Sozopol Foundation was founded in December 2002 by Mr. Kiril Arnautski to operate in public benefit with the following aims:
- Encouragement of the public’s commitment to environmental protection, as well as to tangible and intangible cultural heritage protection. Implementation of good practices and innovative methods in pursuit of these objectives;
- Promotion of material and spiritual values, training at levels relevant to all age groups and support for international cooperation for the benefit of people and development;
- Collaboration with competent international governmental and non-governmental organizations related to activities in the fields of education, cultural heritage, nature conservation, providing an accessible environment for the elderly and people with disabilities;
- Promoting social integration and personal realization of the elderly and people with specific abilities.
Sozopol Foundation is the first Bulgarian non-governmental organization that was granted an official partnership with UNESCO in 9th September 2011. Since February 3rd 2012, the foundation has a consultative partnership status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (http://en.unesco.org/)
Sozopol Foundation was one of the ten members of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee elected for two consecutive biennial mandates from 2012 to 2016. The Foundation's priority will be the promotion of active interaction and coordination among Eastern European NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO. (http://www.ngo-unesco.net/en/)
From its foundation until now, the Sozopol Foundation has participated and participated in the implementation of many projects funded by the United Nations; UNESCO; The European Union; Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area; League of Historic and Affordable Cities to the European Foundation Center, Brussels; Zero project of the ESSL Foundation; other governmental and non-governmental organizations on a national and international scale.
Since 2013 Sozopol Foundation is a member of the League of Accessible and Historical Cities, a project of the European Foundation Centre, Brussels. As a result of well implemented national and international projects from the Sozopol Foundation concerning activities that actively involve elderly people and people with disabilities in public life, Sozopol is one of the six cities in Europe adopted by the League of Historic and Affordable Cities in Europe. (http://www.lhac.eu/)
As a result of its active dedication to natural and cultural heritage preservation, as well as its successful management and promotion of Architectural-historic complex ‘Southern Fortress Wall and Tower’ in Sozopol town, on April the 15th 2015 Sozopol Foundation received the prestigious "World Travel Destination" award of the World Tourism and Travel Council. It is the first Bulgarian non-governmental organization to receive this prestigious award. (http://www.wttc.org/)
From 23.08.2016 years Sozopol Foundation is an active participant in the Project Zero, created by the international NGO - ESSL Foundation. The Zero project is being developed around the world with an action policy to provide comprehensive assistance and inclusion of people with disabilities in activities involving active participation in public life. (https://zeroproject.org)
Sozopol Foundation’s activities towards provision of sustainable tourism and accessible environment for people with disabilities are strongly promoted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The Organization published a special newsletter which included Sozopol Foundation. The newsletter was dedicated to the 2016 World Tourism Day’s theme: Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility. (http://www2.unwto.org/)
On July 26th 2017 during the regular Meeting of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs held in New York, a decision was taken to grand a special consultative status to Sozopol Foundation, which joins it to the big family of the Department. An exceptional achievement of the Bulgarian non-governmental sector in front of the United Nations represented by the Foundation.
With a decision of the General Assembly of the Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO held from 4 to 6 June 2018 in Paris, Sozopol Foundation is accredited as a consultant to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The consultant's powers include training of interested citizens of all ages in the preservation of the world's intangible cultural heritage, one of the foundations for a decent life for humanity. (https://ich.unesco.org/en/Decisions/7.GA/11)
The last world recognition for the Sozopol Foundation was received by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The invitation is for the Sozopol Foundation to participate in the 10th Session of the Open Task Force on Aging Questions, to be held on 15-18 April 2019 at the United Nations Organization Building in New York. In the tenth session, 15-18 April 2019, as representatives of the Sozopol Foundation – NGOs in a special consultative status with UNDESA, Mr. Kiril Arnautski - Chairman of the Managing Board of the Sozopol Foundation and Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences Violeta Nesheva - Chief Scientific Adviser of the Sozopol Foundation. At the session, Mr. Kiril Arnautski will address the topics in Focus 1: "Social protection and social security, including a basis for social protection". Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences Violeta Nesheva will take an active part on the specific themes in Focus 2: "Education, training, lifelong learning and capacity building in the context of the elderly".