(21 Feb) Rotary Club Sofia International News: Interact Club Presentation and Fundraising Event (+GAL)

We are excited to share some uplifting updates from our club! This week, we had the privilege of hosting a presentation by the Interact Club from Meridian 22 School, showcasing their remarkable projects and initiatives. Witnessing the enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication of these young changemakers was truly inspiring.

Commendable among their initiatives are a tree-planting project and their support for someone battling multiple sclerosis. They embody the Rotary spirit, demonstrating how to Create Hope in the World.

Looking forward, we invite you to our upcoming fundraising event on May 15, 2024, at the National Museum of History in Sofia. This event plays a crucial role in supporting two major projects:

Med-Bul Project: Aiming to bolster the medical sector in Bulgaria and enhance the health and well-being of our communities.

Photovoltaic Plant Construction: Supporting the Association of Parents with Children Recovering from Oncohematologic Diseases, reducing their energy costs and enhancing sustainability.

We’re pleased to announce the collaborative partnership of Rotary Club Gorna Banya and Rotary Club Sofia Vitosha for this event!

As we prepare for this meaningful occasion, we are actively seeking sponsors and donors willing to contribute to these noble causes. If you are interested in helping, in any way, please contact our Club Secretary, Ani Hristova, at hristova@rc-si.org. She will gladly provide more details and address any inquiries you may have.

Your support is invaluable, and we hope to see you at our fundraising event. Together, we can make a significant difference!

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(17 Feb) District Team Training in Sevlievo (+GAL)

On February 17th, a dynamic training session unfolded in Sevlievo, where the district team for the 2024-2025 year convened under the leadership of DGE Margarita Bogdanova.

Our Rotary Club takes pride in having two esteemed district officers emerging from our ranks. Mrs. Hristina Malchevska will continue her pivotal role as Chair of the International Service Committee, while Ms. Ani Hristova, a valuable member of Hristina’s team, will also assume the role of Chair for a subcommittee; specifically, the Rotary Friendship Exchange.

The training session was not only informative but also engaging and filled with positive energy. DGE Margarita Bogdanova unveiled the theme for the year, “The Magic of Rotary.” This theme carries profound significance as it marks the departure from the tradition of an annual Rotary theme. The inspiration behind “Magic” stems from a real-life encounter of Rotary International President Stephanie A. Urchick during a water project in Africa. The children, upon witnessing water for the first time, exclaimed, “do that magic again.” The theme encourages Rotarians to be magicians in their communities; continuing impactful projects, enhancing healthcare accessibility, and creating opportunities that evoke a sense of magic.

DGE Margarita Bogdanova also presented the ambitious goals set for the upcoming year.

The team introduction ritual unfolded, showcasing a group of young, knowledgeable, and experienced professionals ready to embark on their journey.

The meeting took an unconventional turn in its second part, as attendees were divided into seven teams. Through a rotational process, each team “visited” experienced Rotarians with unique cases to solve. This innovative approach facilitated knowledge exchange, decision-making in Rotary tasks, and teamwork discussions, akin to a dynamic World Coffee session.

The third segment involved the initiation of the annual committee plan.

The event’s highlight was the induction of three new members into the Rotary Club Sevlievo, a trio of young and enthusiastic individuals from the city. A warm welcome and best wishes to them!

The atmosphere throughout the gathering remained pleasant and friendly, embodying the essence of the Magic of Rotary.

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(14 Feb) Rotary Club Sofia International Welcomes Ivo Topalov at Their Meeting on Valentines Day (+GAL)

On the romantic evening of Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024, Rotary Club Sofia International gathered for its 17th regular meeting at the elegant Hilton Sofia.

The highlight of the evening was a captivating lecture by the esteemed Ivo Topalov. Ivo Topalov delved into the profound exploration of finding the ‘why’ in one’s life, inspiring attendees to reflect on their purpose and passions.

Ivo Topalov’s insightful talk resonated with the Rotarians and guests, emphasizing the importance of discovering personal motivation and contributing meaningfully to the community and the world.

Adding an international touch to the meeting, Past President and current Secretary, Ani Hristova presented a fascinating update on her recent trip to Serbia, where she had the privilege of meeting Rotary International President Gordon McInally. The exchange of ideas and experiences further strengthened the club’s commitment to Rotary’s global mission.

During the meeting, a significant announcement was made regarding the upcoming club fundraising event. The National Museum of History is set to host this grand occasion on May 15, 2024. Save the date for an evening filled with camaraderie, philanthropy, and the shared vision of creating a positive impact in our communities.

Rotary Club Sofia International continues to thrive in its mission, connecting hearts, inspiring minds, and contributing to the betterment of society. Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on exciting initiatives and collaborations. Create Hope in the World.

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(12 Feb) Peace and Mental Health Forum, Belgrade, Serbia with the Rotary International President, Mr. Gordon McInally (+GAL)

On February 12th, history was made in Belgrade, Serbia, as the inaugural Peace and Mental Health Forum unfolded, graced by the esteemed presence of Rotary International President, Mr. Gordon McInally. This landmark event, a collaborative effort between the Rotary Zone 21 B Public Image team and District 2483 Serbia & Montenegro, marked a significant step towards fostering global peace and addressing mental health challenges.

The forum kicked off with a poignant opening address by PDG Ljiljana Lainovic, representing the Zone 21B Public Image Team ARPIC, who warmly welcomed guests from diverse corners of the world. This set the stage for President McInally to deliver his keynote address, choosing Belgrade-a city historically marked by conflicts-as a powerful symbol of Rotary’s unwavering commitment to peace and mental well-being.

The forum unfolded seamlessly, featuring a lineup of distinguished speakers and thought-provoking discussions. Notably, Mrs. Tanya Georgieva served as a moderator, adding depth and insight to the sessions.

A deeply moving moment occurred when Ms. Dragana Dojcinovic bravely shared her personal journey of resilience amidst wartime hardships in Serbia, emphasizing the profound importance of peace in shaping our collective future.

Throughout the sessions, the resounding message echoed: “If more Rotarians participate, there will be no war.” This sentiment encapsulated the essence of Rotary’s dedication to global harmony.

The Gala dinner that followed was a splendid affair, characterized by warmth and conviviality, with over 400 attendees basking in the friendly atmosphere.

Our own Ms. Ani Hristova had the honor of attending the event, engaging in a personal conversation with President McInally and presenting him with a heartfelt gift-a T-shirt adorned with signatures from our ID Hockey team, symbolizing our shared triumphs and camaraderie.

In a gesture of goodwill, Ms. Hristova also gifted traditional Bulgarian products to President McInally and District Governor of Serbia, Aleksandar Radojicic, fostering cultural exchange and friendship.

The festivities continued the next day with an exhilarating wheelchair basketball game between Rotary Club Sofia Balkan and Crvena Zvezda, inaugurated by President McInally himself. The match culminated in a heartwarming display of camaraderie, as flags were exchanged and meals shared, further cementing bonds of brotherhood.

As the excitement mounts, we eagerly anticipate President McInally’s upcoming meeting with our club and Rotary Club Cubao-Quezon City (QC) Philippines on May 7th, an event that promises to be both inspiring and deeply meaningful.

These unforgettable days in Belgrade were made possible by the exceptional organization and gracious invitation extended by Mr. Krasimir Vesselinov, for which we extend our heartfelt gratitude. Together, we’ve embarked on a journey of friendship, collaboration, and hope, as we strive to build a brighter, more peaceful world.

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(7 Feb) Rotary Club Sofia International Explores Terroir at Their 16th Regular Meeting (+GAL)

The Rotary Club Sofia International convened its 7th of February meeting, marking the 16th regular meeting of the Rotarian year. The gathering brought together 13 Rotarians and guests, representing diverse backgrounds and countries. The venue for this memorable occasion was the Terroir Wine Shop, nestled within the Park Center shopping center in the Bulgarian capital.

The event was nothing short of remarkable, characterized by warm fellowship and engaging conversations. As we relaxed during this bustling time of year, the location itself added to the experience. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to our Secretary, Ani Hristova, for orchestrating this meeting, and a special acknowledgement goes to our gracious host, Liliya Krasteva—an exceptionally talented entrepreneur and businesswoman.

Terroir, a recent venture by Lili, represents the first of many locations. Within its walls, 500 Bulgarian wines, meticulously handpicked by Lili, share space with an array of natural gourmet products sourced from small Bulgarian and Italian farmers and producers. The culinary journey included indulging in white cheese crafted by a grandmother who tends to 100 goats.

Historian and club member Bo Stefanov eloquently reminded us that the roots of viticulture and winemaking trace back to the Plain of Thrace in Bulgaria. Even the biblical Book of Thessalonians alludes to the Hellenic people’s eagerness to savor wines from our fertile lands.

This evening left an indelible mark—an epic experience and an absolute pleasure. As we look ahead to the remainder of the Rotarian year, we remain committed to our mission: Creating Hope in the World, both at home and across the globe.

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(31 Jan) Strengthening Bonds: Rotary Club Sofia International’s 15th Regular Meeting Goes Hybrid with Rotary Club Kifissia-Kastri (+GAL)

In a milestone event, Rotary Club Sofia International (RCSI) recently hosted its 15th regular meeting, adopting a hybrid format that allowed members to connect both in person and virtually. What made this meeting truly special was the participation of esteemed guests from Rotary Club Kifissia-Kastri, Greece.

The virtual attendance of Panagiota Angelopoulou, Vicky Kastri, and the President of RC Kifissia-Kastri, Evita Psoni, added a dynamic and international dimension to the gathering. This hybrid meeting exemplified the spirit of Rotary, transcending geographical boundaries to foster collaboration and mutual understanding.

During the meeting, both clubs engaged in fruitful discussions about ongoing projects and initiatives of mutual interest. The exchange of ideas was not only insightful but also laid the groundwork for potential joint ventures in the future. The commitment to service and community development echoed through the virtual and physical spaces as members passionately shared their visions.

A significant outcome of this collaborative session was the unanimous decision to continue and strengthen the collaboration between Rotary Club Sofia International and Rotary Club Kifissia-Kastri. Both clubs recognized the value of building enduring bonds that go beyond borders, contributing to the shared mission of making a positive impact on the world.

As the meeting concluded, the sense of camaraderie and shared purpose was palpable, reflecting the essence of Rotary’s commitment to “Service Above Self.” The hybrid format not only allowed for efficient communication but also highlighted the adaptability and resilience of Rotary in the face of changing circumstances.

Rotary Club Sofia International looks forward to the continued collaboration with Rotary Club Kifissia-Kastri, confident that together, they will embark on meaningful projects that create a lasting impact in their communities and beyond.

Additionally, we are pleased to share that we recently received some photos of the installed hospital equipment at the Zlatograd Hospital. The equipment was the result of our Med Bul Project, showcasing the tangible impact of our collaborative efforts.

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(25 Jan) Rotary Club Sofia International Extends Support to Rotaractors at REM 2024 (+GAL)

We are thrilled to share the exciting news of Rotary Club Sofia International’s active involvement and support for the Rotaract European Meeting 2024 (REM 2024). Held at the exquisite National Museum of History, this event brought together Rotaractors from across the region for a four-day period filled with inspiration, collaboration, and impactful discussions.

Our esteemed members, under the visionary leadership of Rotary Club Sofia International, played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of REM 2024. The event witnessed enthusiastic participation from Rotaractors who were eager to engage in meaningful conversations, workshops, and activities aimed at fostering personal and professional growth.

The gracious presence of the District Governor added a touch of distinction to the occasion, emphasizing the significance of this gathering in the broader context of Rotary ideals and community service.

As part of our commitment to supporting the Rotaractors, Rotary Club Sofia International actively contributed to the success of REM 2024. Our members shared valuable insights, experiences, and guidance, fostering a spirit of mentorship and collaboration. Through this collaborative effort, we aim to empower the next generation of leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a positive impact in their communities.

The National Museum of History, with its rich cultural heritage and captivating surroundings, provided an inspiring backdrop for the event. Its historical significance added an extra layer of depth to the discussions, emphasizing the importance of preserving and learning from the past as we collectively work towards a brighter future.

Rotary Club Sofia International is proud to have played a role in supporting REM 2024, contributing to the success of this dynamic gathering of Rotaractors. Our ongoing commitment to mentorship, community engagement, and service reflects the core values of Rotary, and we look forward to continued collaboration with Rotaractors in shaping a better world for all.

For more details on REM 2024, please visit remsofia2024.com.

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(17 Jan) Elena Rousseva Delivers Engaging Presentation to Rotary Club Sofia International, and Med-Bul Project Delivers Again (+GAL)

Elena Rousseva, CEO of Playtech Managed Services, delivered an engaging presentation to the Rotary Club Sofia International on January 17, 2024. The presentation was insightful and informative, and the audience was impressed by her knowledge and expertise.

Following the presentation, the club president, Grant Dale, mentioned the ongoing Med-Bul Project, which aims to provide medical equipment to hospitals in Bulgaria. The project was supported by Rotary Club Karlstadt-Arnstein, Rotary Club Zlatograd, and Rotary Club Sofia International. I am happy to report that the project was a success again, and the hospital in Zlatograd received the equipment it needed.

During the meeting, a special tribute was made to Past-President, Enrico Repouz.

After the meeting, the members of the Rotary Club Sofia International gathered for a fellowship, where they discussed the presentation and shared their thoughts on the Med-Bul Project and other shared initiatives. The fellowship was a great opportunity for members to connect with each other and build lasting relationships.

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(10 Jan) The 12th Regular Meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International – Welcoming H.E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, Ambassador of India (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International gathered for its 12th meeting, heralding the start of the promising year 2024 with a robust commitment to service and community development. The new year embarked on a journey teeming with impactful projects, exemplifying our shared dedication to effecting positive change in the world. We were pleased to welcome distinguished guests from Rotary Clubs in Sofia, alongside Prof. Antonio Antonov and Dr. Jörg Schenk from the Bulgarian Field Hockey Federation (BFHF).

The meeting commenced with a warm welcome from our club president, Grant Dale, who underscored our enduring legacy. The President acknowledged ongoing projects that continue to wield a significant impact on the community and the world, reinforcing our commitment to service above self.

As part of our initiatives for the year, Rotary Club Sofia International actively supports a Rehabilitation Center specializing in caring for children with onco-hematological diseases. Additionally, our MED-BUL project persists in delivering medical equipment to hospitals in Bulgaria, and we continue to support the BFHF for the ID Field Hockey Team. Dr. Schenk’s presence serves as both appreciation and a reminder of our shared contribution to supporting and creating joyful moments for the young field hockey team and beyond.

The highlight of the evening was the warm welcome extended to H.E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, the Ambassador of India. Mr. Rana and his distinguished guests shared valuable insights into India’s current projects, including extensive donations benefiting millions of people. They also shed light on positive political and economic developments in India, highlighting why the country is recognized as a global leader and its significant role in the G20. We are grateful for their presence in Bulgaria and look forward to continued partnerships for a positive impact on communities worldwide.

Following the official proceedings, everyone enjoyed a social hour, fostering fellowship and unity. This informal interaction underscored the importance of building strong connections and friendships. This meeting served as a testament to the Rotary Club’s unwavering commitment to giving, sharing, engaging, and prioritizing service beyond borders of self – to Create Hope in the World.

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(13 Dec) Rotary Club Sofia International Celebrates Christmas at Restaurant Unica (+GAL)

This year, Rotary Club Sofia International gathered at Restaurant Unica to celebrate Christmas. The evening was filled with camaraderie as members and guests came together to reflect on the past year and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the New Year. Our heartfelt thanks go to our Secretary, Ani Hristova, for orchestrating a successful event.

Throughout the year, we remained committed to supporting various causes. Notably, we continued our assistance to the Intellectually Disabled Field Hockey Team and The Association for Children with Oncohematological Diseases. Additionally, our MED-BUL project is making significant strides, thanks to a generous donation from our German Rotarian friends. Our dedication extends to the youth as well, with support for Rotaract and Interact programs.

As we embrace the festive season, let us recharge our spirits and renew our commitment to the motto of “Service Above Self.” To all our dear friends, we wish you a joyous holiday period.

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We meet on Wednesday at 18:45 in
Hilton Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Blvd., Sofia.

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