Arts and Crafts


Smokinya Foundation expanded its scope and put a focus on local youth work in Plovdiv, since March 2020. We have now settled and discovered some new ways to get involved in the social and community life of the city.


We are not a standard organization with standard motives and desires.
We are active and bring outcomes, no matter the circumstances. The reason for this is very simple. We are a team with diverse backgrounds, interests and personalities. As a result of this mix we have decided to create opportunities for ourselves and the community around us.

After a substantial amount of reflection, evaluation and brainstorming we ended up picking 3 projects and now is the time to share those with you.

The projects are:
“The Basement Hub”,
“The Fig Garden”,
“Fruits for Rubbish on The Hills”.

Details below and Photo Gallery.

Smokinya Foundation Community building initiatives – Photo gallery


The Basement Hub
The Basement Hub is project number one and is something that many might find interesting. Especially the boys. The summary is as it follows: We have a 60 kv.m. of space under Peyka Coffee. This space is currently not used for anything. Previously it was a rubbish storage. We have cleaned the space during the summer and removed the old ceiling. Now we want to make use of it in a smart and sustainable way. Considering the fact that we can not invest money and our efforts are not enough in order to get this space in good shape we are calling out the Plovdiv community for help.

The idea is to gather enough people who are interested in working on this space to build and decorate they way they want to and then use it for public purposes. It can be a hub to hang out with friends, place to play your music instruments or do a gig, alternative reading club, art space for exhibitions, new hang out spot instead of the mall or simply an area where you can go and work on your own projects or with friends.
Now the challenges for us are to first attract you and then to find ways and funds to action the project. If you are interest in getting involved or you know someone who might like the sounds of the written above get in touch with us or visit us at Peyka Café.


The Fig Garden
The Fig Garden is similar to The Basement Hub; however, it is an outdoor area, actually the back yard of the house where Peyka Coffee is located. Smokinyas’ open working space is based there as well. And since we are there all the time we want to make it welcoming for ourselves, the people working above us and also have it as a space for social use. Imagine a winter evening with fairy lights, friends, warm glass of red wine at the back yard of a really old Plovdiv house and of course good conversations. Or maybe a space to draw a really interesting and engaging graffiti/ Illustration once in a while. It can be an opportunity for you to do some wood work as you always wanted to. If you are down for making something out of nothing here is a chance for you to do so. The garden needs some TLC, care and people who want to be active and build something for themselves.

Below are some pictures of the current state of the garden. We managed to clean up the rubbish, some old woods left there and even the ground levels. Maybe you would want to pin those stones on the wall on a Sunday afternoon, instead of being bored at home. It is up to you. If you are interested drop us an email to info@smokinya.com or pop in at Peyka Cofé.


Fruits for Rubbish on The Hills
Fruits for rubbish is a very old Bulgarian tail that embodies Bulgarian wisdom. The story is really short, on the other hand the moral lesson is golden and has no price. An old Bulgarian father takes a lot of plums in his cart and goes on the search for a wife for his son. He sells the plums for rubbish. You would think the more rubbish the more plums are what he is looking for, but not really. The young woman who brought the least amount of rubbish was the ONE to be taken back to his son.

You are probably wonder why I am telling you this story. A few weeks ago, I met with a friend and she told me her close friend is doing this in the mountains of Vitosha close to Sofia. Few days later me and a few friends of mine went to one of the hills in Plovdiv to enjoy one of the last warm evening on the hills and ended up being so disappointed how much rubbish was left there. Cans of beer, cigarettes, papers, random items and so on. Since 90% of us lived or still live abroad seeing this always makes us think why rubbish is still thrown and left behind in Bulgaria.

With all of this said we want to organise a Fruits for Rubbish on The Hills in Plovdiv initiative. We will contact the local authorities and notify them of this, ask for their support and help and organise the first move for the 25th of October 2020. This initiative would be reoccurring every 4 months as part of how we want to stay engage and engage the local community in keeping our common environment clean and be respectful to the nature around us. If you are hipped up to be part of this then let us know and join by clicking on the link below for information on our Facebook Event Page. See you soon!


Our aim is to engage youth and adults from Plovdiv to work together on those 3 projects, one of which will be reoccurring periodically. They will be able to invest effort, time and ideas with as little limitations as possible.

As people who have spent some time living and working abroad we like the idea of informal volunteering and community work that is practiced outside of our Bulgarian borders and we’d like to implement this method here.

Socially, the benefits of volunteering show up quickly and have long-term effects. Social interaction improves mental and physical health, according to Psychology Today. The benefits of consistent socializing include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety.

Are you ready? Contact us now!


Links to article on volunteering and its benefits:

https://www.wcsu.edu/community-engagement/benefits-of-volunteering/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/03/19/5-surprising-benefits-of-volunteering/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm

https://www.volunteerscotland.net/for-volunteers/why-volunteer/benefits-of-volunteering/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering-4132453

https://www.happiness.com/en/magazine/personal-growth/why-volunteering-is-important-benefits/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-science-kindness/201905/why-do-volunteers-live-longer

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/cravings/201609/how-volunteering-helps-you

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/careers-in-psych/201605/9-ways-volunteering-helps-you-get-ahead

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-third-age/201403/5-reasons-why-you-should-volunteer