Penka Petkova – Bulgaria 🇧🇬

My name is Penka Petkova. I graduated from the University of Ruse with a Master’s degree in Pre-school and Primary School Education in 1966. I was elected as a member of the Municipal Council and Chairman of the Committee on Education, Social Affairs, and Health in 2019. It is a great honor and responsibility for me to be a representative of the 21 pensioner clubs of the Union of Pensioners.

I am also the President of a Club of pensioners in Slivo Pole with 26 women from different ethnic groups. The pensioners try to preserve the cultural heritage of our homeland. They know how to keep what they have achieved with hard work and wisdom, and I feel the pulse of time through them. I am pleased to work as a leader of a folklore group because we participate in festivals where I
meet different people and cultures.

I learned about the Senior Award Program from Mrs. Veska Uzunova, the President of the Union of Pensioners. I liked the idea of ​​involving more elderly people in volunteering activities that would bring them into our Union and bring them satisfaction. The program motivated me to look for new areas and activities of volunteering to set an example for many other pensioners. I organized an exchange of recipes for dishes from six different ethnic groups of the Municipality and an exhibition for the local folklore festival. We distributed food to the elderly and sick during Kovid. For International Retirement Day, October 1, and for Christmas, we brought gifts and food from the Municipality of Slivo Pole to all members of the Union.

The municipality needed to afforest with poplars 20 acres of swampy seats. I joined this voluntary activity with 200 other adults, children, and parents. It was a great experience for me. I participated in the organization of hundreds of retirees to clean playgrounds in the initiative “Let’s clean Bulgaria in one day!”.

The idea to start a Skillful Hands Club came as a result of the visit to the University of the 3rd Age in Galati and the Union of Pensioners in Braila, Romania. Our delegation was led by Mr. Valentin Atanasov, the Mayor of the Slivo Pole Municipality.

Yes, of course, I will continue with the Senior Award Program! My work as a volunteer in my new areas and activities is very interesting and satisfying. Together we are constantly learning new things, and developing moral qualities such as tolerance, mutual aid, respect, indulgence, and gratitude. I think we are setting a good example for both adults and young people.