Innovative youth projects in SofiaLab

Sofia Development Association took another small step towards green policies, sustainable development and digitalization by supporting the activities of two projects of the "Visionary Academy" - a format organized by Sofia Municipality and the Directorate of Sports and Youth Activities.

On September 25, 2021, with the support of Sofia Development Association, the first event of the youth organizations VODORASLO and Stolichna H2O, which are finalists in the first season of "Visionary academy", category "Ecology and Urban Environment", took place in SofiaLab . The team of the two projects consists of four young people, united by the desire to take a step towards a change in the quality of life of society.

The VODORASLO project focuses on indoor air quality through a DIY microalgae bioreactor kit. The aim is to democratize the device, which is reduced to an existential minimum, so that it is accessible to as many people as possible. An ocean in a jar.

The team presented VODORASLO, and the participants assembled 15 bioreactors at SofiaLab. Together, they discussed many issues related to air quality, plastic consumption, Sofia’s water resources, habits and how to have a lower carbon footprint.

VODORASLO distributed a total of 75 bioreactors to 25 high schools. Together with the help of the Sports and Youth Activities Directorate, they have been piloted in classrooms, with demonstrations of device assembly and maintenance being held in some classrooms.

The Stolichna H2O project reminds of the rich mineral resources in Sofia and in particular the fountains in the city. At the event, the digital map in the capital was updated through a volunteer action, which was held in person and online, as each volunteer noted in an online form the condition of the fountains in the areas for which there is no information.

The project also aims to use fewer plastic bottles by building a network of shops and commercial establishments that would pour water to visitors free of charge. The places where this can happen will be marked with a special Stolichna H2O sticker. The official website of the project will be operational by the end of October:, where you can find the digital map with the fountains in Sofia, a useful blog with articles on environmental issues, as well as interviews with experts. By combining efforts with the Fountains of Bulgaria and Zero Waste, the project aims to lower consumption of plastic.

The next steps of the project are aimed at expanding the network of enterprises, the ability to report different types of damages, as well as easier dialogue between citizens and regional municipal administrations.

The VODORASLO team will work on a second prototype by the end of 2021, based on feedback from all children, teachers, experts and project participants, while anticipating to make a larger event in spring of 2022, together with STOLICHA H2O, during which to present Bioreactor 2.0, a new volunteer action, discussion with experts in front of a wide audience and interesting games related to ecology.

Sofia Development Association will continue to support the activities of both projects.