Natalie

 

CVS-Bulgaria is a partner of the project “Magic in the Projects” (2018-3-LV02-KA105-002343). The main project activity was a training course that took place from 7 till 14 July 2019 in Latvia. We are happy to share the impressions of Nina Grueva and Boyan Michev that participated in the training for youth workers “Magic in the Projects”. The training is co-financed by Erasmus+ Program: Youth in Action.

Soon we will share more news about an event to be organized in the autumn on the topic of the training as well as a booklet “Project HOWs BOOK”, with the secrets of the magic in the projects.

Nina’s impressions

I was born and raised with the love for books and literature, and fairytales. And as fairytales are usually about magic, here is a fairytale I want to tell. 

Magic, we are told, comes out of nowhere; out of places you hardly expect it to – rabbits out of a hat, a Christmas tree with a few moves with a wizard’s wand, a cup of tea with just a click of your fingers. In my case, I made a few clicks with the mousepad of my laptop, and not long after I was on my way to the Erasmus + Training course called “Magic in the Projects” in Latvia. This was my first Erasmus+ experience ever, so you could imagine what I felt: a pinch of anxiety, a dip of uncertainty, a sparkle of curiosity whatsoever.

So this plane (or may be two) took me from Sofia, Bulgaria to Puduri, Kegums region in Latvia, where Ginta, Natalie and Liga were expecting 30 people from 10 different European countries, different cultures, different backgrounds, different well, everthing, except our mission – to see what is the secret behind a good project. And so, it began. Day by day, we were pointed to the direction of magic, but we were provoked to find it by ourselves and experience it in our own way, but at the same time all together. By Learning to learn, Learning by doing, Learning to be with others, we found where magic is, felt it and were encouraged to implement it immediately in our small projects during the course. 

So after a hardly summer-ish week in Latvia, rediscovering people and their abilities to create, to inspire and make you believe that you actually can (hug it out), I came back in Bulgaria ready to share what I have learned and discovered, ready to show that magic lies even in the things that you already know how to do, ready to contaminate with the Erasmus+ free spirit, open mind and heart, and meet you with the amazing and full-of-stories to tell people I met there.

I could keep on talking “Latvia and magic” and not finish this text any time soon, but if I have to actually sum it up in a few words, they would most probably be: 

A big THANK YOU to each and every one of you for the amazing time we spent and the unforgettable memories we created together. Thank you Ginta, Natalie and Liga, for giving us a new insight into what a magical project is! Thank you for guiding us through the way of planning, organizing, and making a project as memorable as this one. 

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Boyan’s story about the project

In the period between 7th and 14th July 2019 the Training course “Magic in the Projects” took place in Latvia. The project was realized due to the financial support of „Erasusm+ Programme“. The organizers from  Baltic Regional Fund  hosted their partners from nine other EU countries in the village of Puduri and the finale was put in the capital – Riga. The participants in the project were an ideal mix of youngsters without any  Erasmus+  experience and youth workers with many successful projects under their belts. The TC aimed the participants, guided by the well-prepared trainers from Latvia and Bulgaria, to exchange their previous experience with the Program, to share good practices and draw conclusions from previous mistakes as well in order to workout a formula of what makes a project true success and… really magical. The trainers had scheduled an intense pool of various activities and NFL methods, including discussions, games, team work, simulations etc., encouraging creativity and inventiveness in solving different cases. The team spirit of the participants was strengthened not without challenges that put them out of the comfort zone in order to test their own firmness, flexibility and potential to work under stress. The hard work throughout the days quickened the communication, sharing and partner networking for future magical projects. The camp fire and drum circle were just an alternative place and tool for team-building. Another demonstration of the balanced and detail-driven program was the special surprise by the organizers for all the participants: the incredible festivity for the senses at the multimedia exhibition  „The Great Modernists – from Monet to Kandinsky“  in Riga’s Old Town.

After a week in Latvia’s countryside, clear air and on Daugava’s banks – an ideal atmosphere for harmony and truly devotion to activities, I can conclude that the recipe for the Magic in the Projects lays within the perfect preparation and dedication, persevering hard work and positive attitude toward all team members, because only then our common efforts make sense and produce good results.

And the training in pictures

Arrival day
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

 Posted by Natalie at 10:20 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Magic in the Projects
 

From 24 June to 1 August 2016 in Mladinski center Krsko, in Slovenia, the EVS short-term group project “EVS VOLUNTEERS IN ACTION” took place. It gathered 24 volunteers from 6 countries and the main aim was to promote EVS as an opportunity for young people and celebrate 20-year anniversary of EVS. CVS-Bulgaria was the sending organization of two Bulgarian volunteers – Asen Dzhugdanov and Tsvetan Iliev.

Erasmus+

The project is financed under the Erasmus+ Program.

Enjoy the stories of Asen and Tsvetan! 🙂

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What to do when an EVS opportunity comes up?

by Tsvetan

The simple answer is – go for it. Do not overthink it, because if you go, chances are you will love it. But before jumping to conclusions, let’s follow my story with EVS and the project in Slovenia which I attended.

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Tsvetan

My name is Tsvetan Iliev and I am a 29 years old Bulgarian. I learned about the Erasmus+ programme just a few months ago and immediately decided to go on a project while I still can. So I am not the typical EVS volunteer. Not only did I learn about these opportunities quite late, but I also had a full time engineering job when I started looking for a project and had already completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies quite some time ago. This is as opposed to the majority of volunteers that I’ve met – recent high school graduates, university students, recent graduates, or youths with no stable careers yet. Anyway not willing to make any huge gaps in my CV (because volunteering may be a great addition to some people’s resumes, but let’s be honest – engineering managers don’t care about it too much) I found myself a nice, short project in Slovenia and towards the end of June 2016 I ended up in the small town of Krsko.

The project I joined was a 40 days EVS for 24 volunteers and our goal was to organise a few sports events for the local youths and to spread the word about Erasmus+ (that’s what I’m doing now, right?). So upon arrival we were welcomed to Krsko’s youth hostel, which was where the local sending organisation was based. Anyway to keep things short – people started to arrive and soon we had 24 people aged between 18 and 29 from six different countries creating some very positive vibes in the old building, which I would expect is a bit boring and empty when there are no volunteers staying there.

Now the thing is that our voluntary service was definitely not only work (actually there was very little work involved).Well yes, we were kept busy, but a lot of it was to created bonds between us – the volunteers. For instance, our first organised event was participating in some local, village games. This was a fun experience and by the end of the day we already knew the names of all of our fellow volunteers and we were already starting to feel like some sort of a small community.

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Pictures from the Village Games

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Pictures from the Village Games

We had good fun on daily bases too – from going to the swimming pool, to visiting a castle in a nearby village (also going to their youth centre), going on picnics, and tons of other activities. I would say that most of it was like one huge teambuilding, which prepares you to work well with your team and create  a good end product – this being the sport activities in our case.

At Sevnica’s Castle

At Sevnica’s Castle

Having a short lecture in Krsko’s nuclear power plant

Having a short lecture in Krsko’s nuclear power plant

 

So this whole thing culminated in three sports events – a sport event in the park, a sport event at the swimming pool, and a sport event for people with disabilities. However I have to say that the success of the whole EVS was not making these sport events happen – it was turning all these people from across Europe into friends. That’s what Erasmus+ is all about.

A short rest during a long hike

A short rest during a long hike

And me? I am very happy that I took a break from my nine to five job. It was refreshing, it was fun and I now recommend EVS to every single one of my friends and especially to the ones feeling a bit lost in their plans and desires about the future.

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EVS as a life-changing experience 

by Asen

Asen and the other volunteers

Asen and the other volunteers

Without exaggerating, I could easily say that it was a life – changing experience. Personally, it was my first time going abroad for such a long time, and even more, on my own. So, that was a huge step for me, which I was not sure if I wanted to take, but I decided that I shouldn’t miss the opportunity.

And I’m glad I didn’t.

All together

All together

In Krsko I had the chance to meet people from six different countries and spend 40 days with them. Therefore, I was able to get an insight on each one’s culture and develop my English skills, as well as learning a bit of Spanish. We were also involved in a large variety of sports activities, some of which include canoe – kayaking, organizing games for people with disabilities, pool games and so on. Also, we used our free time to travel to some beautiful places such as Trieste and Ljubljana. Probably, though, the most important part for me was learning to live on my own. I was able to learn how to cook, do the washing – up and effectively learn to manage my time and money.

That being said, I believe that EVS is a great prospect for every young person, looking to make a change in his life.

 

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 Posted by Natalie at 12:18 Volunteer activities Comments Off on What to do when an EVS opportunity comes up?
 

Our EVS volunteer Aleksandar Yordanov participated in the project Youth for future, that took place in Romania from 1 October 2015 till 30 April 2016.  The hosting and coordinating organization of the project was Asociatia Tineret pentru Dezvoltare Durabila, and CVS-Bulgaria was the sending organization of the Bulgarian volunteer.  

Erasmus+

The project is financed under the Erasmus+ Program.

Enjoy the pictures and VIDEO of the EVS story “Youth for future” in Romania.

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The current education system in Romania faces a lack of practical skills to be transferred to students from small ages. Most of the teaching methods are based on theory and big amounts of information, thus the students reach the point to have a serious lack of practical key competences, which are essential for personal development since early ages. The civil society and NGOs have an important role in trying to sustain the young people since early ages, in order to implement complementary methods of non-formal and informal education, in order to sustain the development of individuals.

In order to create an entrepreneurship environment for children aged 5-10 from Romania, Asociatia Tineret pentru Dezvoltare Durabila implemented an EVS program, where 6 volunteers from Spain, Bulgaria and Italy were working for 7 months with children in schools. The project “Youth for future” proposed a different approach for the work of youth in the field of volunteering using non-formal education. We aimed to create the impact for participants and the local youngsters as the activities were implemented to multiply the concept and the activities experienced in all the communities of the partners, so we could integrate the concept in a mainstream for youth work, with a lot of visibility and participation of the community.

The main objectives of the EVS stage were:

  1.  Development of entrepreneurial skills, cultural skills, communication in a foreign language, social and digital competences for volunteers and young people using means of non-formal education.
  2.  Development of the “Small Entrepreneur Interactive Guide”.
  3.  Creation of a large-scale network with the role of a meeting point for young people, volunteers, NGOs, youth workers, etc
  4.  Implementation of youth events with young people from Bucharest.

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 Posted by Natalie at 15:28 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Experiencing EVS – Youth for future in Romania