In mid-February, the Sofia Bread House team met with Gergana Hristova, founder and driving force of the Bulgarian school in Milan, Italy. Gergana came from Italy specifically to learn the methods of the Bread Houses Network. During her three-day visit, Gergana became acquainted and trained in the programs, methods, and the social-entrepreneurial model of the organization. She participated in specially organized bread-making events – an event titled “From Grain to Bread” with students from the Progressive Primary School, bread therapy with the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration “Annunciation”, bread-making in the dark with the Vox Populi Documentary Theater Studio. We wish her success in her bread-making endeavors and welcome her to the Bakers Without Borders platform.
At the end of January 2018, Milena and Lily from the Sofia Bread House team took part in visual awareness training on the project “Applied Theater in Support of Children and Youth with Visual Impairments,” funded by the EU and more specifically the European Social Fund Operation Programme on Human Resources Development. Participants in the training were educators from the country. The highlights and themes of the training included strategies for working with visually-impaired children and youth, the impact of visual impairments on children with such impairments, how and with what resources to support their development. The practical sessions included a workshop on safely guiding people with impaired vision in their surrounding environment, simulation exercises, as well as a theater seminar for young people with impaired vision. The Welsh expert Nicola Crews shared hеr rich experience in managing the risks of organizing activities for visually impaired children. And later, along with other trainers and organizers of the event, she participated in a “Bread In the Dark” event аt the Sofia Bread House. Bread In the Dark is a method for community-building and personal transformation, in which facilitators with visual impairments and sighted people make bread in a darkened environment and share their thoughts on important topics.
At the end of January, 2018, the Bread Houses Network took part in the No More War festival, an initiative of CVS-Bulgaria in the framework of Service Civil International (SCI) PATH project. The festival’s main focus was on peace in its micro and macro dimensions. During our participation, a group of young people who are CVS participants in different countries (such as Bulgaria, Belgium, Spain, Kosovo, Germany, Italy, Serbia), made bread for peace. While making bread, the young people discussed what peace means to them, what supports and impedes peace. During the event we also presented the Bakers Without Borders game.
During the holiday season we released the first issue of our Bread for Change Magazine. You can check out what we were up to over the past few months by reading the magazine here.
In the first half of November, the Sofia Bread House held the first of a series of bread-making events that mixed children from the local community with refugee children from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The event was co-organized by the Sofia Bread House and the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and was funded by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The motto of the series of events is “We are all made from the same dough” and their goal is to bring the mixed groups of children together to make friendships and learn to understand those who are different. The events will continue between November 2017 and January 2018. Below are photos from the first event.
We are launching a series of children’s books written and illustrated by our founder and president, Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova, cultural anthropologist (Princeton University) and “Traveler with a Mission of the Year 2012” of the global National Geographic. The books are separate from the game Bakers without Borders, but related to it. They go under the general title of “The Adventures of NadEzhko, the hedgehog Baker without Borders”. You can learn more about the books and purchase them on the website of the Bakers without Borders game: http://thegame.bakerswithoutborders.net/books/.
The Bread Houses Network was nominated for Bulgaria’s 2017 “Inspiring Initiative of the Year.” Please watch our nomination video at https://www.bnt.bg/bg/a/nagradite-buditel-2017 and vote for our initiative from any part of the world until October 31 here: http://fmplus.net/buditel2017/index.php.