[NEW SERIES] Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity

I am super excited to kick off our new blog series Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity with some of my favorite people and the amazing opportunities that their organizations offer in Bulgaria. Before I introduce you to them and the fabulous work that they do, a few words about this new rubric are in order.

Here at ~WithLoveFromBG~ we believe that challenges and opportunities are two sides of the same coin. We welcome them, embrace them and do our best to turn them into positive and life-changing experiences. With this frame of mind, we created Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity, a series through which we will share with you the many exciting, inspiring and creative opportunities that Bulgaria has to offer through the stories of people and organizations that have taken the leap and chosen Bulgaria as their land of opportunity. (Topics will cover: business, education, career development, volunteer, retirement, better quality of life and more.)

We start with…

Connecting to Bulgaria from Afar: The Mission POSSIBLE!

This is the story of one event, three ambitious organizations and a whole lot of young, positively charged, entrepreneurial-spirited, highly qualified and passionate about Bulgaria individuals. Connecting to Bulgaria from Afar: The Mission POSSIBLE! – is an international event that is organized by United Ideas for Bulgaria in collaboration with Tuk-Tam (“Тук-Там“ ) and Zaedno v chas(„Заедно в час“- part of the Teach for All family) to present:

  • The style of work within each one of their networks
  • The goals and achievements of their initiatives
  • The available opportunities for professional development in Bulgaria for those returning to the country after having spent time abroad

ImageUnited Ideas for Bulgaria – is a non-profit organization whose focus is on the development and completion of social initiatives and citizens’ proposed projects. Some of their most popular project include: I choose Bulgaria, Radio “Idea”, Student Workshops and Where Ideas Find Their Home!

ImageTuk-Tam – is a non for profit network for Bulgarians with professional and academic experiences abroad, who believe in their country. Currently they have 25 volunteer ambassadors in 18 cities around the world and are looking to grow.

ImageTeach for Bulgaria – is a non for profit organization that aims to provide each child in Bulgaria with access to high quality education by supporting and preparing ambitious young people to become motivating teachers and leaders in the Bulgarian educational system and society as a whole. In 2 years they have placed 56 young teachers in 33 schools across the country that have benefited over 4,000 students and they have just begun!

The opportunities that each one of these organizations offers, vary in nature and character, however they are most often sought after by college students who are motivated to make a difference in Bulgaria while gaining valuable experience in areas such as social media marketing, networking, leadership and communications.

In the past, this event has had great success in places such as Canada, England, Scotland, and of course Bulgaria. Most recently, it was held on July 11th in Berlin, Germany and drew a group of about 30 college students from a number of higher education institutions and variety of academic backgrounds. Among the attendees, there was also a representative from the Bulgarian embassy in Germany. The presentations were followed by a short discussion on how to become part of these networks and what challenges one could expect to come across when volunteering from afar.

Bulgarian event in Berlin     Bulgarian event in Berlin

Attendees at the July 11th event in Berlin!

Bulgarian event in Berlin

Next up are Mannheim, Germany and Leiden, Netherlands with events to take place there some time in the fall. For more details, please contact conference@oib.bg.

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! 😉

You Can Still Travel to Bulgaria: The Protests are Peaceful!

After the recent events that rocked Turkey, Egypt, and Brazil, I thought it would be best to give you a quick update on the current situation in Bulgaria. By now, you probably have already heard about the ongoing protests in the country and might be wondering if it is still safe to travel there. The short answer is: YES! Yes it is!-the protests are peaceful!

The Nature of the Bulgarian Protest
A protester in Sofia gifts a red rose to a police woman (Lili Georguieva) from the anti-conflict squad
By Anonymous

So what’s the story?: For the past three weeks, tens of thousands of young, bright and educated Bulgarians along with a good size of the intellectual elite of the country, has been pouring out on the streets of major cities such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas to protest corruption and lack of transparency in government appointments. They are demanding for the current government to resign and a new, more representative of the people, electoral system to be implemented. Alas, their voices are yet to be heard by the ruling elite.

Who are the protesters: “Recent marches have drawn in members of the young, educated middle class who use Facebook and Twitter and turn up with strollers and bicycles.” – The Economist 

What are they protesting: “They call for more transparency, less corruption, an effective fight against organized crime and an end to the rule of local oligarchs.” – The Economist 

You can read more about the nature of the protests, what sparked them and possible ways out of the current situation in The Economist’s article entitled “Bulgarian protests: Noresharski! Noligarchy!”

The State Department has not issued any warnings for traveling to Bulgaria and rightly so, as there is no significant risk to travelers from proactive citizens who are using their democratic right to raise their voices and concerns in a peaceful and law-obeying manner. Yet another reason of why I love Bulgaria!

My family and some of our American friends will be arriving in Bulgaria late this month and in the first two weeks of the next. If you are headed out there, enjoy your stay!

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! 😉

Dreaming BIG in JULY

Gerry here- (the face behind  ~WithLoveFromBG~)– kicking off the “Dream BIG” month of July with a quick update and a few EXCITING announcements of what is in store for the rest of the summer.

Toasting & Celebrating in Sofia
Toasting & Celebrating in Sofia by Elena Delcheva

Lots has been going on behind the scenes (great interviews along with tons of planning and even our very first blog series)  and I am super excited for all of the inspirational stories that are coming your way. They will truly move you to action on those “dusty” dreams of yours. Of course, the last thing I would want is to spoil the a good story, so I will not go into any further detail on this except to say that YOUR dreams are WORTH pursuing so DON’T give up on them just yet!

And while we are on the subject of dreams, one of my wildest ones (so wild that I didn’t even spend much time dreaming of it because it seemed too farfetched) came true late last week! National Geographic’s travel blog, The Radar: Travel Lately, selected an article of mine (Destination: Bulgaria – How to prepare for a trip to Bulgaria and what to expect when you get there) written for Wandering Educators, as one of their TOP five picks of the week!!! I am beyond ecstatic and very humbled by this unexpected and greatly welcomed honor. My joy is further amplified by the fact that Bulgaria is at last beginning to receive the positive attention that it deserves. I am quite aware of the fact that there isn’t that much out there in the way of comprehensive travel and cultural content on the country and ~WithLoveFromBG~ will continue to do its part to rectify that.  With this mention and very kind recommendation by National Geographic, we are certainly well on our way. Dreams DO come true!

Lastly, as this post is dedicated to dreams (and in the comments please feel free to share what dreams of yourс have came true lately) there is one other one that I would like to let you in on. This one is more of a personal nature, but still very much Bulgaria related.  My husband and I, we are now in the final countdown (less than 50 days) to our Bulgarian Wedding ceremony where friends and family will at last be able to share in the celebration of our union! Last year we were legally married in the United States and vowed to bring the party to Bulgaria. We are now doing it and with 25 days (who is counting anyways 😉 ) away from our departure from New York, we can hardly contain our excitement. Planing a destination wedding has been and continues to be an exciting and unique experience, but definitely not one for the  feign of heart.

I hope that you are as excited as I am for all that is coming up and I urge you to keep dreaming BIG!

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! 😉