Photo archive: First press conference on the first won project of the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development – “Sustainable Varna”.
The year is 1997. The Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development won its first project for real environmental work. It is called “Sustainable Varna”. It is funded by the Democratic Commission’s $ 9,000 program. The contracts for the approved projects are signed at the Cultural Center at the American Embassy in Sofia. Checks with the approved amounts are also handed over to the implementing organizations.
“That’s when I first touched an original American check,” Ilian Iliev of the Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development recalled today. The check looked so beautiful that the entire team of their organization wanted to keep it. But … in order to complete the project, they had to cash it in anyway. “We started researching which bank in Varna could cash the check. Bank employees flocked to see him, “Iliev said. It turned out that the only place where this could be done in early 1997 was Expressbank. But even there it was not turn out to be so simple. “We went to the bank three or four times until that happened. The desk clerk smiled at the fourth, “The money has come,” but her joy was short-lived. The whole computer system of the bank was blocked. We spent half a day there. At the end of working hours we managed to get our money. We carried $ 9,000 in a plastic bag to the other bank where our account was, ”said the chairman of the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development.
This was the first and only check with which the association operated. To this day, people who have seen him regret that he was punched with a punch after he was cashed. And they hope it has remained somewhere in the archives of the now defunct Expressbank.
The project, which was implemented with the money, also remains memorable for the organization. For the first time after the democratic changes (it is not clear before) a system of ecological, economic, social and health indicators was being developed in Varna. According to information from the Varna Regional Library during this period, this was one of the most read books by students. They used data from it in papers on environmental, economic, social and health issues related to Varna.