TBH project – meet new volunteer Vladan


Long-term volunteering project in Bulgaria (ESC / European Solidarity Corps)

31 December 2020 – 1 January 2022
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Hi there! I am Vladan, friends call me Chato. I am 21 years old. I come from Banjaluka, the second-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I like swimming and good movies. I am currently here in Plovdiv with Smokinya Foundation.


I have always been fascinated by the languages, cultures, and differences we all have. I want to learn as much as I can, especially when it comes to languages. Making connections with people is always easier when you know the language they speak. That is why one of my main priorities in life now is learning foreign languages.

Exactly a year ago NY Times wrote a small story about a virus outbreak happening in China. At the same time, I had a video call with my friend that lives abroad, and he mentions something about a virus that is spreading throughout China.

Who would say that this will cause so many things to happen, including me coming to Plovdiv, sitting here, and writing this!


The thing that I somehow always knew is that you can’t make definite plans for your future. Last year and everything it brought was a real proof of that, at least for me. It was a trigger for me to reconsider everything I knew about life. And I must say – that is a pretty hard thing to do, especially if you are living in a world that is in the middle of global pandemics.

However, I felt it was the best thing I could do at the moment. I just sat back and relaxed for a while, just to see what life brings next. My thinking at the time was that it is better to take a break, than a step backward.
As I can see it now, it is quite true.

I found out about the Balkan Highway project, applied, and a few days before this year started I was in Plovdiv. I said ‘before this year started‘, because good feelings for new things are by far the most powerful thing I can experience at the moment.

The next year will be pretty interesting and different, which also means it will be challenging, but as Ernest Hemingway said “In order to write about life first you must live it.”

Should you have a question, contact us: info@smokinya.com.

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This program is co-funded by the European Solidarity Corps program of the European Union.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an
endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be
held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. //
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одобрение на съдържанието, което отразява гледните точки само на авторите и не може да се търси
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TBH project – meet new volunteer Vladan