Photo Exhibition to Raise Funds for Guide Dog Foundation
The Eyes on Four Paws Foundation has organized a photo exhibition entitled ''Awakening''. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition from March 30 to April 8 in Sofia Hall at the Capital's Library, located on the central Slaveikov Square.
All photographs in the exhibition are courtesy of Vesela Subashka and have been taken during her visits at the cynology center in Sofia. The images tell the story of the daily lives of the dogs from their birth, through host families taking care of them for a year, to their further education in the specialized schools.
''There currently are over 18,000 people with impaired sight that are all waiting for their chance to obtain a guide dog, and merely one specialized school - Eyes on Four Paws, that has the capacity to give them a friend,'' said Subashka in an interview for Dnevnik daily.
The school itself was established over ten years ago by the visually imapired Albena Aleksieva and a group of enthusiasts.
Foundation Eyes on Four Paws is a full-righ member of the World and the European Federation for Guide Dogs. Memberhip in the two organizations serves to guarantee the high quality of the education for the dogs and how helpful they can prove to be for visually impaired people.
The process of raising the guide dogs proved to be long and quite expensive, as most of them are labradors, or labrador retrievers. They gradually go through a lengthy educational plan, are hosted by families to build up habits of living in a family, and then are eventually returned to the center for further education.
The price of a dog ready to serve a visually impaired person amounts to more then BGN 15,000. Every year, the Eyes on Four Paws Foundation raises between 8 and 10 dogs ready to assist their new owners to achieve physical and emotional independence.
Over the past several years, the Bulgarian government has started assisting the association with BGN 50,000 annually, but those funds need to be applied only to the final stage of the education for the guide dogs.
Approximately a half of the foundation's income comes from donations, and the exhibition is a part fo the efforts to increase its capacity.
The founders are also dreaming of establishing a Balkan Center for Guide Dog Training.
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