Smokinya Foundation Newsletter

Smokinya Club


Since July the Smokinya Club is progressing and we are happy to have weekly meetings during the evening to share and invite the young people of the community to have a good time around fun activities.

Here's a quick plan of what happened in December-January, and what's coming up in February!

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The times they are a changin'

Not a goodbye, just see you soon

Twelve months, that is the time that Loïs, our French volunteer, has spent among us. Twelve months leading and working for and with Smokinya Foundation in the belief that a better world it is possible just with love, care and cooperation. And now, his watch has ended. The only thing we can do is to wish him all the best in the future wherever he goes, having in mind all the values and knowledge that this experience has teached him. Thank you Loïs for your contribution, but we do not say much more because this is not a goodbye, but a see you son!

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Vladan’s two cents

As The Doors said in his popular song, “This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end”. This is the end… Or maybe not? One year ago Vladan, our Bosnian volunteer, arrived for first time to Smokinya trying to find his own way in life by helping people from a international environment. Now his experience with us has finished, but not his personal learning and developing process, that will continue close, much closer than we think. Thank you for everything Vladan! Like with Loïs, we have the conviction that our paths will meet again… But not yet, not yet. Good luck!

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Events and activities

Kinedok screening

Continuing with our monthly open cinema day, this cold December in Smokinya we wanted to try a movie with a strong Argentinian taste; Solo. We do not want to say to much about it, but here we go with a clue; it is a different way to understand how people deal with personal problems in the society that we have nowadays from a deep and original perspective. More than advisable for cinema lovers!

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Rainbow of solidarity

Christmas is always a special moment in which we use to think of our loved grandparents. However, some of them are alone and forgotten, particularly in the northern regions of the country. That’s why from Smokinya, we want to invite you to participate in a solidarity action by buying these amazing wool socks that the elderly people from Ideas Factory Association made for us. You also can have your own fancy socks and contribute to take care of them!

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Time to Roleplay Game

These days are perfect to spend time with a hot chocolate at home, enjoying of the company of our friends and relatives. Nevertheless, not everyone is so lucky, and because of that, from Smokinya Foundation we wanted to organize an original Roleplay Game in which our followers had to put themselves under the skin of migrants that after passing through a difficult situation, are looking for a better life on the other side of the EU borders. As deep and training as interesting!

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A Piece of Christmas Magic

Despite our dears Santa Claus, Three Kings, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka try to arrive to all homes around the world, we know that sadly it is not always possible. For these reasons, the Smokinya Team decided to organise a funny, warming and cosy event, full of charity, love and cooperation, in order to make some handcraft Christmas gifts for people with disabilities. It was absolutely amazing, we have no words to describe how we enjoyed and appreciate your support. Besides, we discovered that we have true skilful artist amid us!

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Linguistic coffee II: An extraordinary Merry Christmas

Smokinya Foundation it is an international organization in which we are proud of represent people form so many different nationalities; Russian, Italian, Bosnian, French, Bulgarian, Austrian, Spanish… So considering that we were about to start the Christmas Holidays, we thought that we could prepare a new version of a Christmas carol mixing all these languages. And you, friends, you made it real. Thanks to you, we only did not spend a magical evening singing and sharing experiences together, but also showing to the world that a good environment despite little differences is possible! We really hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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Smokinya Christmas Party

2021 has been a strange year for everybody. Nevertheless, Smokinya Foundation has successfully continued developing projects, activities and events during the twelve months, bringing people from other countries and sending people abroad, both with the same goal; to build ties amid cultures, societies and civilizations. To build a bigger and stronger Europe that works for everyone. Something that would not had been possible without you, our followers, guest, volunteers, translators, supporters and rest members of this big family. For these reasons, last December we wanted to celebrate it sharing with all of you a charming evening together in our beloved Jazz Café. We only can say that if the world worked like that event, it would be a better place. From Smokinya, thank you for everything friends!

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Communication Workshop

Communication it is a basic part of our personal and professional lives, but… Do we really know how to communicate in a proper way with other people? How to transmit a clear and concise message, while offering a respectful and formal appearance of ourselves? In Smokinya we think that is something very important for everybody, and particularly useful for our international volunteers, so we planned and developed an intern workshop to training them about how to improve their public communication skills thanks to different exercises in which they had to perform according to different roles. And the result was surprisingly funny!

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First Aid Workshop

Have you ever thought about what should you do in case of emergency? If your friend suffers a deep cut in his leg? If your sister burns her skin? Or even if your boyfriend is involved in a car accident? The ability to react in a fast and efficient way is the key to save lives in these cases, and that is why in Smokinya we decided to teach our volunteers how they should behave if they are in these situations. Some extremely useful first aid tips that can be the difference between live or die. From now on, you have nothing to fear if you are with our international team!

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Smokinya in the streets

Bigger and together, always better

From Smokinya Foundation we strongly believe in what we do, in our idea that love, care and cooperation can really make a new world that works for everyone. Due to that, and even though our followers are increasing more and more every week, we thought that would be a good idea to count on more hands to help us to accomplish our common mission. So, we went into the streets of Plovdiv, and from north to south, from east to west, we shared information flyers nd poters with young people and institutions about who we are and what we do. Let’s hope they will join to our multicultural team!

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 Living in a “Parallel World”

It is not necessary to speak the same language, study the same subjects, live in the same country or have the same skills to know that love, friendship and solidarity are always appreciated for everyone, in particular for those who have some difficulties to communicate with people in a regular way. Regarding this, our Smokinya team went some days ago to Parallel World, a NGO that works with people with disabilities in order to spend time with them, prepare some Christmas cookies together and above all, wish them a Becela Koleda!

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A trip to the Middle Ages

Plovdiv it is a beautiful city, plenty of nice people, historical sites and interesting architecture. Nevertheless, our team, who wants to discover more about the rest of Bulgaria, decided to travel to Asenovgrad together with volunteers from other organizations, with the aim of visiting its ancient medieval fortress on the mountains. A day to enjoy the nature, reinforce relationships and think about their life and objectives in Bulgaria after several weeks living here. The best way to recharge energies and start the week full of motivation!

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The reinforcements have arrived

Sveta, a never-ending growing story

Having said goodbye to our veteran volunteers Loïs and Vladan in December, Smokinya was needed of fresh blood, happiness and motivation to reinforce the international team… So Sveta arrived! From Ternopil, an active and cosmopolitan city located in the Western region of Ukraine, our new volunteer decided that having studied International Economic Relations and Digital Marketing and after some short enriching experiences abroad in Netherlands and Turkey, it was time to spend a whole year working for the European youth here, in Plovdiv, together with the rest staff member of Smokinya Foundation. We are sure it will be an unforgettable experience not only for her, but also for all of us. Welcome home Sveta!

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EU Competences Workshop

Did you know that most national and international organizations and companies are basically  looking for the same characteristics in their new candidates? From Smokinya Foundation we think that being aware of it is something indispensable for the youth, regarding the improvement of their chances to succeed in their professional lives. According to this, and continuing with our cycle of EU Workshops, we decided to organized a new session especially focused on the competences needed by the employers in the labour market, that we put in practice through the simulation of different Situational Judgement exercises, mainly used in the European Institutions during their recruitment selection processes. If you like it, keep an eye on our media post, more EU training workshops are coming soon!

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Project Writing Workshop

As you know, working in a NGO like Smokinya Foundation is always motivating and rewarding, but not always easy; our crew has to work constantly looking for fundraising, applying for grants and designing new projects for the following months and years. Regarding this, some days ago our volunteers were involved in an intense training about Project Writing that allows them to be updated with the current demands of the European Union. Now, let’s wait for the results!

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Events and activities

Musical Games evening

What could sound better for a freezing winter evening that spending some time in good company playing music games? Because that is precisely, what we did in Smokinya Club. Coordinated by Masha, our motivated Russian volunteer, first our guests tried to guess what kind of songs would be sound with the only help of some emojis on a piece of paper. Secondly, different brave volunteers had to represent in front of the audience those songs that they were listening with headphones only by using hand movements. Maybe we are not going to win Eurovision, but for sure that we had an amazing Thursday together!

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The magic of music

After our first contact with the Parallel World association, it was time for a second round. That's why Masha, our motivated Russian volunteer, took all her experience as a trainer and teacher and went to visit our friends there, where they all together put their musical knowledge into practice and had a lot of fun and improved their coordination skills. Getting the rhythm is not so easy, and excellence takes practice. Fortunately, this session was just the first of many more!

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Linguistic Coffee III: Heroes or villains?

Two months ago, our Smokinya team decided to organise the first "Linguistic Coffee" event, and the response from our dear fans could not have been better. Therefore, it is our wish to continue this nice tradition also during this new year. On this occasion, the team prepared an interesting game in which our guests had to imagine that the end of the world had come, and it was their responsibility to decide who would be saved and who would not, using a list of people with different profiles and stories. As usual, things are not what they seem at first, so they had some shocking and funny surprises. It was such a fun event that some people have already asked for it to be repeated.

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February 2022

If you liked the activities we have prepared during January, get ready because February is already here and it comes loaded with amazing events. Social games, friendship speed dating, team building activities and of course, a cosy Carnival Party to close the month in the best possible way. There is no room for boredom at Smokinya Foundation!

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What are the experiences and successes of previous participants in our Erasmus + courses?
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