Coming from sunny Madrid with a suitcase full of smiles, optimism, wild hitchhike stories and unceasing excitement, Bea becomes part of the project “Volunteering circles” part of the European Solidarity Corps program, driven by her desire to bring positive impact in refugees’ lives.

For her 25 years she has behind her a BA in Psychology and a Master degree in International Solidarity Action. Being a volunteer supporting women involved in prostitution, she holds the dream to work in the field of gender violence and migration empowering women survivors of trafficking to reclaim control of their lives and  to move on from thеir past.


In today’s interview we are introducing you Bea and her volunteering experience in Sofia – just the way they are.

Hello Bea, will you tell us first how you decided to become a volunteer here?

I wanted to work with refugees. At the time I was looking for a project there weren’t so many options. Apart from the “Volunteering circles” project in Sofia I had selected two more – one in Slovenia – volunteering in a center for mental pathologies and in Stockholm being a social worker for refugees. As I was looking to work with refugees I had to choose between Sweden and Sofia. I didn’t want to freeze so much,  so Sofia felt more appealing to me – easy to travel, not so ordered, strict, a bit chaotic, messy just like me – I am messy and disordered so the project and the city were a good combination for me.

Did you have any challenging moments living and volunteering in Sofia?

Generally no. The biggest challenge for me was to adapt in the office. I came with a lot of energy at the beginning and wanted to start working on things right away, but in the process you come to see that things need time to be planned and delivered, so I had to learn how to be patient. Also what was difficult for me was to see that here at 9-10 o’clock there are not so many people in the streets, in Madrid it’s just the same as it’s a very vibrant city. People are also more open. Here I happened to observe two types of people – cold and suspicious and more welcoming ones. I am a very welcoming person but for me is not easy to bond in the workshops I am attending for example because people prefer to speak in Bulgarian and I don’t really speak the language. But I like Sofia as the atmosphere is more free – the bus driver can stop suddenly and grab a coffee, I have seen this and I really like it.

You have immersed yourself in different initiatives apart from your activities at CVS, can you tell us more about them?

Yes, in the beginning I wanted to support the project of Caritas in Busmantsi. I joined the organization team behind the Feminist march for 8th of March, I am part of an informal group raising the awareness of the refugee situation in the border. A cause that I also want to support more is Fridays for Future.

What about your free time, how do you spend it?

I am a really sociable person. I like to be with people. I hang out with the girls, attend cultural events, bars, I travel, dance – I am going to salsa classes, I cook a lot and I am active in different initiatives regarding gender and equality.

Do you have any plans what you would like to do after finishing your project?

I don’t want to think so much about it.  I want to continue traveling and working in different countries. I’d like to find a project in South America and to explore this part of the world, as well India at some point. I want to combine discovering and traveling with something more organized. But I don’t want a commitment for 1 year.

Are there any tips you would like to give to the future volunteers?

Yes, totally! First of all, to feel what they want to do, to prepare mentally and to set their priorities –language learning, to gain work experience in certain sphere, to meet other people, what they want to develop. Then to find as much as possible information before they decide to apply.

International volunteering is often said to be a life-changing experience. What do you think about it?

In my case, I still don’t have the sensation of “before” and “after”, even though I’m waiting for it or maybe it will happen when I’m back at home, although right now with all the coronavirus crisis I don’t know what is going to happen with the project. Nonetheless, coming to Sofia radically changed my life and my mates’ because we moved to a new country with a new language, started a new project with new people, moved in a new house and a lot more of “new” etceteras.

If you compare yourself before starting your project and now in its middle – do you find any changes in yourself?

I think I have realized through team work and coexistence in the apartment that I am not as flexible as I thought and now I am trying to develop more patience in myself. It’s really easy to blame others before blaming yourself, but this is not a nice trait. I have also learned more things about me through seeing myself in such a new situation. So for the moment, the change would be more in the level of self-perception or self-knowledge. I came to Bulgaria to challenge myself and gain confidence as a professional and that is still in process – I hope to have the chance to develop my ideas, to feel proud of my work and skills.

No doubt you will succeed! And finally can you tell us what are your first associations with these words – volunteering, young people, Bulgarians, kiselo mlyako?

Volunteering: solidarity, empathy, multicultural

Young people: future, opportunities, growth

Bulgarians: roulette

Kiselo mlyako: yogurt haha

Thank you for having you here Bea. From all of us at CVS we wish you good luck and much more colorful volunteering ahead. 🙂

Hitchhike with a happy ending
“Winter kids fest” with fun activities and presents for the kids from the three refugee camps
Human Library “Make food not war”
“DOBROFEST” (11.12.2019)

The project “Volunteering Circles” (2018-2-BG01-KA125-048262) is Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and Human Resource Development Center (HRDC).

Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logo with text on the right


ВИДЕО: Разследнане на Васил Иванов: Чудовищни злоупотреби в ...
 Posted by Monika at 14:18 EVS news, Volunteer activities

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.