instrument.

Safeguarding Teenage Intimate Relationships STIR

Coordinated by the University of Bristol
Duration: 2013-2015
A research project, which aims to improve the understanding of intimate relationships among teenagers. In the course of the project, manifestations of intimate violence were studied on the sample of over 4500 adolescents from 4 European countries. In collaboration with youngsters, a website and a mobile application, aimed at increasing the knowledge of young people about intimate violence, were developed: stiritapp.eu/bg. The project was financed by the Daphne III Programme of the European Commission.

Empowering fathers, empowering children

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2012-2015
The main goal of the project was to increase the positive involvement of fathers in their children’s lives in order to safeguard children’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing, including their right to be protected from sexual abuse and exploitation. In order to overcome the barriers imposed by the state institutions and cultural stereotypes, methodology and good practices were developed to increase the actual participation of fathers and to promote a more healthy perception of men as guardians of the vulnerable. Engaged fathers serve as a positive role models for young children, so they can develop sound attitudes toward gender roles that will act as natural barriers against engaging in gender-based violence later in their lives.

Better Internet for Kids Network Pilot BIKNET

Coordinated by the European Schoolnet Network and the International Association of Internet Hotlines INHOPE
Duration: 2013-2014
During the course of the project, a platform was developed and tested, from which national Safer Internet Centres, their partners, children, adolescents and professionals could access materials, resources, services and practices. Also, further technical measures for combatting child pornography and for identifying the victims of abuse were developed.

Safenet.bg: Completing set-up of an integrated national Safer Internet Centre by establishing a Helpline

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2010-2012
This project supported the functioning of the National Safer Internet Centre, making it possible to expand the services it provides by establishing the phone, e-mail and Skype consultant lines. The consulting helpline is operated by psychologists, trained to deal with the topics related to online risks and the safety of adolescents and children. It was financed by the Safer Internet Programme of the European Commission.

Threat Assessment of Bullying Behaviour of Youth Online (T.A.B.B.Y)

Coordinated by Naples II University
Duration: 2009-2012
During the two back to back projects, the organisations in the consortium studied the manifestations of cyberbullying among children in 7 European countries and developed information materials such as questionnaires, guides and games, which are to help teachers and other professionals, who work for the prevention of cyberbullying and violence. The project was financed by the Daphne Programme of the European Commission.

FreE-Learning Centres: Assisting schools in violence prevention through education

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2009-2012
This project was a continuation of “Children in Virtual and Real Violence.” The main goal was the fostering of positive, non-aggressive and self-assertive behaviour through fighting aggressive mind-sets and models of behaviour among children and teenagers. In order to prevent violence and bullying in physical and virtual worlds among the school children, an additional guide with 19 activities aimed at developing their emotional intelligence and social skills was produced. The Centre continues to carry out trainings of teachers, psychologists and school councillors to help them effectively use the guide. The project was financed by the Swiss “OAK Foundation” (its programme on the prevention of child abuse).

Setting up a combined Safer Internet Node in Bulgaria

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2008-2010
This project facilitated the functioning of the National Safer Internet Centre. The main activities included: development of information materials and training methodologies; organisation and implementation of campaigns, events and trainings for children, parents and teachers; awareness raising campaigns on newly occurred threats for children online; active work with media, public and private institutions, and organisations concerned with achieving the better protection of children online and developing better digital competences in adolescents, so that they could use the information technologies in a safe and responsible manner. The project was financed by the Safer Internet Programme of the European Commission.

Children in Virtual and Real Violence – Prevention by Discourse and Education

Coordinated by ARC Fund
Duration: 2007-2009
During the course of the project, the methodology “Prevention of virtual and real violence through interactive education in school” was developed. One of the main outputs was a guide for educators, which was reviewed by the Institute of psychology of BAS (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) and officially approved for usage in schools by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science. The methodology is suitable for the prevention work with young persons, aged between 12 and 18 years. The Centre continues to carry out trainings of teachers, psychologists and school councillors to apply the methodology. The project was financed by the programme for prevention of child abuse of the OAK Foundation, Switzerland.

Awards

 
goreshta linia sertifikat
 
 
The Internet Hotline of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre, coordinated by the “Applied research and communications” Fund, received a certificate for its quality of work from the Board of the International Association of Internet Hotline Providers INHOPE.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
policeman of te year
 
 
The Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre and its Hotline received on 29th December a special award of the Ministry of Interior for contribution to the work of police at the annual "Policeman of the Year" ceremony.
 
 
 
 

Contacts

"Applied Research and Communications Fund"

Sofia, Bulgaria, 5 Aleksandar Zhendov Street

hotline (AT) online.bg

safenet (AT) online.bg

Phone: +359 2 873 3000

 

Association Parents

Sofia, Bulgaria, Yavorov neighborhood, bloc 73, 2nd floor

helpline (AT) online.bg

Phone: +359 2 944 1799

Mob. 124 123