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On 10 January 2018 Charge d'Affaires a.i. Mashudubele Mamabolo received 16 students from the Free State at the South African Embassy. They will study at the Agricultural University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Acting CSM Ms Christine Johnson also attended.

The students were accompanied by Mr P Thabethe, Head of the Department: Agriculture and Rural Development, Free State Provincial Administration and by Ms Kamogelo Kitsa, official from the Free State Provincial Administration.

On 25 October 2017, Ambassador Calvert met with representatives of the newly formed Bulgaria-South Africa Friendship Group in the Bulgarian Parliament. The most effective ways to expand bilateral relations between South Africa and Bulgaria were discussed during the meeting.
In the picture

(L-R bottom): Aleksandar Ivanov, MP  (Chairman of the group), Ambassador Vanessa  Calvert.

(L-R top): Nikolay Aleksandrov, MP, Adlen Shevked, MP, Mr M Mamabolo, Counsellor: Bilateral Affairs, at the South African Embassy, Mr Spas Panchev, MP.
International Mandela Day
The South African Mission once again celebrated International Mandela Day by undertaking 67 minutes of community service on the former President's birthday, 18 July. The 67 minutes symbolise 67 years of uninterrupted and selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world since Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942.

This year the Nelson Mandela International Day was observed under the theme Action Against Poverty and so the South African Embassy in Sofia used Mandela Day to intensify the fight against poverty. We requested the diplomatic missions in Sofia to observe Mandela's legacy by sending foodstuff to our Embassy, which we will donate to the poor region of Montana in Bulgaria.

Further to that, on Mandela Day, the staff of our Mission visited Father Ivan's orphanage in the village of Novi Han near Sofia. The orphanage shelters mainly young single mothers and their children who are homeless, jobless and have nowhere to go.

We were received by Father Ivan and about 20 children aged from 5 to 12 years. We shared beautiful moments with them by engaging in creative, educational activities. It was obvious that this interaction was not only enlightening for the children, but also brought them a lot of joy and excitement.

Our Mission's efforts to popularize Mandela Day in Bulgaria have borne fruit. It is with great pleasure that we came to know that a lady residing in the Bulgarian city of Rousse has launched an initiative to raise 8500 Bulgarian Leva within a period of 67 days for the purchase of a defibrillator for the Oncology clinic in Rousse.
Celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Bulgaria
The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Bulgaria in conjunction with  Sofia Municipality are exhibiting  "South Africa – Development, Culture, Economy, Nature" to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Bulgaria.

The exhibition aims to display South Africa's natural beauty, its cultural diversity, its history, the development of South Africa's economy. We trust that the exhibition will help the Bulgarian public gain more understanding about the Rainbow Nation, about South Africa's rich culture and traditions and infrastructural development.

The exhibition includes 60 photos on display at the Lovers' Bridge near the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in the heart of Sofia. It was opened on 17 July and will be on display until 31 July 2017.
Initiative of Ambassador Calvert
On initiative of Ambassador Calvert, the city council in the Bulgarian capital city Sofia has named a street in the Lozenets residential area after anti-apartheid hero, Nobel Prize winner and late South African President Nelson Mandela.

The municipal decision, taken on 27 April, was celebrated at a ceremony at the South African embassy.

At the ceremony, attended by representatives of Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, and by Lozenets mayor Lyubomir Drekov and a visiting South African delegation headed by Butana Komphela, MEC of Health in the Free State Province, a certificate of the street naming was handed to Ambassador Vanessa Calvert.

Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps were present amongst whom the Russian Ambassador, Ambassadors of the Africa Group, the Indonesian Ambassador, etc. Members of the South Africa-Bulgaria Friendship Forum and representatives of the Bulgarian mass media also attended the event.

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