Lyubomir Durankev

Lyubomir Durankev

National and International Project Manager, Sozopol Foundation, Bulgaria: League of Historical and Accessible Cities (LHAC) - Case Study of Sozopol


Biography

Mr. Lyubomir Durankev is an International Projects Expert at Sozopol Foundation. He has obtained both bachelor’s and master's degrees in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. After a 7-year career in the field, working for leading Bulgarian companies, and over 10 years of experience in organizing events, Mr. Durankev was inspired for a new beginning and for working in public benefit. He started working with Sozopol Foundation, the only Bulgarian non-governmental organization in official partnership with UNESCO. Since then Mr. Durankev has been managing and coordinating the development and implementation of projects for the safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage, as well as for creating accessible environment, in collaboration with prominent experts. In March 2013, Sozopol Foundation established a partnership with the participants in the League of Historical and Accessible Cities and in September 2014 the first collaborative project was approved for funding by the European Commission.

Abstract

Sozopol Foundation was established in December 2002, aiming to work for the public benefit. It is the only Bulgarian non-governmental organization in official partnership with UNESCO. Due to its active participation as one of the ten members of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, the Organization assigned Sozopol Foundation to organize an international forum, dedicated to the role of youth for the safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which was successfully held at the end of September.
Sozopol Foundation has considerable experience in projects that provide people with disabilities with access to the cultural heritage and natural landmarks through the use of a suitable combination of EU funds and its own funds. Since 2003, the Foundation has implemented several projects for accessibility, including the restoration of fragments of the fortress wall and of towers, the construction of an associated accessible complex, which includes a museum collection, a tourist centre, a panoramic passage, and a quay, as well as the provision of accessible infrastructure to the complex, aiming to foster the social integration and personal realization of people with special needs.
In March 2013, on the grounds of projects accomplished by Sozopol Foundation, the town of Sozopol and the Ancient Town of Apollonia Archaeological Reserve joined to the League of Historical and Accessible Cities, a project of the European Foundation Centre. Currently, the Foundation is working on project STRING in collaboration with the partners in the League. The project, aiming to create virtual tourist accessible itineraries and promote them as tourist packages, has been approved for funding by the European Commission.
With its full and correct activity in favour of society and persons with disabilities, Sozopol Foundation has established itself as an authoritative structure of civil society and the NGO sector in Bulgaria, in terms of preservation and promotion of cultural heritage and the provision of accessibility to the heritage.