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  • Writer's pictureKatherina Andreeva

Stara Zagora Talks at "На Зелено" 2024

My friends and friendly strangers often ask me what I do, what my initiative is about, and how it's going. Today, I want to share an update from the event we participated in Stara Zagora last weekend.


For those of you who don't know me very well, together with my sister, we're building our initiative ЗаВръщане в България.


Our mission is to make it easier for Bulgarians abroad to return and to inspire all Bulgarians to see the potential of the country. We want people to create amazing things in Bulgaria and contribute to society, building a community where people are comfortable giving more than they take.


Thank you Yanitsa for leading a great discussion on education in Stara Zagora!

"Стара Загора Говори"

We had the incredible opportunity to host "Стара Загора Говори" from June 21-23 at the "На Зелено" event in Stara Zagora!


Together with the wonderful people of Stara Zagora, we had some truly inspiring discussions about the future of their city.


Our conversations brought together folks who have returned from abroad and those who have always called Bulgaria home, creating a great mix of perspectives.


Where is Stara Zagora?

First, I gotta ask, how many of you know where Stara Zagora is? Check out the map below to see the exact location. Stara Zagora is a city with a rich history and culture, right in the heart of Bulgaria. It's a place where old traditions mix with modern ideas. With its beautiful parks and lively arts scene, Stara Zagora is where collaboration and growth are happening.

Now that you have a better understanding of the city, let's dive into what we discussed.




Discussing Education in Stara Zagora: Shall We Change the Soil or the Plant?

Thank you Yanitsa for leading a great discussion on education in Stara Zagora!

Yanitsa Gospodinovа led our talk on education in Stara Zagora. We looked at the gaps in the current system and found some great models we could use to create a supportive community for teachers, helping them nurture their students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The conversation was full of ideas on how to build an environment where educators can thrive. We had people who grew up abroad, those whose parents moved back to Bulgaria when they were teens, and leaders in the education systems from the US and Bulgaria, all eager to make a change in education.

In the TV segment, Сутрин при Нас, she shares her point of view of the discussion, check it out here.


Is It Worth Moving Back to Stara Zagora?

A lovely group of people who have moved back to Bulgaria after studying and working abroad.

Anna-Maria Andreeva guided our chat on the benefits of moving back to Stara Zagora, whether from other cities or countries. People shared their experiences abroad and their reasons for returning, not just to Bulgaria but specifically to Stara Zagora.

It became clear that smaller cities need communities of people who see their potential and want to be active participants.

 These communities are key to creating and nurturing friendships with like-minded folks and supporting those who have the drive to start innovative businesses, social initiatives, or follow their passions, helping the city's growth.


How Do We Make Stara Zagora's Municipal Fund More Effective for NGOs?


NGOs coming together to discuss the funding situation with the Funding institution of Stara Zagora

Tenyo Arabadzhiev, ACCA led a discussion on making the municipal fund for NGOs more effective. We found out that while Stara Zagora has a budget for Social NGOs, it has dropped from 100K to 30K because no one is applying for the funding. Why?


The requirements to access these funds are so tough that no NGO can benefit.


During our discussion, people suggested improvements to these requirements and planned a follow-up meeting to review and present these suggestions to the municipality.


Moving Forward Together

These three focused discussions brought together small groups of passionate people who shared their experiences, looked at the current situation, and came up with actionable steps to improve the city.



 It was a fantastic chance to gather people from Stara Zagora and talk about the topics that truly matter. Together, we can make a difference! ЗаВръщане в България 

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