By Lili Valtcheva, YES Alumni Coordinator for Bulgaria
On the 22th of March, 2014, alumni from Bulgaria – Lili Valtcheva ’11 and Gabriella Veleva ’11- did their first Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) project. The project, Sports Day 2014, was done for a second time in Bulgaria. YES alumni did the project for a second year in order to build tradition and get more children involved in sports, healthy life and trying new things.
The project took place in Sofia in the sports hall of Levski basketball team–and without the help of the coaches it wouldn’t have worked out so well and been so successful!The project was partly funded by Alumni projects small grants (from the U.S. State Department) and partly through donations, volunteers and help from local people.
This event gave children, their parents, and the community at large more opportunities to learn about healthy, active lifestyles, and sports. All 70 kids, team leaders, coaches and approximately 20-30 parents enjoyed the event and gave a great feedback, and thanked us for all support and help we give to our community. The event was covered in local media and this enabled more and more people start to hear about projects done by alumni and their hard work.
Originally, the Sports Day project was started in order to show sports and give kids an opportunity to participate because nowadays playing outside, doing sports with other kids, and having the opportunity for good gym classes is a problem in Bulgaria. Alumni were concerned that the community wasn’t taking initiative to change that. After the success of the 2013 project, alumni from Bulgaria decided to repeat the project because many people and little kids showed interest. Again, sports were able to get people together, give them motivation, team spirit, and happiness which is important in kids growth.
We want to say thank you to all people who made this event possible and for all those who believed in and helped us.