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Parents, teachers, people with interests in education, people from various backgrounds and professions got together in 2013 with one common idea in their hearts – to establish a new type of local school, where children will grow free, will love to learn and will be happy. After numerous gatherings, we have prepared the set up of the working processes and registered officially as an NGO “Community for Democratic Education” with three primary goals:

To build a sustainable community of children, parents, teachers and citizens who are engaged and committed to the idea of democratic education.
To create, apply and develop school models where the primary value is respect of human rights and free choice of the children.
To make best practices and practical references from democratic education in regards to children’s development widely available.

In the short term we are aiming at building the first democratic school in Bulgaria with a potential start date in 2014 for children age 5 to 12. In the long term we will broaden the age range to include the full spectrum of children up to age 18.
The community currently consists of about 300 people who are interested in the concept of democratic education, and about 40 of them are actively working on establishing the school. Our major focus at the moment, together with streamlining the working processes, is to make the community function effectively in a democratic way and as a group of people respectful to each other’s contribution and potential. We would like to be what the school would look and work like.

The First National Conference for Free Education was held in Sofia in the beginning of 2014 with the key note speaker Yaacov Hecht, Educational Cities Israel. The Community for Democratic Education was presented at the conference and brought the significant interest of many people who want to become contributors. Thanks to the organizers of the conference, Community for Democratic Education had the privilege to make a private meeting with Yaacov Hecht, who inspired most of us to create a school close to the Hadera model. We were extremely happy to get commitment from Yaacov Hecht to support us in the process.
At the moment the Community for Democratic Education works in a couple of main streams – looking for a suitable home for the school, selection and preparation of teachers and mentors, developing a strategy to work with institutions, community enlargement, financing and developing of the structure of school processes.

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