Plamen Tsvetkov Stoyanov

National Director SOS Children`s Villages in Bulgaria

A footprint that continues

The life of each person is a book, a very personal book, but usually people write a book to share some thoughts, feelings insights from some special moments in their own lives and in their friends’ lives. I would compare one’s life with the weather – there are very sunny days with bright sun and very blue sky without any cloud or small white and soft like cotton clouds which give additional colors to the one already wonderful picture. In such days one feels so light and so happy and the heart rings like a bell of joy. In such days one is ready to climb the steepest and the highest peak in the world. And there are days – dark, with heavy rain and stormy clouds with thunders and lightening, with strong wind. In such days one feels small like a child, depressed or maybe frightened. What gives us strengths in such days – the hope or the belief that this can’t last forever and that a better time will come again. Thinking about these pictures in nature, I recall very bright and cheerful days in my professional life, when I felt happy, full of energy and conviction that everything is possible if one just strongly desires it.

One such day was the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of our SOS Children’s Village a year ago. “What happened on that day to make it so special,” you may ask me. And really it was like a film. The most special moment was the meeting of grown up children, now strongly walking their way in life as young people. They told stories about the most special moments in their life’s in the village. And one should be present at one such a moment to feel the happiness, the thankfulness not only in the way they were embracing us with a smile and sometimes with a tear of happiness in their eyes.

Naturally these emotions captured all participants and this special birthday – the SOS parents, the youth educators, the other colleagues that during the years were next to these now grown-up children, the sponsors and all our guests. I just recall the words of one of our SOS Ambassadors of good will. “SOS is a ‘factory’ that makes love each day, gives hope and happiness to the children”. This is the strongest appreciation that I ever heard about our work.

When we hear such words we can be proud of the results of one’s continuous in the year’s efforts .This feeling becomes stronger, looking at the successful and self-confident young people that have grown up in the community of the SOS Children’s Village. This gives not only happiness. It is a very unique inspiration to continue despite the hard days that one can have some times.

Plamen Stoyanov‚Äč
has more than 17 years of experience in child welfare. He entered SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria in 1997.

At that time they had established two SOS Children’s Villages. “Looking back at that time I can say that I entered the SOS world by mere chance but I stayed all these 17 years not by chance”. By education and previous professional experience Plamen is economist. He has a master degree in international business relations. Plamen started as National Director and so still he is. However, his tasks and responsibilities changed considerably. 

What made Plamen apply at SOS Children’s Bulgaria? It was the book of Herman Gmeiner about the history and philosophy of the SOS model. “The book and the whole idea impressed me strongly. This led to my first step into the new unknown SOS world. Still it offers different stories every day”.

Plamen lives in the capital city of Bulgaria Sofia. He is married and together with his wife brought up two beloved daughters. A year ago they became grandparents. Recently Plamen discovered that his grandson is the big inspiration in his personal and professional life now. A tremendous joy for him.

Plamen is concerned about the welfare of children and their families and about the general development of the Bulgaria in the new high tech world. This strong concern about the children is partly connected to his work. Furthermore it relates to Plamen’s understanding that no child can choose where and when it is born, neither can it choose his or her parents. Therefore it is our responsibility to provide them with a memorable childhood and to stand up for their rights.