If you want to be happy, you have to be brave.
You need the courage to change, to build new bridges, to leave old paths and to go new ways.
This is exactly the courage I had a year ago when I said yes to my adventure in Bulgaria, while uncertainty, curiosity and a little bit of a feeling of freedom accompanied me.
Unfortunately, my adventure in Bulgaria is coming to an end soon. This week I will spend my last days in the Smokinya Foundation. For me, however, it doesn’t feel like I’m leaving or ending something, it’s more a feeling of having gained and experienced a lot – being richer by experience and using it for the future of my life. During my exciting internship, I was able to support the international Smokinya team as many times as it suited me within 9 months. This gave me a lot of pleasure.
In this article I would like to give you some impressions from my internship and capture the most valuable experiences for me.
At the Smokinya Foundation I first learned how the Association is structured, what its values and visions are, and what activities are carried out for young people.
I am very grateful that I was able to participate in the weekly Smokinya Clubs and contribute my ideas. I enjoyed working on topics with the youth and preparing activities for them, for example about teamwork, self-love/self-care and human rights.
I also enjoyed preparing and conducting the June workshop series at the school. For me it was a great experience to prepare topics for minors in a way that they could take something for themselves.
I am also very grateful for the insights into the Roma community in Stolipinovo. It was an honor for me to assist the teachers in the mobile school on site and to support the children, as well as to participate in the festival for these children. It´s so nice to see children´s eyes shine.
I also have special memories of the festival at the Youth Center, where we worked together as a team to develop and implement activities, presentations and promotional opportunities. I got the chance to talk a lot with young people, but also with other Organizations and Associations. I am especially grateful to Valentina, who organized there a workshop with young people together with me on the topic “What motivates and inspires young people?” It was amazing!
In addition, I was able to gain experience in coordinating projects with international partners and motivate young people from Bulgaria for training courses and youth exchanges. I also took part in a training course and gained a lot of valuable experiences and self-knowledge regarding human rights education.
I am convinced that I have developed my personal skills as well as gained new professional skills. During this year I had so many opportunities to talk to so many different wonderful people from all over the world and create a lot for young people. The whole experience during my year in Bulgaria, where I was also able to support Smokinya Foundation, helped me to broaden my horizons and they have a lasting impact on my current attitudes and views of the world. I am now also more aware of what is really important for me in life and that I have to become active myself if I want to realize my goals and dreams.
I would definitely like to continue to do more for young people and put my experience in non-formal education into practice. I already have some ideas for this and hope to inspire Austrian organizations and young people with it. Thank you Tisho for this great, educational, exciting and challenging experience. I will never forget these beautiful memories.
Finally, I would like to thank the great team members I met and worked with at Smokinya Foundation: Valentina, Masha, Igor, David, Marisya and Elena. Thanks to all of you, I always enjoyed coming to the office with a smile and looked forward to the new day while learning and practicing new things about youth education. You will be missed!
Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I will miss you,
until we meet again.
All my love,