(29-30 Jan) Vibrant Club Seminar in Bansko Attended by Rotary Club Sofia International (+GAL)

Vibrant Club SeminarThe Vibrant Club District seminar in Bansko on 29 January 2022 was attended in person by Ms. Ani Hristova, Past President of Rotary Club Sofia International;, Mr. Grant Dale, President Nominee, and Mr. Boyan Griffin, a candidate member. Additionally, since the seminar was held with both physical and online options, Mr. Rumen Rusinov, President Elect, joined online. He presented the club’s MED-Bul projects and invited other clubs to partner in these ventures. He also mentioned the last 2 MED-Bul projects were undertaken in cooperation with Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog, the host of the seminar.

Our projects were well received among the clubs in the District and we have a few Rotary clubs that also want to join and participate and deliver medical equipment for the hospitals in their cities.

Mrs. Hristina Malchevska, President of our club, also took part in the online seminar. After more than 2 years break, we were happy to see our Rotary friends in person. The first part of the seminar was with presentations. There was also a practical part with very useful discussions and a great fellowship between the clubs.

The program included the following topics:
– Priorities of the action plan of Rotary International and how they related to our club;
– Examination of our club – practice session;
– The needs of our members;
– New community groups connections.

Rotary Club Sofia International thanked the organizers of the seminar for their efforts, and for the great atmosphere.

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(26 Jan) Gliding – the Silent Wing Presentation at a Regular Meeting (+GAL)

Gliding – the Silent WingGliding – the Silent Wing was the topic for an extremely fascinating presentation held during the 26th January regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International. The matter was presented by our friend Mr. Marc Bouzy – Past President of Rotary Club Sofia International. 

After the official opening of the meeting, the introduction of guests and the update on administrative affairs, the President Mrs. Hristina Malchevska gave the floor to Mr. Marc Bouzy who is a Past President of Rotary Club Sofia International 2020-2021, CEO at Net & Law Company and past member of Rotary Club Paris Agora, who gave a captivating lecture on gliding – Gliding – the Silent Wing.

Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. The word soaring is also used for the sport.

Gliding as a sport began in the 1920s. Initially the objective was to increase the duration of flights but soon pilots attempted cross-country flights away from the place of launch. Improvements in aerodynamics and in the understanding of weather phenomena have allowed greater distances at higher average speeds. Long distances are now flown using any of the main sources of rising air: ridge liftthermals and lee waves. When conditions are favorable, experienced pilots can now fly hundreds of kilometers before returning to their home airfields; occasionally flights of more than 1,000 kilometers are achieved.

Powered aircraft and winches are the two most common means of launching gliders. These and other launch methods require assistance and facilities such as airfields, tugs, and winches. These are usually provided by gliding clubs who also train new pilots and maintain high safety standards. Although in most countries the standards of safety of the pilots and the aircraft are the responsibility of governmental bodies, the clubs and sometimes national gliding associations often have delegated authority.

After the presentation our president thanked all the present in person and online and closed the official part of the meeting. The fellowship continued in informal atmosphere.

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(19 Jan) A Presentation on Organizational Learning at a Regular Meeting (+GAL)

Organizational Learning Organizational Learning as a Tool to Improve our Business was the topic of the presentation during the regular meeting of the club on 19 January 2022. The meeting, as it has become already usual, was in a hybrid mode – in person in Hilton Sofia and online. The official part was traditionally presided by the President of Rotary Club Sofia International Mrs. Hristina Malchevska.

After the introduction of the guests and members the internal affairs announcements, District news, club’s projects and activities update followed. An updated meeting plan till the end of the Rotarian year was then presented.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Mr. Konstantin Yordanov, MBA, CRMA, past Rotarian form Rotary Club Sofia Tangra, representative of the Society of Organizational Learning in Bulgaria. The topic of his lecture was “Organizational Learning as a Tool to Improve Our Business”. Konstantin introduced the five disciplines of organizational learning – Personal Mastery, Shared Visioning, Team Learning, Mental Modelling and Systems Thinking. Then he talked about the 13 habits that foster mastery of the 5 disciplines. For those who were not able to attend neither in person nor online here just a few of of those habits: seeking to understand the big picture; observing how elements within systems change over time; generating patterns and trends; changing perspectives to increase understanding and considering an issue fully and resisting the urge to come to quick conclusion. Nowadays, there is, as one can expect, a simulation of the 13 habits on our phones. It is possible to solve problematic situations via the 13 habits and they help us achieve our goals. Later the presentation continued with explanation of the Iceberg model. Its main aim is to enable you to see below the surface by performing a 6 steps analysis. At the end Konstantin talked about the Theory U – Presencing and Absencing, or creation vs destruction. The theory was followed by a physical exercise. The present had to practice opening themselves to find a solution to a problem through Social Presencing theatre. 

After the presentation the President, Mrs. Malchevska, thanked our guests and club members for joining the meeting and closed the official part of the meeting. The fellowship continued as usual with lively discussions till late.

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(12 Jan) Bulgaria’s Economy – What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond Presentation at Regular Meeting (+GAL)

Bulgaria’s Economy – What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond was the topic for our presentation held on 12th January 2022 during the regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International. We had the honor to host Mr.  Yasen Georgiev from the Economic Policy Institute, who delivered the presentation in fornt of the members and guests of the meeting attending in person and online.  

The meeting opened, as usual by the president Mrs. Hristina  Malchevska. After the introduction of the guests, a brief update of the ongoing projects of the club followed.

The special online guest for the evening was Mr. Yassen Georgiev, the Executive Director of the Economic Policy Institute, who was our presenter on the very interesting Bulgaria’s Economy – What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond topic. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute and of the Public Consultations Council within the Committee on European Affairs and of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. Since 2008 he has been the Bulgaria Coordinator of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship – a flagship leadership development program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a non-governmental, politically independent and not-for-profit organization, founded in 1997. The mission of EPI is to contribute to utilizing the full potential of Bulgaria by enhancing the competitiveness of its economy and increasing the efficiency of its public institutions. In this way, EPI aims at adding value to the membership of Bulgaria in the European Union.

Major outlook in 2022 and beyond, as per the presentation of Mr. Georgiev is Bulgaria to receive substantial support from EU funds. Resources from the EU for the period till 2027 are expected to total EUR 24.1 billion or 40% of GDP in 2019.

Under the Multiannual Financial Framework, Bulgaria is expected to receive EUR 16.6 billion or 27% of 2019 GDP, with the biggest components being resources for Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. The European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (as part of the Next Generation EU) is to provide almost EUR 6.3 billion or resources of about 10% of pre-crisis GDP. Absorption rate and absorption speed along with added value of these funds is of high importance for the economic recovery.

After the presentation the fellowship continued in an informal atmosphere.

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(18-19 Dec) Rotary Club Sofia International Participated in “Buy and Donate” (+GAL)

Buy and DonateRotary Club Sofia International purchased supplies for the “Buy and Donate” initiative organized by Rotaract clubs in Sofia. This year’s Christmas edition in Sofia was held the weekend before the holidays in Metro Mladost and was organized by Rotaract Club Sofia Vitosha-Izgrev, Rotaract Club Sofia-Serdika and Rotaract Club Sofia-Tangra with the support of Interact Club Sofia-Tangra FELS.

The “Buy and Donate” campaign has been helping disadvantaged people with food for almost 15 years. The idea is to buy food and long term products to support people in need.

Our friends and members of Rotary Club Sofia International: Hristina, Slavena, Tatyana, Anders, Linda, Claude, Inna, Stamen, Svetozar, Ani, Grant, Tristan and Julie personally donated funds to the collective value of 1220 BGN.

Ani, Linda and Grant went to Metro on Saturday to purchase most of the items and a later purchase was done by our Rotaract members Radina and Nevena.

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(15 Dec) Christmas Party of Rotary Club Sofia International (+GAL)

Christmas PartyRotary Club Sofia International’s last meeting for the calendar year and a Christmas Party of the club was organized on 15 December 2021 in restaurant Hacienda Latina Canteen to celebrate the end of 2021. There were many Rotary members, friends as well as Rotaract who enjoyed the nice atmosphere of the club.

Hacienda Canteen is a Latin-American restaurant with authentic interior design Hacienda alike. Various Latin dishes such as tacos, nachos, Argentinian steaks, and Cuban specials are part of the menu. The evenings come alive with Latin dancers, live music and various show programs gets the party going.

We were welcomed with 💃🏻typical rhythms and traditional cocktails🍹 to experience and feel the spirit of Latin world. All members and friends enjoyed the traditional cuisine as well as the wonderful performance of the Latino dancers. Some of us practiced Latino dances and had fun with the professional dancers who brought a very good mood to the fantastic evening.

Thank you all who joined our Christmas party this year. See you soon at our first regular meeting next year on 12 January 2022 in Hilton Sofia.

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(8 Dec) The Salvation Army Presented at a Regular Meeting (+GAL)

Salvation Army PresentedRotary Club Sofia International held its weekly regular meeting in person in Hilton Sofia and online on 8 December 2021. Special guest this evening was Mr. Hamsa Thota who is a Past District Governor of the State of Georgia, USA.

Hamsa is the President of Innovation Business Development, Inc. (IBD), an innovation management training and consulting company helping client organizations to grow with new products and services. Hamsa is a member of the St. Simons Rotary Club since 1978 and served as its president in 1983- 84. In 1985, he received Rotary International District 6920 Governor’s New Club Builder Award for starting two new Rotary Clubs-the Rotary Club of Jekyll Island and the Rotary Club of Camden County. He served as the Coastal Georgia Area Coordinator for the first Polio Plus Campaign during 1986-1987. He served as the Governor’s Group Representative for five District Governors during 1984-89. In 1988-89 Hamsa served as the District Group Study Exchange (GSE) Chairman and exchanged GSE Team with India. The St. Simons Rotary Club recognized him as the Man of the Year for outstanding service to the Rotary and community in 1991. In 2002 Hamsa received the Four Avenues of Service Citation from Rotary International. In 2021 he received Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award

At the end, the president gave the floor to Mrs. Kathleen Johanson from Australia for her presentation about the Salvation Army in Bulgaria. She has presented the organization in general, as well as the local projects realized so far in Bulgaria. In many countries The Salvation army and Rotary are partnering for humanitarian projects and Kathleen shared concrete examples of joint charitable work.

After the presentation our president thanked to our guests and club members for joining this evening and remind 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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(6 Dec) Another Successful MED-Bul Project Realized (+GAL)

Successful MED-Bul ProjectAnother successful MED-Bul Project realized by Rotary Club Sofia International in partnership with Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog. Rotary Club Sofia International has realized a number of MED-Bul projects in the past years related to provision of transportation for donations of medical equipment from Austria, Germany and other countries to Bulgarian hospitals. The items donated are very much needed in the hospitals in Bulgaria.

Rotary Club Oberes Murtal in Austria has collected donations of used medical equipment from different hospitals and private donators and has contacted Rotary Club Sofia International for support to find beneficiaries and possible interest in Bulgaria.

In cooperation with Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog the donation was realized successfully. One full container was delivered from Austria on 6 December 2021 in Bansko with the kind support of the transport company Josped. The organization and coordination from Rotary Club Sofia International was realized again by Mr. Rumen Russinov, the President Elect 2022-2023. Without his professional support, the project would not have been possible.

The donation included 3 medical beds, 40 wheel chairs / loungers, 70 rollators, 30 bedside tables, incontinence pads, 2 oxygen devices, treatment couch, crutches and others. The beneficiaries are to be hospitals and homes for elderly people and people with disabilities in Bansko region – Razlog, Gotse Delchev. The transportation cost was provided by Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog (approx. 1800 EUR).

One delivery of full truck was organized and a storage place in Bansko was provided by the members of Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog. After the delivery the equipment was directed to the beneficiaries in need.

Rotary Club Sofia International expresses its gratitude to Rotary Club Oberes Murtal for the donation and to Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog for the successful completion of the project.

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(1 Dec) Rotary Club Sofia International Elects President for 2023-2024 (+GAL)

ElectionsRotary Club Sofia International held its annual elections meeting for a President 2023-2024 and Board 2022-2023 on 1 December, 2021.

The elections meeting was in a hybrid mode – in person and online. The official part was opened by the president Mrs. Hristina Malchevska who shared updates on the internal affairs of the club. Following the internal matters, the club continued with the annual elections for President 2023-2024 and Board members 2022-2023.

Voting was realized with a modern online platform meaning that everybody present in person in Hilton Sofia had to have a device with internet to be able to vote.

Hereby the results:
President for 2023/2024 is Mr. Grant Dale.

Board members for Rotarian year 2022/2023 are as follows:
Mr. Claude Badan
Ms. Ani Hristova
Mrs. Linda Kim
Mrs. Elena Vassileva
Mr. Marc Bouzy
Mr. Plamen Lazarov
Mr. Svetlozar Shkoutov

Additionally, members of the Board for 2022-2023 are also:
Mrs. Hristina Malchevska (President 2021-2022)
Mr. Rumen Rusinov (President Elect 2022-2023)
Mr. Grant Dale (President Nominee 2023-2024)

Elena, Marc, Plamen and Svetlozar received equal number of votes and it was decided all of them to be part of the Board for the upcoming year. Congratulations to all elected.

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(28 Nov) Rotary Club Catania Bellini Visits Sofia (+GAL)

Rotary Club Catania Bellini Visits SofiaRotary Club Catania Bellini, District Sicilia-Malta 2110 members met with friends from Rotary Club Sofia International on 28 November 2021 in Sofia.

The day started with a coffee at a well-known venue in the centre of Sofia, and despite the language challenges we were, with the aid of online translation tools, able to have a great fellowship. The idea of collaborating on future projects with the long term goal of developing a potential twinning, was agreed upon.

Of particular interest was the structuring and financing of our two clubs and it was clear that we in Sofia are rather fortunate, that our fees are somewhat lower than other European counterparts. Our friends from Catania exchanged a souvenir from their hometown, and we in turn presented some typical Bulgarian souvenirs to our guests.

Thereafter, we went to lunch together and the inevitable traditional Bulgarian cuisine was sampled. Despite the Italians famed gastronomical acumen they were particularly positive on the local food.

It was great pleasure to meet our new friends: Mrs. Adriana Gigante, Mr. Davide Di Giovanni, Mrs. Mariella Marano, and Mr. Francesco Battiato.

We look forward to accepting their invitation to visit them in Catania when travelling is less problematic, and in the meanwhile we shall maintain regular contact and pursue the initial goal of collaboration.

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

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Upcoming Events

  1. (May 18) Regular Meeting & Presentation

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  4. (Jun 8) Regular Meeting & Presentation

    June 8 @ 18:45 - 20:30
  5. (Jun 15) Regular Meeting

    June 15 @ 18:45 - 20:30

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