An interesting example of public diplomacy is the non-governmental organization Friends of Bulgaria (FOB) established in 1998 by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) who served in Bulgaria. The fact that Americans rather than Bulgarian nationals have chosen to support Bulgaria's interests abroad gives the organization a strong potential for influence on a foreign public.

The organization includes over 250 members and contacts and welcomes anyone supporting their mission. The key objectives of FOB are “to build an international network of people interested in Bulgaria; to promote awareness of Bulgarian issues in the United States; and to support grassroots projects in Bulgaria�? [1].

FOB brings Bulgaria to the world in a variety of ways. It publishes a print and electronic newsletter Bulgarian Connections, featuring news, interesting facts from and about Bulgaria, and foreign visitors’ experience of every-day life, national holidays and traditions in the country.

The organization regularly grants funds in support of cultural and social initiatives for the benefit of Bulgaria. It maintains an internet store “Café Press�? through which Bulgarian art can be ordered abroad.

In addition, FOB engages in fundraising endeavors together with the Bulgarian embassy. For example, on April 26, at the Embassy in Washington, D.C was held an event: Bulgaria: Land of the Thracian Kings, attended by members and contacts of FOB, the Embassy, The Bulgarian-American Society and The Bulgarian Community Center.

For more information visit: Friends of Bulgaria

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