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Support for preservation of the authentic women's singing tradition on the border of Rila National Park (2005 - 2007)

Primary donor: Norbert H. Hardner Foundation, USA

It is a community development project, organized in Beli Isskar village, Samokov Municipality - on the border of Rila National Park. The objective of the project was to assist the village elders (the women’s singing group) to record their authentic songs thus preserving this tradition, and to market this product as a cultural product for visitors to the Rila park area. It contributed to conserving the culture of traditional mountain settlements in the area of the park and stimulates sustainable business practices for communities on the periphery of the park by linking with them cultural/eco tourism. A folklore music CD titled “And the Sun is Trembling…” was developed and reproduced for sale. The profit goes to the singing group, on account of the local community centre, for funding future activities and projects. A model for generation of financial resources was created to support initiatives for preservation of the local traditions and folklore as a base for sustainable tourism development.