Bulgaria - the Capable




2020 – 2023

The local context

Youth smoking is a significant problem in Bulgaria, especially for girls. The WHO’s latest Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey1 shows that among 15-year olds 38% of girls and 26% of boys have smoked in the last 30 days - both an increase since the previous survey.

Bulgaria also has the highest proportion of 11-year old smokers in the survey – 9% for girls and 8% for boys2.

Our objectives

To reach 50,000 12-16 year-olds, and 20,000 educators directly through face-to-face contact, and over a million indirectly through video and visuals via social media and other online routes to increase awareness and understanding of the dangers of tobacco use, and encourage positive behaviour change.


Our programme

The programme builds upon the success of the existing Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) pilot partnership project encouraging schools to adopt more nutritious school meals, increased availability of healthy snacks e.g. fresh fruit in schools, and higher levels of physical activity.

The programme is based upon research among children and young people into attitudes towards tobacco. This informs the development of social media and a website where ‘strong’ and ‘healthy’ behaviours are presented as the next “cool” kids on the block – backed by influencers, role models and followers. This is supported by teacher resources developed with Teach for Bulgaria and showcased at their annual Summer Academy in association with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the regional educational institutions

Bulgaria has been largely successful in maintaining education through the COVID-19 pandemic by digitalising schools. If necessary the campaign can be executed entirely online, building on the successful implementation of digital and distance learning  that has already taken place in Bulgaria.

The programme is supported by AstraZeneca volunteers who will provide mentoring support as well as assisting staff delivering the programme, and helping with communications.

Our partners

Association Parents Encourages parents to be the best parents they can be, and support children to become the best adults they can become.

Teach For Bulgaria recruits, trains and develops capable and motivated professionals who are committed to working long-term for positive change in education in Bulgaria.