Grant Administration and Support

Nevena Tzeneva

OFFICE MANAGER

Nevena Tzeneva is responsible for the organization of all administrative activities. She has held a number of administrative positions at different companies, including the Bulgarian American Credit Bank where she worked for 8 years. She graduated the University for International Tourism.

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Takuhi Elmokian

FINANCIAL ANALYST

Takuhi Elmokian assists the CFO by conducting in-depth examinations of project budgets and assessing the expenditures of ongoing projects. She has significant experience in financial and project management, budgeting and planning, and financial and business analysis. Her prior experience includes financial positions in auditing and consulting companies such as KPMG Bulgaria, NGOs, and other businesses. Takuhi has an MBA degree from Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, and a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

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First Foundations Program Team

Maria Evgenieva

CLINICAL LEAD NURSE FAMILY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Maria Evgenieva is a Clinical leader at TSA, responsible for the Nurse-Family Partnership Program (NFP). Her activities include communicating with regional and national active members in similar programs of other donors which general aim is to improve the maternal and infant health as well as raising the parental capacity and engagement. Maria worked in the non-governmental sector for eight years prior to joining TSA. She was a coordinator, medical consultant, and prenatal instructor at the “Maternal and Infant Health” Foundation. In this position, Maria trained and improved the skills, experience, and knowledge of more than 1000 parents by conducting prenatal courses. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship in Sofia, a bachelor’s degree in Midwifery from Sofia Medical University, where she graduated with honors, and a master’s degree in Public Health Management from Sofia Medical University.

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Ivanka Puleva

PROJECT MANAGER "NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP"

Ivanka Puleva is a Project Manager of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program (NFP) in Bulgaria. She is responsible for the quality of the technical implementation and for reaching the strategic goals of the program. Ivanka manages the NFP teams and leads on communicating the program with partner organizations and local and national stakeholders. Prior to joining TSA, Ivanka worked for five years in the field of migration as a part of the management team of the Refugee-Migrant Service within the Bulgarian Red Cross. She coordinated projects on a national and international level related to providing consultations, social assistance services, and integration for refugees. She has significant experience in Child Protection of migrant children, as well as in the media sector. Ivanka participated in a Fellowship Program by the U.S. State Department focused on Refugee Resettlement. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Relations and Journalism and Mass Communications from the American University in Bulgaria. Her master’s degree is in Public Relations from Sofia University.

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Rositsa Milkova

PROJECT MANAGER "WE CARE"

Rositsa Milkova is a project manager of the “We Care” project under the First Foundations Program. She supports the capacity building of organizations, working with Roma communities in the field of early childhood development. She is responsible for advocacy-related initiatives for improved access to quality health care for the Roma communities in Bulgaria, focusing on mothers and children. Prior to joining the Trust, Rositsa worked on projects for social inclusion with the Open Society Institute – Sofia. She is experienced in writing policy briefs and reports in the field of housing and policies for child and family well-being. She has also worked as a social worker with children and families at risk. Rositsa holds a master’s degree in Public Management and Policy from Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski” and has a bachelor’s degree in “Social activities” from the “Episkop Konstantin Preslavski” University of Shumen. Rositsa has taken part in several trainings related to human rights, housing, working with vulnerable communities, and national and international internship programs.

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Dena Popova

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE - on maternity leave

Dena Popova is part of the First Foundations Program at TSA. Her work is mainly focused on participatory research practices, narrative research, and empowerment evaluation approaches within organizations and communities of practice. Dena is applying her interests and expertise within the EU funded project ROMOMATTER, led by the University of Seville, where TSA is responsible for research and empowerment evaluation activities. Prior to joining the Trust, Dena worked for the International Organization for Migration, Animus Association Foundation, and the BEST Foundation as a research officer and project coordinator on issues of migration, labour exploitation, human trafficking, citizenship education, and public speaking. Dena holds a bacherlor’s degree in Rhetoric, Film Studies, and Politics from Whitman College, WA, USA. She also graduated with M.Sc. in Political Science at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, where she acquired sound in-depth knowledge on issues of multiculturalism, federalism and diversity. During her studies, Dena was an Abshire grant fellow researching Traditional birth practices in the Highlands of Ecuador, as well as Labor Trajectories for Latino Farmworkers in Washington State; Collectivism and Postmemory in Argentina, and Multilingualism across Europe.

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Paola Patseva

PROGRAM ASSISTANT FIRST FOUNDATIONS

Paola Patseva is a part of the First Foundations Program at the Trust. Her work is related to the administration and monitoring of projects and to he coordination and communication with partners and grantees. Paola is working on several projects in the program aimed at improving access of Roma communities, in particular mothers and children, to quality health services. She is also responsible for maintaining and updating the organization's website, including the coordination of the website content in a way that is appealing to the target audience. Prior to joining the Trust, Paola was an active volunteer at the “ARETE” Youth Foundation and then at the Trust, volunteering for the Springboard for School Readiness project, one of TSA’s flagship initiatives. This year she will be graduating in Graphic Design from New Bulgarian University.

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Lyubka Georgieva

JUNIOR PROGRAM OFFICER FAMILY ECONOMIC SUCCESS PROGRAM

Lyubka Georgieva is a Junior Program Officer in TSA’s Family Economic Success Program. She supports the implementation of the Trust’s approach toward Family Economic Success to increase the chances of individuals from vulnerable communities to find work by acquiring marketable skills and experience. Her work involves establishing and maintaining partnerships with leading companies and supporting programs that aim to increase the employability and employment of beneficiaries. Prior to joining the Family Economic Success team, she coordinated the Equal Chance Program: Access to high school education. She also supported the grants management and compliance functions by assisting the team in the grant approval process and the grant monitoring process. In 2014, Lyubka graduated in Public administration and she became a member of the Roma English Language Program at the Central European University in Budapest. Lyubka also holds master’s degree in Human Resources Management from South-West University  “Neofit Rilski”.

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Nevena Tzeneva

OFFICE MANAGER

Nevena Tzeneva is responsible for the organization of all administrative activities. She has held a number of administrative positions at different companies, including the Bulgarian American Credit Bank where she worked for 8 years. She graduated the University for International Tourism.

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Early Learning and Care Program Team

Martina Drobenova

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Martina Drobenova joined the TSA team at the beginning of 2022 as a coordinator within the "Early Learning and Care" program, where her work focuses on the quality of and access to early education among children from vulnerable communities. Before joining us, Martina developed and implemented educational projects with European funding within the nonprofit sector, and she also worked as a subcontractor for the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria. Martina graduated with a bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies and a master's degree in European Projects Management at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", and within the framework of the latter, she carried out an assessment of the barriers before the successful implementation of the international initiative "Decade of Roma Inclusion". She is currently a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, where she pursues her academic interests related to the effects of national and international policies on the educational integration of Roma communities.

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Sofiya Spasova

PROGRAM ASSISTANT EARLY LEARNING AND CARE

Sofiya Spasova is a Program Assistant in the Early Learning and Care program. Her work is focused on ensuring the proper documentation and communication related to grant management, as well as providing logistical support for training of partner NGOs and events connected to project promotion and advocacy. Prior to joining the TSA team, Sofiya has been part of the Defense Team at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as well as a Board Member of the Student Association for European Studies at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Her professional practice and interests are in the field of human rights, more specifically protection of child rights, as well as Humanitarian Law and Aid. Sofiya is an LL.M. graduate in European Public Law and Governance from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

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Linka Metodieva

PROGRAM COORDINATOR EARLY LEARNING AND CARE

Linka Toneva-Metodieva is part of the Early Learning and Care program, where her work is focused on supporting the processes of planning, monitoring and evaluation of initiatives aiming to improve the access and quality of early education, with an emphasis on children from disadvantaged communities. Before joining TSA, Linka has been part of the team of the Bulgarian chapter of Transparency International, the global network against corruption; member of the research team of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the Department of European Studies at Sofia University; as well as part of the team of the first Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018. Linka has broad experience in conducting academic and expert research in the area of transparency and accountability of public policies and in the evaluation of civil society initiatives. Linka is a part-time lecturer at Sofia University, in the undergraduate program of the Department of Public Administration and the graduate program of the Department of European Studies. She has a PhD in Political Studies of the EU and an MA in European Affairs from Lund University, Sweden.

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Educational Achievement Program Team

Aylin Dzhafer

PROJECT MANAGER

 Aylin Dzhafer is a Project Manager of the Active Citizens Fund Program, working on “Mentoring Support for Roma Students Studying Health Care Specialties” and the ”Scholarship Support for the Next Generation of Roma Health Professionals”. Prior to joining the TCA team, Aylin worked in business consulting and managed intellectual property valuation and sales projects, as well as strategic consulting for business clients on innovation and entrepreneurship with an intellectual property focus. Aylin has experience in legal and non-governmental human rights organizations and has also been part of an international election observation team. She is a member of the Global Changemakers network of the British Council and Amnesty International. Aylin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and International Relations from Portsmouth University and a Master’s degree in International Economic Law from Edinburgh University.

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Housing and Zoning Program Team

Anna Rizova

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Anna is part of the Housing and Zoning Program and more precisely she coordinates the “SCALE IT UP! Scaling up a sustainable model for communities living in non-regulated areas to improve their living conditions” project. It focuses on the need to increase knowledge and competencies on housing issues and equal access to public services among municipal authorities and promotes their active involvement in overcoming existing stereotypes to build trust between Roma communities and local authorities. The project also empowers local communities and encourages their direct involvement in decision-making processes. Her main responsibilities include ensuring the successful execution of the project activities, implemented in 30 municipalities.

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Employment and Entrepreneurship Program Team

Olya Georgieva

PROGRAM COORDINATOR EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Olya takes part in the Employment and Entrepreneurship Program at the Trust and more precisely the Earning by Learning project, with a special focus on improving the educational achievement and employability of youth from the disadvantaged groups. Her main responsibilities include coordinating the team efforts (in Sofia, Plovdiv, and Sliven) and ensuring the smooth and timely execution of the project activities. She organizes all events part of the project - courses for economically disadvantaged youth, high school teachers and HR experts and directors. Olya is responsible for maintaining good relationship among partners within networks and building new partnerships within the project. Prior to joining the Employment and Entrepreneurship team, Olya was coordinating two project part of the First Foundation portfolio “Nurse-Family Partnership Program" and “We Care” project. Before that she was managing several international projects related to the promotion of initiatives and best practices for sustainable development at European level, with a particular focus on education, migration, and effective inclusion of people with disadvantages in the society. Olya has a Master’s degree in “Governance, Leadership and Democracy Studies” at the Catholic University of Lisbon. Sha has taken part in several training courses related to human rights and global education.

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Lyubka Georgieva

JUNIOR PROGRAM OFFICER FAMILY ECONOMIC SUCCESS PROGRAM

Lyubka Georgieva is a Junior Program Officer in TSA’s Family Economic Success Program. She supports the implementation of the Trust’s approach toward Family Economic Success to increase the chances of individuals from vulnerable communities to find work by acquiring marketable skills and experience. Her work involves establishing and maintaining partnerships with leading companies and supporting programs that aim to increase the employability and employment of beneficiaries. Prior to joining the Family Economic Success team, she coordinated the Equal Chance Program: Access to high school education. She also supported the grants management and compliance functions by assisting the team in the grant approval process and the grant monitoring process. In 2014, Lyubka graduated in Public administration and she became a member of the Roma English Language Program at the Central European University in Budapest. Lyubka also holds master’s degree in Human Resources Management from South-West University  “Neofit Rilski”.

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