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November 2018

of the International Women’s Club-Sofia

December Coffee Morning 11 December 2018 (10:30) Crystal Palace Hotel - Sofia

president’s letter Dear ladies,

IWC Executive board 2017-2018

President Albena Jones, UK gsm: 0879 119 152 Vice-President Maya Metodieva, BG Treasurer Desislava Ivanova, BG Bazaar Coordinator Bazaar Team Nicole Simmons Diana Michaels-Christopher USA gsm: 0879 506 799 Acting Charity Chairperson Krastina Aranitasi, UK Address 2 Maria Louiza Blvd., TZUM, fl.7, 1000 Sofia tel: 02 951 6117 Office Manager & Membership Coordinator Zarina Benoun-Takova gsm: 0895 571 813 tel.: 02 951 6117 (please call before visiting)

Project and Office Support Associate Milena Varzonovtseva https://www.facebook. com/IWC2017

We should be very proud to be members of the International Women’s Club, research was carried out by our own Sponsors Coordinator Diana Michaels-Christopher and it was established that the IWC-Sofia is the only women’s organisation in the World that raises such a significant amount of money (nearly 200,000 EUR) for charity in a single day! How great is that? Of course this achievement is thanks to the efforts of all involved in the annual IWC Charity Bazaar - you, our stallholders, our sponsors and donors and, of course, the Bulgarian people. So it goes to show what a responsible and significant role we each have. Even more participants filled up the big hall of the Romanian embassy at the 3rd Stallholders meeting. Instruction presentations were done by Nicole Simmons, Angelina Makareva and UniCredit Bulbank. The feedback after the meeting was very positive, everyone is getting excited, preparations are well on the way, as we now have less than a month to the Bazaar. In early October myself and IWC VP Maya Metodieva attended a fruitful meeting with Mr. Tsvetan Simeonov - the Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. After briefing him on our organisation’s development and new bazaar implementations, Mr. Simeonov expressed his delight from the work of the IWC and offered us tremendous support in goods for sale. The donations will be made to the IWC from numerous Bulgarian manufacturers such as wine, ljutenitsa and canned foods, the goods are to be sold on the joint IWC/BCCI stall. This is the best time for you to decide where best can you assist and dedicate a portion of your time to the preparation or implementation on the 2nd of December. We need lWC ladies only for the treasury room, to assist with sorting and counting money. We need 5-7 members to rotate on the IWC / BCCI stall, which will also include the IWC Bake stall, it will sell the goods donated by companies via the BCCI and various IWC items as the 2019 Calendar, cookbook and others... I am happy to say that our bazaar promotional videos featuring some of you and voice recordings done by me are now ready. Thank you to Lily Kisiova and Elisaveta Petrusheva for coordinating. We also have an overwhelming requests for IWC partnership support by Bulgarian associations and NGO’s. At the IWC office I hosted the founder of FSCI, the founders of Maiko Mila (who are here with us today), met with 5km run NGO and the Federation of the Blind in Bulgaria. Gratitude goes to Johanna Alcantara and her husband for the sponsorship at the IWC/5km Blind run prizes for the blind runners through GVC Services Bulgaria. Also terrific work this month by the IWC Calendar ladies, thank you so much for your paricipation and patience, I know it was time-consuming, but we had a lot of fun during the photo shoots, we bonded and created some unforgettable moments and most importantly together we produced fabulous pictures to hopefully sell thousands of copies of our 2019 IWC calendar contributing to the worthy causes in Bulgaria, the country that unites us!

Albena Jones

IWC President


IWC Club Policy Smoking Please note that all IWC Coffee Mornings are non-smoking.

group, a charge may be added for instance if a guest regularly frequents one of these activities without becoming a member. A deposit is required from all members and guests attending an event with a cost involved. This deposit will be forfeited in the case of non attendance.

Language Don’t let a lack of fluency in English keep you from attending the monthly coffee mornings and other club activities. Many of our members speak other languages. Remember, we are an international club, and we are here to support you. You’re welcome at any time.

*Charge for guests at the discretion of the activity group organiser with a min. sum of 10 BGN.

Suggestion Box The suggestion box is always available at the members’ signin table. Feel free to write your ideas, concerns, complaints, and suggestions to the IWC Board and drop them in the box. Because you’re important to us, we want to hear from you.

Use of IWC Logo The Board has established the following policy for the use of the IWC logo and brand name. In order to prevent any misuse. 1. Written Permission must be requested from the Board a minimum of 2 weeks prior to event; 2. The partnering organisation/company should be in good standing in the community; 3. The event should seek to pursue the goals of the IWC; 4. No third-party usage will be permitted. An agreement will be signed between IWC and partner organisation; 5. The Logo may be used only for the agreed event and for specified time period.

IWC Visitors Policy The IWC doors are open to visitors throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to attend up to two coffee mornings and two activities prior to applying for membership. A 15 BGN fee is payable upon registration at the sign-in table during the coffee morning. For more information, please contact the Membership Coordinator at Events Charges All events are available to fully paid up members of the IWC. Where there is a cost involved, it will be kept to the very minimum. Guests will be able to attend the events that are specified at the time. Not all events will be open to guests. Events that are open to guests will also carry a ‘guest’ surcharge as follows:

Guidelines for Paid Advertisement 1. Priority for any vacant advertising spaces will be given first to IWC members, then to outside advertisers. 2. Advertisers are welcome to run or extend their advertisements for a period of six months. After that time, if there is a waiting list for advertisements of that size, the situation will be reviewed, and priority for available spaces will be given to (a) IWC members; (b) new advertisers; (c) existing advertisers. The same order of priority will apply to smaller ad space that may become available. 3. There is no waiting list for advertisements of a given size, the current advertiser may extend their advertisement for the contract period of their choice. 4. These guidelines may be revised at any time with the agreement of the IWC Board. 5. Paid advertisers are not endorsed by the IWC.

Monthly Events Free monthly events are free to guests. Events costing under 20BGN, there is an additional charge of 5BGN. Events costing 21BGN or more, there is an additional charge of 50%. Monthly Activity Groups Monthly activity groups are free and any charge for guests will be at the discretion of the organiser of the

Rules For Announcements From Members 1. Advertisements will be run in two consecutive issues. If the member sends a request to run the advertisement again, it will be extended for a further two issues. After that, the advertisement will be removed. If the member still wishes to include the advertisement after that time, the request will be considered, but placement is not guaranteed.

4. Recommendations for individuals engaged in business (e.g., dentists, hairdressers, etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Board. 5. Final discretion as to whether to include an announcement rests with the Newsletter Editor. We ask members to send all announcements for the newsletter via e-mail. The size of ads should not exceed a single paragraph of five lines. The IWC board is not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided in these announcements. Please send your contributions to not later than the 15th of the preceding month.

2. Advertisements must be submitted by members. Members may not submit ads for non-members (e.g., for a friend who is selling a car, etc.). 3. Members may not submit recommendations for businesses. These recommendations may be submitted to the IWC Go To Guide. Businesses are also welcome to purchase advertising in the newsletter.


NOVEMBER DATES eral Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights. From:

1 November - Day of the leaders of the Bulgarian national revival This is an all-Bulgarian celebration honoring the work of the Bulgarian enlighteners, writers, revolutionaries of the Bulgarian National Revival, and the pursuit of education and scholarship. It is celebrated every year on November 1st and is an official holiday in the Republic of Bulgaria. The spiritual enlightenment of the Bulgarian people gives impetus to the national liberation movement in the Bulgarian lands. In liberated by Ottoman rule Bulgaria, both the intelligentsia and the common folk recognized the contribution of the Revival writers and revolutionaries who created the atmosphere and led the Bulgarian spirit to fight for state sovereignty. Many cities and villages wanted to express their gratitude not only by naming streets and schools to the leaders of Bulgarian enlightenment. The first national celebration was in Plovdiv in 1909. On 1st November 1923 King Boris III proclaimed the day a national celebration but in 1945 the celebration was banned and then restored in 1992.

25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination. According to UN’s General Secretary report, on the basis of data from 2005 to 2016 for 87 countries, 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey. In the most extreme cases, such violence can lead to death. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to 6 per cent of male victims. The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, has proclaimed every 25th of the month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls. Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year, on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), but every month.

20 November - Universal Children’s Day United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN Gen-



22 November - Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. In the US Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November while in Canada nearly one month and a half earlier (second Monday of October). Thanksgiving has deep roots in religious tradition, but nowadays it is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.

emphasis on consumerism. Thanksgiving, for most, is also a start of a four day weekend which is great, too. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November. The rule of declaring the final Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day was followed until 1939. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the fourth (next-to-last) Thursday of November as Thanksgiving instead of the last, fifth one. The change of Thanksgiving’s date was intended to extend the shopping season before Christmas and help bring the country out of The Great Depression. In the same manner, Thanksgiving in 1949 and 1941 was celebrated on third (next-to-last) Thursdays. In December 1941 Thanksgiving date was fixed as the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving tradition began in early XVII century, but the date and popularity varied between states. First nation-wide Thanksgiving was proclaimed on November 26, 1789 by George Washington. The contemporary date of fourth Thursday of November was set in 1941 by federal legislation. Thanksgiving is a great time to be thankful and appreciate who you have and what you have. It is a time for families to meet, socialize and enjoy each other’s company, sometimes the only opportunity in a year. Some prefer it to Christmas because of less



10 PLACES NEAR SOFIA FOR PLEASANT AUTUMN WALKS 1. The natural jacuzzis of Jeleznitsa - 23 km from Sofia Hot mineral springs, whose water has been bottled in the past. The pools are made of stones by enthusiasts, admirers of nature and mountains. 2. Bonsovi meadows (Bonsovi poliani) - 7 km from Sofia This is a place with beautiful scenery and a hut. If you are looking for somewhere to relax in the midst of a colorful beech forest where you can just lie and the children can play – this is it. The air is crystal clear and the hut - quite hospitable. 3. Lesnovo - 33 km from Sofia What can you do there? For example, fly by plane. Blooming in yellow and red, the autumn landscapes seen from above are beautiful. Or you can just plane-spot the planes that fly over Sofia. 4. Boyana Waterfall - 8 km from Sofia This is one of the most visited destinations when you go to Vitosha mountain. It is accessible even if you are not a climber. You can reach it with a short walk from the Zlatni mostove (Golden bridges) area to where you can also get by public transport. 5. Kladnitsa - 26 km from Sofia The village of Kladnitsa is in the foot of Vitosha Mountain. On the mountain trail to the nature park there are beautiful wooden arbors and the river provides wonderful coolness. In the courtyard of the monastery “St. Nicholas the Miracles” there is a centuries-old oak with a 3-meter trunk. 6. Cherni Vrah - 28 km from Sofia Cherni Vrah (Black Peak) is the pearl of Vitosha. This is an emblematic place you mustn’t miss if you are in the area. The term peak should not scare you because it is easily accessible. Choose a fall day with nice, dry weather and ... go! 7. The Little Holy Forest in Kokalyane - 18 km from Sofia Urvich monastery “St. Nikolay the Wonderworker “, together with the fortress Kokalyansky urvich, are part of the so-called Little Holy Forest. Both sites are from old times and have rich history. 8. Zlatnite Mostove (Golden Bridges) This is a wonderful place for relaxation in Vitosha, which can be reached by bus 63 or by a shuttle that goes from the Russian monument in Sofia on every 30 minutes. Choose a route from there and enjoy a stunning stroll through the rustling trees. 9. Dragalevski Monastery - 10 km from Sofia If you want to take a nice walk and light a candle for peace in the soul - this place is wonderful. It is easily accessible, beautiful and quiet. 10. Horse base in Chepintsi - 12 km from Sofia The base is close to Sofia, on the ring road, and you can ride horses there in fresh air and among the greenery of the village. Selected and translated in English from the article:


Running for a Cause – 5K Blind Run 2018 With great honor the IWC Sofia in alliance with the 5k Run and sponsored by GVC Services EOOD, organized the most touching , meaningful and motivational run of the year: “The 5K Blind Run 2018”, to encourage the visually impaired young people of Sofia to achieve their dreams of overcoming any obstacles on their path. It was absolutely powerful to witness the trust this young runners rested on their guides to lead them to the final line, it was much more that willingness to finish the run but finish it by the hand of a trustworthy supporter, and we the IWC-Sofia, together with family members and friends, were present on every step of the journey doing what we know best: helping, encouraging and leading. Just as in the run, together hand by hand we can make the difference. The event took place on Sat.21th October at South Park, where every Saturday throughout the year many runners of all levels and age gather to run their 5K for different purposes and causes, but mainly health. We are all welcome to join 5k Run Association without any payment due. More information can be found at Our heartfelt thanks to all IWC participants, organizers and sponsor who contributed to make this a successful event for a great cause.

Johanna A. de Tejeda


24th Annual Charity Bazaar Update Registration of stalls is complete for the 24th Annual Charity Bazaar, to be held on December 2, 2018 at the Inter-Expo Center. There will be 65 different stalls representing IWC, countries and international organizations: Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, IWC Books Stall, UNHCR, Bulgarian-Moroccan Association, IWC Patchwork Group, Sofia Municipality, Wonder Party, Bulgaria, IWC Tombola, IWC/Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Embassy of China, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Devam Foundation (Indo- Bulgarian Society for Arts and Culture), Indonesia,

outside entertainment. There is still time to register to perform; the deadline is November 15. Headline performances are expected from Atanas Stoyanov, Martina Mihailova, Vessy Boneva, Desi Andonova, Ustata, and Ruth Koleva. Thanks so much to the Romanian Embassy and Raluca Tigau for hosting the very successful stallholders’ meeting on October 23, attended by about 80 people. Following the meeting, a floor plan for the bazaar has been drafted and will be ready for review by stallholders on about November 1. Contact information for most stallholders will soon be available on the IWC website. Stallholders interested in viewing setup for a similar event may visit the Inter-Expo Center in the second week of November; a time and date will be announced shortly. Forms to report donations, request car passes and volunteer bracelets and transportation of items to the bazaar will be available on the IWC website by November 1.

Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, IWC Charities, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korean Cultural Center Foundation, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, The Netherlands, Nordics, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, South Africa, Sovereign Order of Malta, España, Syrian Arab Republic, Run2gether - Thailand & Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Holy See, Venezuela and Vietnam!

The bazaar Facebook page is up and running at https:// and promotional videos will soon be posted. Please link to this page and share it with your friends. Ticket sales are also underway at; we also urge stallholders, sponsors and partners to post the banner link to bazaar ticket sales on their website. We are also proud to announce new partnerships with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria to support the bazaar!

Special activities and workshops conducted at the bazaar will include child care, children’s activities and a bouncy castle provided by Wonder Party, unicycle riding lessons, horseback riding, crafts organized by the German stall, massage at The Blind Spot, special chocolate tasting by the Bulgarian stall, and henna painting by Devam Foundation. Numerous international dance and music groups will perform on stages in the foyer, Hall 3 and the outdoor Christmas market. A karaoke performance will also be part of the Key contact information for the bazaar team: Nicole Simmons / Co-coordinator Angelina Alexieva / Stallholder team lead Sponsor team Svetlana Yanakieva / Entertainment team lead Plamena Zhelyazkova / Facebook postings Zarina Benoun-Takova / Donor contracts




Looking for a Good Book? “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. — Dr. Seuss The IWC Book Club is a lively group that meets on the last Friday of the month to discuss the selected book, or just to talk about other books we love. The Book Club has just selected the reading list for the next 7 months: • • • • • • •

November: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri December: Abide With Me by Elisabeth Strout January: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro February: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng March: The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano April: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje May: The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

All IWC ladies are invited to join a book club meeting (even if you have not read the book). Other books recommended by our avid readers: • Band of Angels by Julia Gregson • Abide With Me by Elisabeth Strout • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt • A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky-Pellegrino • Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes • Birthright by Fiona Lowe • Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles • The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje • Band of Angels by Robert Penn Warren • Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah So the next time you are looking for a good book to read, you have plenty of suggestions. And remember, “Between the pages of a book is a wonderful place to be.” 

Books about Bulgaria If you are interested in learning more about Bulgarian history and life in Bulgaria, these are a few books that were recently read (or recommended) by our book club members: • • • • •

Street Without A Name: Stories of Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria by Kapka Kassabova Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova East of the West: A Country in Stories by Miroslav Penkov Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History by Robert D. Kaplan

Or you can listen to your history with these two podcasts: Bulgarian History Podcast Facebook: @bghistorypodcast History Fan Girl Podcast Episode 2: Rila Monastery

By Anya Ciecierski


October highlights Coffee Morning - 9 October 2018

IWC & Tabitha Foundation event on “Bridge between generations” project - 25 October A bridge between generations…..

bridge between the generations which has a deep impact on the whole society.

Last week a small group from IWC went to Roman and spent a wonderful day with the children from the Social complex and with some local elderly. We all participated in an event on Tabitha Foundation’s project “Bridge between generations”. Events are organized there with the local senior citizens and the children from the orphanage so that the older can share their experience and the young ones their appreciation and love. These two groups, often ignored by society, crave for attention and affection. The emotional bond that has been created between the two groups builds a

That day we had the pleasure of attending the Day of Roman, of celebrating the approaching Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners and of enjoying time with the children and the elderly from Roman. In a typical Bulgarian tradition we were met by a loaf of homemade bread, honey, flowers and smiling faces. The


Mayor of Roman welcomed the ladies of IWC to Roman with a short speech. On behalf of the ladies from IWC and in response to the greetings, Nicole Simmons, said few words in fluent Bulgarian. She won the admiration of the children and the elderly women by speaking in Bulgarian. The director of the Social Complex, Yvette Simeonova, shared with us interesting stories and facts about Roman, its past and future. The children were involved in a quiz about Roman and former and present Bulgarian Enlighteners. And we were all pleasantly surprised by their broad knowledge and helpful staff. The oldest lady from Roman, a former teacher, shared her memorable experience at school. The elderly ladies had made banitsa and bread for us. Tabitha foundation and IWC ladies had brought sweets, books, drinks, small presents and chocolate eggs. We had a fantastic time in a completely informal setting, where the children and the elderly, mingled with IWC ladies. Miwako, the Japanese lady, taught the children to make origami; Saud, the Syrian lady, shared jelly bonbons with the kids and Nicole gave them chocolate eggs. And although Roman is one of the poorest places in the European Union we mainly felt the friendly ambiance and the warm feelings which the children and the senior people shared with each other. The “Baba program� had a very positive influence on the children and they all behaved very well. The IWC ladies demonstrated excellent command of Bulgarian language and the children and elderly enjoyed communicating with them personally in Bulgarian. They were interested in information about Japan, Syria, the States and the Club. We all felt sad to leave the happy crowd of young and old but promised to come back again!

Albena Matova

Tabitha Foundation


IWC-Sofia and FSCI 10 Year History

15 October – meeting at the IWC Office with Chris Mould (Founder and Chief Executive of FSCI) and Teodora Koleva (Executive Director of FSCI) It was very interesting to find out about the history of cooperation between the IWC and FSCI which dates back to nearly 10 years ago. When Chris Mould registered the FSCI NGO in Bulgaria, the IWC was the first organization to offer him a helping hand. Please read below what Chris said:

the most powerful way IWC could help us – the investment with the most leverage – would be to fund Tedi’s salary. The committee agreed, though it was a bold decision for them as they tended to fund project activities directly which made this quite a departure. That’s how Tedi’s first year’s wages were paid and when we look back at ten years of growth and social impact there’s plenty of proof that the investment decision was a good one!“

“I first met Marie Halbherr, who was Chair of the Charity Committee, in the early summer of 2008. She was interested in our project activities because they were practical and also our plans for the future. (At that point “our” was the Trussell Trust which I was leading). This led to a grant application. In September 2008 I met the members of the IWC Charity Committee, made a presentation and answered what I remember were perceptive questions. By then we had interviewed and appointed Tedi Koleva and Marie and I had agreed that

The IWC supported FSCI in 2017 with a grant of 15,200 BGN for the project “Early Years Educational Interventions among vulnerable kids”. I had the pleasure to visit their early education development centre in Fakulteta on 18 October. We interacted with the kids and their teachers, they did some drawings for us and sang songs about the autumn. It also happened that on the same date was the European Day Against Human Trafficking. Together with Chris and his team we acknowledged this day by holding a plag that “Modern slavery does exist”, sadly, according to EU statistics Bulgaria is the top country for human trafficing in the EU.

Albena Jones

IWC President



n the 26th of October as an introduction from the British Embassy’s Marianna Maclaren, Community Liaison Officer and Villy Angelova, Deputy Head of Political Section, we met with the founders of Maiko Mila! and Ole Male Elisaveta Belobradova and Krassimira Hadjiivanova in the IWC office. The moto of their organization is Women can do everything! We have invited them to our November Coffee Morning to present their work.

In December 2016 the two of them launched their second project – the social cause Ole Male - a vehicle that gives a chance to the parents of children with disabilities, who do not have an opportunity to work. Long story short: When a woman gives birth to a disabled child in Bulgaria, her life changes for good as she is forced to stay at home. Frequently, the father leaves, thereby leaving her with the responsibility to be the sole bread earner. The State does not provide opportunities for these, mostly, women who need to work to remain financially stable as well as emotionally and mentally healthy. A huge part of those women live in small cities and isolated villages.

Maiko Mila! is a website launched in April 2016 for one main purpose – to provide support for mothers, make them laugh and show them that many other mothers share their experiences and anxieties. Maiko Mila! is a place reserved for the experiences of motherhood and the mother is the focus of all content. The style is humorous, light, without prescriptions or didacticism. At the same time more serious and painful topics are also covered in the content – domestic violence and the fight againts it, gender inequality, spontaneous abortions, etc.

Ole Male links those in need of a job with the ones who offer one. We support parents of disabled children who craft with their own hands. Our company organizes the purchase process and profits from 20 to 25 percent of the whole value of the products. In the space of one year we have included in our programme more than 190 parents. We provide for them several opportunities: they can sell their goods directly through the site, which is free of charge, or they can send their products to us as we have corporate clients who willingly buy from us. We also take part in street bazaars.

Currently the Facebook page has almost 80 000 fans and the website has approximately 250 000 views per month.

Our goal - to train more parents, provide them with better skills, excellent designs made by leading Bulgarian designers, so that their artisan creations are of higher value and sold at higher prices. The other big goal is to promote an online based working market where big companies willing to outsource some of their activities can meet parents of disabled children and qualify them for a job. At the scope of just few months Ole Male managed to become the winner in the Reach for Change social entrepreneurship contest “Promyanata” (“The Change”), conducted in partnership with Nova Broadcasting Group. The project was also nominated for the prestigious Effie award for the powerful commercial of our social cause.

The website is created by Elisaveta Belobradova and Krassimira Hadjiivanova: household names across the blogosphere and the social networks, followed by thousands of people. They both got the ‘Woman of the year 2017’ award given by “Grazia” magazine, in the Web category, and recently Maiko Mila! was announced ‘Blog of the year’ in the auduence vote of “Website of the year” contest.

Albena Jones

IWC President


November birthdays Anita Rooijers – 1st November

Paromita Sanatani – 15th November

Kapka Stoykova – 5th November

Nevena Doycheva Ryan – 17th November

Maya Metodieva – 7th November

Maria Daifoti – 20th November

regular activities Patchwork Group This group consists of seven members and we are meeting every Monday in the PLUS TOVA café, situated in Marin Drinov 38 st., from 10 am to 12 pm. Teacher of the group is Dusica Trkulja who is showing the making of patchwork. The members of the group have made a patchwork pillow which they would like to show to IWC members during the morning coffee in November. The group will continue again in January 2018 with its classes as in the following few months we will focus on the charity Christmas Bazaar preparations! Book Club Members read one book a month, and then get together to discuss the book (discussions are in English and are usually very fun and lively). We read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books from writers of all nationalities. There is a morning meeting once a month on Friday. For more information contact: Sonya Petrova: andsonya@ Bridge The bridge group is renewing its playing sessions once a week starting from April as the private bridge club ”King of clubs” is not open during morning hours any more. Interested members are invited to play bridge with us. A place of the meeting will be fixed for each session. There is an English-speaking group and a French-speaking group. For more info contact Diana: dianakolarova@, 0888 423 150 or Marieta: neykova-mp@dir. bg, 0889 849 354. English Conversation Group We are five native English speakers who take it in turns to lead a weekly conversation group every Thursday from 10:30 AM–12:30 PM. Different venues and topics are chosen every week. All members and all levels are welcome. Co-ordinator of the group is Avantica Shinde, email: Spanish Conversation Group Everybody who wants to practice and improve her Spanish is welcome to our weekly meetings. Also, if you are already fluent in Spanish or if you are a native speaker and you would like to participate, please enquire at CM to see who is leading this group, as there were changes.

Bulgarian Conversation Group Five Native Bulgarian speakers joined to form a conversation group by special request – just for you to grow and increase and to practice your B U L G A R I A N! We meet weekly at 10.30 every Tuesday. Please contact Jane Ewing for location – the teachers/ tutors are all wonderful Bulgarian friends from IWC who you respect and know. Don’t be afraid! Come join us! Zapovyaday!! Contact Jane by e mail: Russian Conversation Group To the attention of anyone who wish to improve conversational Russian language regardless of the level of her knowledge and practice: the new Russian Conversation group starts from February planning to meet twice a month. Everybody who is interested is welcome. Please contact Marieta Neykova who is a native Russian speaker by e-mail: or tel. 0889 84 93 54. Hiking Club The hiking group is an energetic group of dedicated hikers who head up to Vitosha and the surrounding mountains every Friday. We usually meet at 9 am at Fantastico in Dragelevtsi. An email is sent to all hikers every Wednesday with more specific plans and this often includes different meeting points. A typical hike will bring us back to our meeting point at 2 or 3. For more information please write to Bistra Karakoleva (biskarakoleva@ Tennis A group of members are starting to regularly play tennis together. We are of mixed ability and if you wish to join us or get on the regular emailing list then please contact Teodora Petrova on 0888 495066 or her email: Tuesday Playgroup Mums and dads with babies, toddlers and small children, please come along to our weekly playgroup! We meet every Wednesday at 10am, at someone’s home or in a park or play centre. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people (some of us have lived in Sofia for many years so are great sources of advice and information too), and for the children to make friends. It’s totally free and there is no obligation to host, so please do come and join us! For more information or to be added to the mailing list, please email Stephanie.Karaolis@


IWC EVENTS in NOVEMBER 6/11/2018 10:30

25/11/2018 19:00



13/11/2018 12:30

You will enjoy dances by students of the school who are at a different stage in their training - from beginners to professionals; Violeta Valcheva is the choreographer and director of Badriya Oriental Dance. This year the show will be shared by our special guests - Vanya Petrova and ensemble “Amani” and Victoria Sirakova and Ka Dance Community (tribal fusion).

MONTHLY LUNCH THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK 15 MOSKOVSKA STR. Web: Menu: php#menus The cousine is international with items in the menu like: Roasted lamb with spinach and bulgur; Horse meat bistec with piquillo peppers puree; Roasted salmon with kale and artichoke; Veal chop schnitzel; Osso Bucco; Sea Bass “Siciliana”; Pumpkin risotto; Paccheri with rabbit and porcini mushrooms; Tagliatelle with truffle and parmesan and many more.

They have prepared a variety of solo and group performances in different styles of oriental dances. Come and celebrate together another year of dancing, emotion, laughter and magic! For more details:

Pre-order preferable For further details, please contact: Albena Jones, phone: 0988 935 985

Please sign and pay at the Coffee Morning as tickets need to be prepaid!

16/11/2018 10:00 Bread making workshop with Roma children Date: November 16th, Friday Time: 10:00 to 11:30 AM Venue: Sofia Bread House (103 Ekzarh Yosif Str.)

This event is coming to IWC members at the special discounted price of 10lv. for attendance of 10 members.

November calendar Wk

Monday 29

Tuesday 30

Wednesday 31

Thursday 1

Friday 2

Saturday 3

Sunday 4








13 12.30: Montly Lunch



16 10.00: Bread making workshop









25 19.00: Badriya dance spectacle









5 10.30: MCM






IWC-Sofia Newsletter - November 2018  
IWC-Sofia Newsletter - November 2018