“I exist because you exist and you exist because I exist”
When asked about the meaning of Smokinya, our Director explained the rich symbolism of the fig and its connection to the work of this incredible foundation. The fig represents the collective sense of belonging and the universal cycle of existence through existence. The fig wasp will lay its eggs in the fig to give way for new life, but then dies in the process. The eggs will eventually become new wasps and the cycle continues.
Not the most glamorous image in your head right now I’m sure, but the overall message is that community is built and cultivated through belonging, sacrifice, and meaningful connection with others.
Throughout my time with Smokinya, I’ve felt inspired by those around me who dedicate their time and efforts to uplifting and empowering the youth community during this especially difficult year. Using storytelling, knowledge exchange, cultural exchange, and different medias of arts, Smokinya serves its purpose to connect local and international youth and make sure their voices are heard.
I can see this through our very own team which spans across multiple countries, but we all came together with a common vision: a community where youth are supported in every way to live their passions and achieve their goals. I am very grateful to be a part of a team who has accepted me so warmly and brought me along this journey. Our office is full of different accents, backgrounds, cultures, but we celebrated these differences, laughed about our various pronunciations, and bonded over our similarities more than anything else.
I will miss my time here. It’s a bittersweet feeling to go back home, but I will always cherish my memories of Bulgaria and its beautiful views, hardy foods, and warm community. I wish all the best to Smokinya Foundation and hope it continues to inspire others the way it has done for me.
Until next time,
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