(9 May) Successful Charity Gala Concert by Rotary Club Sofia International (+GAL)

Successful Charity Gala ConcertSuccessful Charity Gala Concert organized by Rotary Club Sofia International took place on 9 May 2022 in Sofia Opera and Ballet with young International artists. It was a wonderful entertaining concert with arias from Verdi and Wagner, interpreted by the soprano Mrs. Larissa Alice Wissel, accompanied by Maestro Kleanthe Russo on the piano. The evening included beautiful pieces of music for violin and piano by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Paganini and Franck, interpreted by the violinist Mrs. Dessislava Tcholakova and Mr. Alexander Lialios.

The funds collected from the Charity Gala Concert were dedicated to provision of transport for donations of medical equipment from Germany, Austria, and other countries to Bulgarian hospitals in need.  Rotary Club Sofia International has realized many such projects in its 17-year history for more than 500 000 EUR. We partner with other Rotary clubs in Bulgaria and abroad to successfully implement these projects

The event was realized with the kind support of:

Sofia Opera and Ballet
Sofia Municipality
Bononia Estates
McDonald’s / McCafe
I&J Catering
Sevtopolis water from Kazanluk
Sunray Professional
Broker Defense
Josped Speditor company
Rotaract Club Sofia International
Interact Club Sofia International
Lions Clubs Bulgaria
Alberto Staykov – The photographer of Makondo

Thank you also to NOVA TV, Sportal.bg and 24 Chasa that broadcasted the event.

The President Mrs. Hristina Malchevska expressed gratitude to all members of Rotary Club Sofia International and especially to Mrs. Linda Kim for organizing the wonderful musical program. Gratitude also to the other Rotary, Rotaract Clubs and District 2482 Bulgaria.

At the concert we had more than 400 people present including the official guests – the Ambassador of Japan and his wife, Mayors of Districts in Sofia, District Governor, District Governor Elect.

Rotary Club Sofia International has provided more than 200 tickets to social services of Sofia Municipality and Louis Braille School, from which the club received gratitude letters and flower baskets from the Sofia Municipality at the concert.

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(13 Apr) Presentation by Assoc. Prof. Petrunova, Director National History Museum (+GAL)

Presentation by Assoc. Prof. PetrunovaPresentation by Assoc. Prof. Petrunova, Director National History Museum during the official meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International on 13 April 2022. We had the pleasure to meet in person and online altogether 19 friends.

The meeting started with welcoming words by the President and presentations of each guest. Then an overview of the President followed about the Internal affairs – news, activities, and projects’ update.

Afterwards flowered the presentation by Assoc. Prof. Petrunova, our special guest, about archeology. Prof. Petrunova is the Director of the National History Museum in Sofia and the Director of more than 60 archeological expeditions. She shared four of her excavation works – Urvich, Peristera, Lyutitsa and Kaliakra. Regarding Urvich – there has been reconstruction after Dimitar Ovtcharov of the Church St. Elijah  9th-17th century, as well as a number of precious coins were excavated from 4th – 6th century, Second Bulgarin Kingdom and Ottoman Empire. Coins of Sultan Mohammed bin Adil Tuhluk Saha is another very precious excavation, for which there is a book written and can be purchased in the National Historic Museum. The excavation in Peristera also has a great story. Initially the plans of the archeologist were to find and excavate a church but it appeared that there is a whole monastery at this territory. Also, a number of artifacts and gold coins were discovered there. Lyutitsa, so called “The Marbel city” is another impressive project where there was a discovery of a Bishop grave, also the first found in Bulgaria, completely preserved set of scales and weights. At Kaliakra there were excavated altogether 191 graves from 2010 and 2013, as well as a commemorative ritual with medieval sgraffito bowl full of shells as a gift for the deceased. All together there were excavated 27 buttons 3 items made of gold, 24 items made of silver (adornments). At the end we learned about some of the achievements and awards that Prof. Petrunova has received: “Archaeologist of 2018” in the campaign of the Standard newspaper “The wonders of Bulgaria“ and The Golden Griffin Award of the Ministry of Culture – Plaque 2019 for the discoveries of Kaliakra.

Finally, the President thanked to our guests and club members for joining this evening and reminded them about our Rotary Charity Gala Concert on 9 May 2022, where we need support to promote the event, to sell tickets, to find sponsors in order to collect more funds for our MED-Bul Program.

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(30 Mar) Online Piracy: Trends and Emerging Threats by Nathan Brooks (+GAL)

Online PiracyOnline Piracy: Trends and Emerging Threats presentation by Mr. Nathan Brooks was the main topic of the regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International on 30 March 2022. The meeting started with welcoming words by the President. Then the guests introduced themselves.

Valentin, who is a Bulgarian Student in Netherlands explained about a great initiative called “Priroden”, which is an app and people can register in it any litter they encounter with description of it. Then people can organize events to clean it. Already a number of actions have been realized, which is very nice.

Then a presentation of Hristina followed about the Internal affairs – news, activities, and projects’ update followed. 

As a highlight of the evening was the induction ceremony of a new member in RC Sofia International Mr. Boyan Griffen, who has actively taken part in our club life and was kindly proposed by Mr. Rumen Russinov, who is his sponsor. After the welcoming words by the President, Mr. Russinov introduced and welcomed Boyan as well, then Boyan also shared a small speech with gratitude words.

Afterwards followed an online professional presentation by Mr. Nathan Brooks on the topic of Online Piracy: Trends and Emerging Threats. He talked about Intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets), as well as what Digital Piracy means (streaming, download, stream ripping, torrent and broadcast / IPTV). Mr. Brooks explained what is the harm of digital piracy: it’s property, tax revenue, millions / billions of investment, exposing customers to fraud and malware.

After the presentation the official part was close by the President and the fellowship continued.

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(23 Mar) Presentation of “Razkazhi mi” Platform (+GAL)

Presentation of "Razkazhi mi"Presentation of “Razkazhi mi” platform by Mr. Dimitar Dimitrov, PHF+1, Past President RAC Cologne, Member of Action Group for Peace German Chapter, Member of Inter-Country Committee Germany – Bulgaria was the highlight of the regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International held on 23 March 2022. The meeting was held in person in Hilton Sofia and online.

The official part was opened by the President Mrs. Hristina Malchevska. After the introduction of the regular guests and members, a brief update of the ongoing projects of the club followed. Regarding the current National Rotary project “Buy and Donate”, the President invited all members to take an active part and expressed a gratitude to Rotary members who already took part – Mr. Plamen Latev and Hristina for the logistics, our Rotaractors, who are volunteers on a daily basis in Kaufland Vitosha for collecting donations for Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria. It is impressive also and a great support by our Interact club Sofia International in Meridian 22 School in Mladost, who also took active part in the volunteer work for the project. Six Interactors were volunteers during the weekend 19-20.03 in Kaufland and actively promoted the donation project. A big thank you also to them.

Also Mr. Boyan Griffin during the meeting presented his active involvement and donations projects for Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, one of them organized by the American University in Bulgaria. Mrs. Svetlana Foteva in addition informed us about hers and her husband’s actions to support Ukrainian people in need, which continues and includes purchases of items of first need and accommodation provision.

The main topic of the evening was an interesting presentation by Mr. Dimitar Dimitrov about the “Razkazhi mi” platform for mental health. The idea of the platform is to create a positive change, because healthy people lead to healthy relationships, which directs to healthy personal environment, contributing to healthy company environment. It includes an informational portal with blog and event sections, consultations (video, audio, text therapy) and self-help tool. The platform is suitable for individual users (B2C), corporate partnerships (B2B) and community partnerships (e.g. NGOs, Local / state authorities, etc.).

After the official part of the meeting the fellowship continued informally.

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(11-13 Mar) XX Winter Holiday by Rotary Club Smolyan (+GAL)

XX Winter HolidayXX Winter Holiday organized by Rotary Club Smolyan took place in Pamporovo between 11 and 13 March 2022. Our dear members Ms. Hristova, Mr. Badan and Mr. Dukov participated in the XX Winter Holiday. The arrived on Friday in Pamporovo. The welcome dinner was in local restaurant, where authentic Rhodope food was served, The entertainment was typical for the region music.

On Saturday our members were on the “Stenata” ski slope. There 88 people – divided by groups – kids, women and men took part in the Giant slalom event of the XX Winter Holiday. The groups were divided by ages, as the youngest one was 5 years old and the oldest was 65 years old. Our member Mr Dukov took part.

Тhe XX Winter Holiday competitions ended with a tug-of-war contest, were 6 teams by 5 people took part.

Later in the evening was the official dinner. More than 250 people took part in the Rhodope hall in Perelik Hotel. The night was opened by bagpipes and the singer Mrs. Zlatina Uzunova and the song “Izlel e Delio Haidutin”, the first Bulgarian song in the Space. The highlight of the night was the pop singer Mrs. Margarita Hranova accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra “Vratsa”.

The cause of the evening was collecting money for gifted kids from the region. Mr Kostadin Kostadinov, President of Rotary Club Smolyan welcomed the guests. The Rotaractors prepared printed pictures, which they took during the day and were selling them, as the funds were for the cause. There was also a raffle and an auction. The money of one of the items of the auction – Rhodopean backpipe went for support iof the Ukrainian refugees.

The winners of the XX Winter Holiday were announced. The winners in each discipline received new ski sets, produced by Atomic ski company.

Rotary Club Sofia International wants to thank our friends from Rotary Club Smolyan and especially Mrs. Ana Shopova for the great organization and the hospitality.

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(8 Mar) Rotary Club Sofia International Supports Ukrainian Refugees (+GAL)

Supports Ukrainian RefugeesRotary Club Sofia International supports Ukrainian refugees via the “Buy and Donate” project of Rotary, Rotaract and Interact, together with other Sofia Rotary clubs.

The first goods were successfully delivered for the Ukrainians and Bessarabian Bulgarians in bomb shelters, one of them close to Odessa, located in a church. The project is realized in cooperation with The Ukrainian Culture Home in Varna.

The next delivery for “Buy and Donate” is prepared, and so far our members and friends who have donated for the project are Hristina, Grant, Ani, Eli, Linda, Boyan Griffin, Plamen Latev, Doroteya Shtereva, Jörg, Claude and Inna, Alberto Rossi, Slavena and Svetozar. With the collected funds we provided baby milk, purees, blankets and wet wipes, which are urgently needed for the people to survive.

Our members Mrs. Elena Vasileva and Mr. Plamen Latev also helped the Ukrainian people in need with accommodation, commodities (TV and refrigerator) and finances. They additionally collected BGN 5,000 which will be distributed to several families. Also, Mrs. Svetlana Foteva with her husband are in Sveti Vlas resort at the Black Sea coast helping with accommodation Ukrainian refugees.

We extend our gratitude to all of them for the great generosity and kindness.

The National initiative of this project “Buy and Donate” continues on a bigger scale and our Rotary and Rotaract Clubs continue to actively support it. We invite everybody to join the initiative and participate either with finances or logistics, which is needed.

If you would like to contribute, please contact us for the organization of donation or make your donations to:

Bank account for donations:
IBAN BG49STSA93000027355924
Beneficiary: Rotary Club Sofia International

Bank account for “Buy and Donate” National Rotary program:
BGN BG11RZBB91551014430821
EUR BG26RZBB91551014430842
Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria)

Thank you very much. Together we can achieve more and have bigger impact.

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(28 Feb) New Successful Delivery of Medical Supplies via the MED-Bul Program (+GAL)

Successful Delivery of Medical SuppliesNew successful delivery of medical supplies via the MED-Bul Program of Rotary Club Sofia International was realized in cooperation with Dr. Sigrun Comati from Rotary Club Bansko Razlog. This time the goods were donated from the Vitos Orthopädische Klinik Kassel, Germany. The donation from Germany was organized by Dr. Sigrun Comati, who is the President of the German-Bulgarian Society to promote relations between Germany and Bulgaria. The donation contained 7 pallets of medical supplies like masks, safety aprons, protective surgical clothing, glasses and disinfectants.

Half of the donated materials were delivered on 28.02.2022 at the Specialized Children’s Hospital “Prof. Dr. Ivan Mitev” in Sofia, the other half was delivered the same day to the hospital in Razlog.

The transport charges for the successful delivery of medical supplies from Germany to Sofia were covered by Dr. Sigrun Comati and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria in Hesse, Germany – Dr. h.c. Ingo Endrick Lankau. We are very thankful for their contribution and support as well as to our friend and President Elect, Mr. Rumen Rusinov, for organizing the logistics of the donation together with the forwarder company – Josped.

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(23 Feb) Тhe Head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria Presented at a Regular Meeting (+GAL)

European Parliament in BulgariaThe Head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria, Mr. Teodor Stoychev, was our guest on the regular meeting meeting held on 23 February 2022. 

Traditionally, the official part was opened by the president Mrs. Hristina Malchevska. After the introduction of our regular guests, a brief update of the ongoing projects of the club followed.

Our President congratulated all members for the Rotary 117 Anniversary and shared a short story about Rotary origination.

In 1905 four men met in a downtown office building in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting was organized because Attorney Paul Harris wanted to create a professional group representing the friendly smiles and small-town values he had known in his youth. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvestor Schiele, and Hiram Shorey decided to call their club Rotary, because their meeting locations would “Rotate.” The name Rotary International was officially adopted in 1922, as they encountered fellow professionals around the world who also craved friendly smiles and humanitarian values.

We continued with Mr. Teodor Stoychev, our special guest this evening, the Head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria who introduced the audience to the work of the Bureau.

The European Parliament has its offices in the capitals of all EU Member States. The EP Bureau in Bulgaria was set up to provide information to citizens, the media, NGOs and youth organizations, state, and municipal administrations on the role of the EP, and more generally the European Union.

To establish a close link between Bulgarian citizens and members of the European Parliament, the EP Bureau in Bulgaria organizes thematic conferences, civic forums and seminars.

After the presentation our president thanked to our guests and club members for joining this evening and reminded them for the upcoming meetings, every Wednesday 18.45h in person in Hilton and hybrid for those who cannot attend physically.

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(16 Feb) Two New Members Inducted and a Presentation on Online Media and Marketing (+GAL)

Two New Members InductedTwo new members inducted during the 16 February 2022 regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International held in person in Hilton Sofia and online for the ones not able to be present physically. The official part, as usual, was opened by the President Mrs. Hristina Malchevska. After the Four Way Test and the introduction of the guests, internal news, projects and activities updates followed. The delivery of the items for the new MED-Bul project in cooperation with Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog is expected 24-25 February 2022 in Sofia. The transportation cost will be covered by Dr. Sigrun Comati and Dr. h.c. Ingo Endrick Lankau, Honorarkonsul der Republik Bulgarien in Hessen. The overall organization of the project is again realized by our President Elect Mr. Rumen Rusinov. Here you can read more about the last successful MED-Bul in December 2021.

After the initial announcements, a ceremony for two new members induction followed. Ms. Mariam Melikyan and Mr. Konstantin Yordanov, who were Rotarians in the previous years in other Rotary clubs in Armenia and Bulgaria were officially accepted as members of Rotary Club Sofia International

Our special guest and presenter of the evening was Mrs. Justine Toms, who is among the pioneers of the Bulgarian Internet. An expert in online media and marketing, founder of digital agency ABC Design & Communication since 1998, creator of a number of niche online websites, such as Az-jenata.bg, Az-deteto.bg, which are now part of the Investor.bg Group. Justine has also been the idea leader of the competition for best Bulgarian online projects – BG Site since 1999. Author of 15 books in the area of online presence, digital media, CSR and communication, entrepreneurship. She is lecturer at New Bulgarian University and Soft Uni Digital.

Justine decided to engage our club members at the end of the evening with games related to communication, which was such a great experience and everybody enjoyed it to the most. Firstly, we formed a circle, one person said a word to next one and passed it over to the following persons. At the end the result word was quite different, which shows that communication is not an easy task and we have to be careful how we convey our message. The next game was again in the circle with our hands forming mushrooms, which was so much fun and all of us laughed. Physical communication and reaction was practiced and again the results show it is not easy to coordinate and communicate clear. Then we were placed in a line one behind another and the last person clap hands on the back of the person in front in certain manner that has to be repeated till the end. Of course, again at last, the results were different. So we analyzed together the games and Justine talked about how important is a good communication and that even in digital it is much more harder.

A video conducted by Justine to greet our friends from Rotary Club Paris Agora for their 20th Anniversary followed.

At the end, Justine was so kind to give to the President one of her books and Hristina gave as a gift one of our branded Rotary Club Sofia International mugs, which was a great Kodak moment.

Afterwards the President thanked to our guests and club members for joining this evening and closed the official part of the evening for the fellowship to continue informally.

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(9 Feb) Swiss Fondue Evening (+GAL)

Swiss Fondue EveningSwiss Fondue Evening was the topic of the meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International on 9 February 2022. It was hosted by our dearest Rotary friend Mrs. Linda Kim. She was so kind to invite in her home the members for an already traditional for our club swiss fondue evening. Twelve people were present and had a great time and unforgettable experience.

Mr. Claude and Mrs. Inna Badan, as usual, played a major role in the preparation of the fondue. The host Linda has provided all original products for that unique Swiss taste. Ms. Ani Hristova and Mr. Grant Dale also helped for the organization, ensuring all necessary items for the evening are provided. Mrs. Elena Vassileva and Mr. Rumen Russinov also assisted for the evening to be a great event.

Apart from the original and delicious fondue with Swiss cheese and white wine, Linda has prepared  magnificent desserts – stollen and a fruit salad with orange liqueur, followed by a coffee or masala tea that was a great end of the dinner.

During the evening the President expressed gratitude to Linda for the wonderful Swiss fondue evening and her hospitality by presenting her with a gift – the new Rotary Club Sofia International mug.

Also, our President Elect Mr. Rumen Russinov presented the new MED-Bul project in cooperation with Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog and Dr. Sigrun Comati, which is at its final stage of the delivery of medical supplies from the German Hospital in Kessel to the SBAL Children’s Hospital “Prof. Ivan Mitev” in Sofia and Hospitals in Bansko region.

Moreover, Ms. Ani Hristova and Mrs. Hristina Malchevska presented the current project of National Network for Kids in Bulgaria that is related to DM drugstore products for donation. An opportunity introduced by our dear friend and member Mr. Stamen Tassev. We have discussed and proposed several options for possible beneficiaries.

After the dinner, the evening continued with with lots of fun and friendly conversations.

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During the summer break informal meetings take place at Club of the Architects Restaurant every Wednesday at 19:00.

Have a look at the map.

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