As part of the planned project meeting in Bulgaria organised by INI-Novation Bulgaria, the SKIVRE project team visited the Tsarnogorski Monastery “St. St. Cosmas and Damian”, also well-known Giginski Monastery. On May 8th 2019, the partners met the Abbot Archimandrite Nikanor and during the conversation, in the process of bilateral acquaintance, topics related to the aims of the project, as well as issues related to religions, Christianity and the holy Orthodox Church, were discussed.
The SKIVRE project, abbreviated as Skills Development for the Valorisation of European Religious Heritage, has the ultimate goal of developing a 10-module educational program to support the development of production and the management of various monastic products. The modules will be and uploaded on a special online platform to serve for training monks, hired workers in monasteries, volunteers, etc.
The SKIVRE team brings together representatives of various civil and Christian organizations and companies from Germany, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria and Austria. The implementation of the project is funded by the European program “Erasmus +” under funding number 2018-1-DE02-KA202-005023.
In front of the guests from Europe, the abbot of the Tsarnogorski Monastery archimandrite Nikanor talked about the ancient tradition that the Orthodox monks kept to sustain and develop their monasteries, thanks to their work and realization of products they produce. He shared the good experience of the monastery in the development of his own agriculture as well as buffalo and another livestock farming. He presented dairy and other products produced in the monastery, and shared his vision for development of pilgrimage tourism in the Pernik region.
The cleric explained that the partnership with the project team will be a significant benefit for the monastery and for other Orthodox monasteries in the country, therefore, he appreciated a formal invitation for collaboration in the SKIVRE project.
SKIVRE partners expressed their interest in the initiative of the monastery to organize an exhibition event for monastic products, which since 2018 is performed within the framework of the Tsarnogorski folk fair. Furthermore, the opportunity was addressed, to jointly present the project results with INI-Novation Bulgaria at the official forum of the fair in 2020
At the end of the meeting, SKIVRE partners visited the monastery churches and chapel, and got acquainted with the history of the monastery. They have also shown interest in the story of the miraculous icon of Most Holy Mother of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. After the highly appreciated visit, the Abbot Archimandrite Nikanor expressed his invitation to all SKIVRE partners to visit the monastery again.
Find more photos on the Facebook page of the monastery following the link.