Sixteen celebrities and over thirty companies from different business sectors raised funds to support the cause for equal access to high-quality education

From right: Dessislava Taliokova, CEO America For Bulgaria Foundation; Vesselin Ovcharov, paragliding athlete; Nelly Gacheva, TFB; Linda Petkova, cake master and entrepreneur, Evgenia Peeva-Kirova, CEO Teach For Bulgaria; Jivko Ivanov, chef; Hristo Peev, entrepreneur; Ilko Iliev, freerun athlete and Tanya Konstantinova.

For the sixth year in a row public figures and business leaders were united by the cause for equal access to high-quality education and supported the participants in Teach For Bulgaria’s program at the annual Inspiration Leaders Charity Auction. The auction, which took place on November 23, at the Hilton Hotel, is an annual fundraising event co-organized by Teach For Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum. The 2017 Inspiration Leaders Charity Auction was made possible with the generous support of the Hilton Hotel in Sofia, Katarzyna Estate, Global Group, and SEG.

Sixteen celebrities and representatives of over thirty companies from different business sectors took part in this one-of-a-kind auction and shared many inspiring, touching, and entertaining moments, including an acrobatic flip over the stage. The guests from the business sector had the opportunity to bid for two hours of the time of popular actors, musicians, athletes, authors, journalists, entrepreneurs, and other public figures. They are Teach For Bulgaria supporters and are going to donate their time to host corporate events, team buildings, etc.

The hosts of the event Alex Raeva and Raffi Boghossian with the mountain climber and zoologist Boyan Petrov.

Some of the highest bids were for the mountain climber Boyan Petrov who participated in the auction for the second year in a row. The company which bought his time is going to enjoy his presentation called “How to Climb Giants? Of the Challenges and the Big Wins on the Way Up”. The acrobatic paragliding pilot Veselin Ovcharov will demonstrate and share more about what flying feels like, the world from a bird’s eye view, and what it is like to change your perspective. The singer Mihaela Fileva will lead a singing class and the actors Aleksandar Aleksiev and Yana Titova will take their highest bidder behind the scenes of their latest movie. This year some of the celebrities had the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in the classroom by visiting Teach For Bulgaria participants and their students at various schools. Their experience and the stories they shared about the visits inspired many of the guests to visit partner schools, meet the students who go there, and serve as role models, thus supporting the success of every child.


The pop singer Mihaela Fileva and Evgenia Peeva-Kirova, Teach For Bulgaria CEO.

Among the famous public figures who donated their time were also the writer Zachary Karabashliev, the extreme athletes Ilko Iliev and Krasimir Georgiev, the entrepreneurs Svetozar Georgiev, Kiril Petkov, Ivaylo Penchev, and Petar Mitev, chef Zhivko Ivanov, the vegan cake master Linda Petkova, TV host Niki Kanchev, and ​H.E. Irit Lillian, Ambassador of the State of Israel. Alex Raeva and Raffi Boghossian hosted the event.

The funds raised at the event will be entirely invested in the training, development, and support of Teach For Bulgaria participants who teach in 80 schools located in 12 regions of Bulgaria.

“Quite often the participants in the program face students who have lost the ability to dream big. Students who are content with the perspective offered by their environment. Their teachers are the ones who can open many doors and inspire new dreams. The Inspiration Leaders Charity Auction proves again that these students’ dreams matter, if so many professionals, successful public figures, and business leaders stand together in support of their teachers, aware and engaged,” Evgenia Peeva-Kirova, CEO of Teach For Bulgaria, shared.

“We all know that knowledge is the driving force of economies and societies and high-quality education allows students to become independent, capable, and confident young people. The conviction that investments in education give the highest return motivates us to keep supporting the cause. We are happy to have so many and such active supporters as you,” Iravan Hira, Chairman of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum, stated in his opening speech.

Teach For Bulgaria has been working towards providing equal access to high-quality education to every child in Bulgaria since 2011. To achieve its mission, the organization recruits and carefully selects motivated, high-achieving professionals from various backgrounds. Within the two-year professional development and leadership program all participants go through intensive training and are directly supported in their work at school with students from vulnerable communities. The organization has built a strong community of current teachers and alumni, as well as key partners from all sectors in order to ensure a long-term, sustainable access to high-quality education to every child in Bulgaria. The majority of Teach For Bulgaria alumni stay engaged in the education sector by following different career development tracks – school leadership, social entrepreneurship, public policy, etc.

Teach For Bulgaria is initiated and generously supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation and is part of the international global network for equal access to high-quality education – Teach for All.

Photographer: Yordan Georgiev

You can see photos with highlights from the event here: