Establishment of the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth

The first manifestations of Red Cross Youth activity in Bulgaria date back to the wars for national liberation and unification, which the country fought in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was from the battlefields that the Bulgarian people learned about the work of the Red Cross, and the newly established National Society received nationwide support during the Serbian-Bulgarian military conflict.

Real actions for the establishment of the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth began in the summer and autumn of 1921. On June 25, 1921, the Management Board (MB) of the Bulgarian Red Cross decided to join the League of Red Cross Societies. From this act follows the obligation of the National Society to implement the decision of the First General Assembly of the League of March 1920 to establish a youth section. At the same meeting, the Board got acquainted with a letter and regulations for the formation of youth structures sent by the IOC section to the League and decided to contact the MNP, "to lay the foundation for this good organization first among our young students. “. On August 11, 1921, the Bulgarian Red Cross sent a letter to the Ministry of Public Education (MPE) requesting assistance in establishing a student Red Cross society.

In response to the letter, the ministry issued a district № 23205, inviting the rector of the University, the principals of the higher special schools, the full and incomplete secondary schools and the district school inspectors to help the school youth to create their own formations through which to “join the organization of the American youth in the so-called "Youth Red Cross". The document hopes that: "An organization of the Bulgarian school youth under the flag and name of the Bulgarian Red Cross and under the supreme direction of the Bulgarian Red Cross Society will join our school youth to the generous impulses of the whole world." The call was heard by the beginning of the school year 1921-1922 in many settlements in the country the first school groups of volunteers began to form.

According to the first statute, the organization is called the Red Cross Youth Union in Bulgaria. Considered "temporary", this status lasted until 1924, when a new one was adopted, in which the company was now called the Youth Red Cross in Bulgaria. Two years later, in 1926, the main organizational document was again amended and supplemented, and its next more radical change was made in 1939. It was then that the organization received the name Bulgarian Red Cross Youth , which it still bears today.

The initial goals of the organization are to spread among the young students the ideas of the Red Cross and to educate them, developing in them a sense of civic duty, feelings of mutual assistance, compassion and philanthropy and international solidarity; to teach adolescents to take care of their own and other people's health, to follow the rules of personal and public hygiene and to promote the dissemination of health knowledge.

The BRCY is building its structures, as it has already become clear, in the schools. By name, it is a youth organization, but its membership includes a certain age group - children and adolescents between 7-19 years, and consists only of students in primary and secondary schools in Bulgaria. Through the educational network, the organization also penetrates the "most remote settlements" and "connects children through common charitable initiatives."

BRCY companies are emerging in 21 cities and 28 villages across the country. The first summarized data on the organizational status of the Bulgarian Red Cross are from March 1923 and show that the formed companies are 382 with 53,776 members.