Bulgaria is one of the 26 Member States of the EU (without Ireland and the United Kingdom), which are bound by the Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals. Article 8 (6) of the Directive introduces an obligation for all member states to create an effective system for forced return monitoring.

Closing event

As a contribution to the fulfilment of this obligation for Bulgaria, on 19th December 2018 the Center for the Study of Democracy and CVS-Bulgaria organized a final expert meeting, part of a national initiative for developing and implementing unified standards for forced return monitoring, realized with the financial support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, co-financed by the European Union.

During the meeting, the Center for the Study of Democracy presented a guidebook with standards for forced return monitoring in Bulgaria. The guidebook was developed based on an exhaustive desk research on European and national regulations in the field, expert interviews and a visit for exchange of experience and good practices in Vienna, Austria. The standards were then put to practice by experts from CVS-Bulgaria and the Center for the Study of Democracy, who took part as monitors in forced return operations, executed by the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria. Following their practical testing and using the experience gathered from the field work, the standards were finalized and presented for discussion in front of specialists in the field of migration and forced return. Mr. Hristo Atanasov, Chief Expert in the National Preventive Mechanism and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms Directorate within the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria joined the first part of the event by presenting the experience of the Ombudsman institution in the field.

Mila Mancheva, Katerina Stoyanova and Hristo Atanasov

In the second part of the meeting recommendations were made and discussed on how to develop the regulatory framework as well as how to set up a national mechanism for forced return monitoring in Bulgaria. The event was attended by participants from 3 Directorates within the Ministry of Interior – Migration, International Projects and European Union and international cooperation, the National Preventive Mechanism and basic human rights and freedoms Directorate within the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, UNHCR, Foundation for access to rights – FAR, Center for legal aid “Voice in Bulgaria”, who participated actively in the discussion.

Presentation of Mila Mancheva, Director, Sociological program, Centre for the Study of Democracy (only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 661 KB)

Presentation of Liliya Dragoeva, Analyst, Sociological program, Centre for the Study of Democracy (only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 493 KB)

Information brochure about the framework of forced return monitoring (only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 542 KB)

Information brochure for escorts in Bulgaria (only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 508 KB)

Information brochure for returnees (only in Bulgarian, Adobe PDF, 546 KB)

This initiative is implemented with the financial support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, co-financed by the European Union

 Posted by Shirin at 13:22 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Unified Standards for Forced Return Monitoring in Bulgaria

Judytha Kuc, Poland

Judyta, Valentina, Sofia and Ioannis enjoying the first evening of the training

Judyta, Valnetina, Sofia and Ioannis enjoying the first evening of the training

“First of all I need to say, that I feel grateful from A to Z that I could participate in the training prepared by CVS-Bulgaria. It gives me the positive creeps when I think about all of this beautiful and inspiring young activists, who came to Sofia from more than 12 countries of the world to gain the knowledge with.
It was the first training like this in my whole life.
During 6 days of the training I explored a lot about Human Rights, Migration, Refugees, NGOs, problem of racism and hate speech.
In short words, I gained lots of knowledge passed on by very well educated and inspiring people, and what’s more – in the wonderful atmosphere.
It was like a big injunction which gave me lots of new skills, ideas and energy to work for the peace in the world.
I fell in love with SCI, CVS – Bulgaria and I would love to volunteer with you and fight for the peace in the world. I understood that hope is not the strategy. This is time to be active.
I am ready to lead the workshops in my local communities and I do hope that one day I will become an inspiration for someone like CVS-Bulgaria become one for me.
Thank you from A to Z to Kat, Nat, Shirin and all the participants. You will stay in my mind forever. ”

Laura Gottlob, Germany

Laura and Lemonia signing for the study visits

Laura and Lemonia signing for the study visits

Human Rights from A to Z was my first training course with international people and I’m impressed how much one week can extend not only my personal point of view, but also improve my professional skills.
social, linguistic and communication skills are important pillars in my work as a pedagogue. I won’t only include the knowledge about Human Rights and forced migration in my daily work, I will also use the ability to understand different cultures and individuals, which can only be trained in an exchange with others for example in this training course. I established contacts from different professions which extended my network and also my personal horizon. Furthermore I got the chance to consider more opinions in my future decisions.
Working and also living with people for a week is an intense time. You get to know each other pretty well in a short amount of time. This provides a well organized program and interested people.
During this course I had both. The organizers made a facility full of different people a home for one week. They gave us methods and impulses which we can use for ourselves. At the same time we were always motivated to share and talk. One consequence was that we became friends quickly and the contacts we established will stay for sure.
We are all sharing somehow the same interests and came together. This is a fact that I will search in other courses. We are different, so we can exchange, but we are all coming for quiet the same topic. We are motivated to change something and we believe that a single voice matters.
Getting in contact with ambitious and interested people gave me more motivation in my future profession, even changed my point of view in certain topics. These exchange should be obligatory for any social field and profession, because this is not a skill you can teach behind a desk.
CVS-Bulgaria did a great job. They organized this course well, while staying flexibel about our needs. The daily evaluation gave us the space to include our opinions during the week and the variation of methods was interesting and motivational, so we were concentrated even at the end of the day. After this course I learned new methods that I can use for myself in the future.
I can highly recommend CVS-Bulgaria as a great organizer and hope to work with them one day again. This course is a great example for giving young people room for sharing and development. Also I am very thankful for the opportunity of meeting people with different backgrounds in this contexts. I will definitely apply for more projects.
All in all after gaining kilos and knowledge I came back to my normal life, job etc. and still hear the ‚ciao Bella‘ in my head in the morning and use my mug for my daily tea. These little things will stay and made me smile every day.
Thanks Kat, Nat and Shirin. You’re amazing!

Ines Vasquez, Portugal

Ines promoting the training logo

Ines promoting the training logo

My body landed yesterday in Lisbon but I still have my head in Sofia. To bring these two dimensions of my being together, I wrote my thoughts on the training:
It is difficult to break physical boundaries as mental barriers.
This was the major objective achieved in this training course, which was able to bring together pertinent themes to understand the urgent issue of refugees and forced migration under the lens of human rights, and how 30 young people can be active in these issues.
This was not my first training but it was one of the best in terms of results and approaches to the subject. For those who have worked within the area of human rights, knows that it is not an easy subject to make it understandable, since there is still a lot of lack of reflection on how a humanitarian crisis (and consequently of values) affects us and those who are all around us.
In this sense, the approach that was chosen during the course was to seek the creativity allied to concrete actions (such as the human library and field visits) to give shape to new ideas that can be realized in my local context and gave me the opportunity to expand knowledge and experiences. It is important to emphasize that in order to understand how human rights are applied in concrete fields, we must learn and understand legal processes, entities and terms. Once again, this course has the ability to synthesize so that anyone has an understanding and framework of what is done at a European level. This training has won a lot due the generous sharing of all the people, which for me was the great value and that I intend to apply in future projects. we all have to learn and we also have a lot to give. This was also possible due to the quality of the mentoring that took place during the process from start to finish and also the work done by all the groups before going to training.I am deeply grateful to all the people and the organization and to the place that received us. Obrigada CVS-Bulgaria, Mers? Kat, Nat, and Shirin and I hope I can share with the same passion what I learned and bring it to Portugal.

Mila Gencheva, Bulgaria

Mila participating actively in the get to know each other game with Leslie, Kristina, Ines and Ruben

Mila participating actively in the get to know each other game with Leslie, Kristina, Ines and Ruben

‘Human Rights from A to Z’ was my first training course on the topic, and because it was such an amazing experience, it won’t be my last.
Among others, here are my highlights of the seven days:
1. The training – the thorough selection of various topics – Human rights, forced migration, insights of the situation throughout Europe and in Bulgaria itself, ways to make a difference and change how society sees refugees – have given us the chance to acquire knowledge of the broader picture and come up with specific steps towards a better understanding of how to be humans again. The Human Library experience was one of a kind and sets an example how learning should be viewed as a process that reaches beyond the confines of a classroom.
2. Organization and trainers – the lecturers in the course were immaculate, both as trainers and as mediators during the open discussions. The balance between ready-made information and knowledge that derived from just talking to people was perfect.
3. Venue – I cannot imagine a better setting for the course. Accomodation, training hall, the proximity of the city- it all had an impact on the smooth flow the course had as a whole.
4. People – last but not least, meeting great like-minded people from all around, well the Globe in fact, was a truly inspiring experience. The learning process went on not only in the hall, but at lunchtime, over a beer at the campfire, while going to bed still sleepily sharing stories with the roommates.
For all of the above, and still some more, thank you all 🙂 Kat, Nat and Shirin, you are an amazing team and we were lucky to be part of this.

Lemonia Lange, Austria

Lamonia and Olivia reading a book at Human library event:Humans from A to Z Photo credit: Bewar Mossa

Lamonia and Olivia reading a book at Human library event:Humans from A to Z
Photo credit: Bewar Mossa

I recently participated in the Eramus+ training course „Human Rights from A to Z“. Right from the beginning, when I first read about the call for participants, I immediately felt very enthusiastic and motivated to take part in this seminar. The reason for this is that I always felt that Human Rights are one of the most essential and valuable achievements our global society has created so far. However, I am convinced, that there is much greater potential to share and promote those rights within our communities, but I simply didn’t know where to start. I therefore felt very grateful, when I finally got accepted for the training course.

The course took place in the Red Cross training center near Sofia in Bulgaria and lasted for 6 days in total. It was hosted and organized by CVS Bulgaria. I have never participated in such a training course before. I therefore arrived like a blank page, excited for what to come. Already after a short time, when all the other 33 participants from different European countries one after another arrived, I felt the friendly and open-minded atmosphere right away.

The first two sessions were dedicated to get to know each other. Kat, Nat and Shirin, the organizers of the event, prepared everything with a lovingly and thoughtfully talent. The following two days we mainly concentrated on a theoretical elaboration on the topic of Human Rights. We further discussed the meaning of stereotypes and prejudices, the Dublin agreement, hate speech, islamophobia, other forms of discrimination and we also analyzed specific cases of Human Rights violations. We then embedded our acquired insights into the topic of forced migration in Bulgaria. In this context, we looked at the political framework and developed a deeper insight of what asylum seekers have to go threw. Thanks to the two guest speakers from the Red Cross and UNHCR, which kindly shared their knowledge with us, we received a more accurate impression based on practical examples and specific figures.

In a further session we presented the situations of refugees and asylum seekers of our countries of origin. Being originally from Germany, I knew surprisingly little about the refugee situation in other European countries. For me, this was therefore one of the most interesting parts of the seminar.

On another day, we had the great possibility to visit several local and international NGO’s. During these field visits, we were able to choose between a wide range of organizations, which surely wasn’t easy since they apparently are all doing a very meaningful job. The first NGO I visited was the “Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria”. The members of this organization provided us with an overview of their work, which is mainly dedicated to promote the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant through legal aid and advocacy as well as awareness raising campaigns on the topics of asylum, migration and integration. We later visited the “St. Anna Center for Refugee and Migrant Integration”, which is part of Caritas Sofia. We there achieved an insight on the different activities on integration assistance. We also had the great chance to shortly attend in a language course, in which we learned how to present ourselves in Bulgarian. What I found very interesting in this context is, that the teachers use the so-called “Suggestopedia Method”, a pedagogical concept which I’ve never heard of but which seems to have high potential.

I also gained a variety of practical skills, including for example non-formal education methods or the general framework and necessary considerations for implementing a Human Library, which I am planning to start soon in Vienna together with the team of my sending organization SCI Austria.

I am highly convinced that this was just the beginning. It felt like a real blessing to meet so many people from different countries, who share the relevance of the topic and the motivation for change. Considering the fact that we constantly continued our discussions on the topics of Human Rights and forced migration within the several breaks we had, perfectly proves, that the members of our group were all like-minded people who are very engaged within this relevant topic. I must confess that I sometimes feel devastated within my studies of International Development. Every day I am reading about unpleasant issues, global inequalities, politics and societies dangerously drifting to the radical-right as well as dramatic cases of Human Rights violations. And the majority doesn’t seem to care. This seminar, however, has shown me, that there are many ambitious people who – with their heart and their soul – are eager and motivated to make a difference and to take on new challenges to attain a positive impact, which our world needs so urgently.

Together we can make it!

I am looking forward to participating in many more meaningful seminars, just like I am trying my best to spread my gained insights also within my community in Vienna. Thanks again Shirin, Nat und Kat, for making this unique experience to one I will never forget.

Leslie NG Shuk Shan, United Kingdom

Leslie and the reminder to herself :-)

Leslie and the reminder to herself 🙂

My fellow participants love the human library, so do I. Yet, for me, it was not merely the event on 4/11 in Sofia, but the whole training itself. The organisers/trainers (CVS-Bulgaria, Nat, Kat and Shirin) and the other 31 participants from 12 countries are all storytellers who have inspired me with their experience, knowledge, expertise and insights. Listening to them was such a delight. A few shared with me their personal experience as migrants; some told me about their aspiration to make the world a better place; and all impressed me with their passion in voluntary work. The issues of human rights and forced migration are philosophical, political and at times controversial, intertwining social, cultural, legal and economic factors. Our amazing trainers managed to articulate the key terminology and facilitate discussion among us, so that we could grasp the gist of the topics. Through case studies, group discussion, guest talk and field visits, we explored different contexts of human rights/forced migration and came up with ideas and projects to tackle the issues. I have always struggled to put what I have learnt at school into practice. This down-to-earth training was perfectly organised to fill the gap of theories and actual work. Furthermore, Nat and Kat have demonstrated the desirable qualities of a good trainer. They are patient, passionate and empathetic. I see them as my role models and I hope I could also be an inspiring trainer when I conduct my own workshops or trainings.

I was especially enlightened by the field visits to local and international NGOs in Bulgaria. In the morning of Day 5 (5/11), some of us visited the Centre for Legal Aid “Voice in Bulgaria”, an NGO providing general and legal aid and advice to asylum seekers and refugees. I learnt that the “success rate” in litigation is low and advocacy is difficult, thanks to hate speech, state-controlled media and a right-wing government. I could sense the frustration in her voice but she also struck me as a determined individual with a never-give-up attitude. Another volunteer said to us, “You don’t need to be a big NGO to make a difference.” It was definitely an encouragement for me. Whenever people tell me “you have to be the change you want to be”, I hesitate how. Who do I think I am? Yet, the devoted volunteers of this NGO and all my fellow participants have motivated me to get out of my comfort zone. Start small, think clearly, network with like-minded people and act. It’s not easy to walk alone, but as many of my fellows have noted, together we can make a difference.

On the last day of the training, we were asked to pick a picture or two that described our feelings. I picked “The problem does not resolve itself” as a reminder for myself. I can still remember on the first night I landed in Sofia, before the training started, I was asked, “how do you end up here?” It does not matter how I ended up in the lovely campsite of Dolni Lozen, but how I will “end up” with the knowledge and experience of this training.

The project “Human Rights from A to Z”, 2018-2-BG01-KA105-048219 is supported by Erasmus+, under KA1, Youth workers mobility
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 Posted by Shirin at 14:28 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Letters from the participants in training course Human Rights from A to Z


This training course took place from 1st till 7th November in the Red Cross base in the village of Dolni Lozen near Sofia. 34 participants including the trainers took part in it and for the whole week they enjoyed a good weather, the peaceful venue, the intense discussions on the topic of human rights and forced migration, the sharing of personal and professional experiences amongst each other, the stories from the guest lectors, the power of Human library as readers, one of the participants even volunteered to be a book, the meetings with the local NGOs which work on raising awareness or directly with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, the only earthquake simulator on the Balkans, a campfire evening, international sweets and salty coffee breaks, Bulgarian cuisine and wine, and the overall great atmosphere that was created and everyone contributed to it.

After arrival on the very first day there was not a second waste to start the games for getting to know each other. And because the topic is so important and makes connections in so many levels, by working in small groups the program touched the surfаce based on the personal experiences and the participants created some human rights crossword puzzles.

On the second day of the training “Human Rights from A to Z” the group was already bonded and the strong sides of each of the participants become more visible. Orientation about the objectives of the program and the motivation that connects everyone in the room were expressed. Thanks to the good weather the group walked the talk … or was it talk the walk?! and during this day the key to knowledge sessions took over to find the key terms, concepts and evolution of human rights. To keep the good spirits in the end of the day the group created outdoor “campfire therapy”, also thanks to the hosts at the venue of the Red Cross Training Center in Dolni Lozen to let us do it.

Walk the talk or talk the walk

Walk the talk or talk the walk

On the third day of the training course the participants walked the journey of the refugees, discussed the human rights violations and protection mechanisms by international laws and doctrines. This session was followed by the reality stories from the expert guests Vladimir Panov and Lora Milanova from Bulgaria, who work on the field for many years now and were able to share the main challenges between the theory and practice for the refugees and for the people who work with them. Many examples and true stories were told. The day was hard and long, but the group saved some energy and stayed positive.

Smiling people

Smiling people

Smiling people

Smiling people

Smiling people

Smiling people

More smiling people

More smiling people

The fourth day started with presentations from the participants for the local realities, a homework that was given to them before arriving to the training and a homework very well prepared and presented by all the groups. The day continued with session on hate speech, where a lot of negative examples for hate speech from the different countries and different levels of influence – politics, media, social life were visualised and discussed. Common specifics in the methods that the hate speech works were spotted. Positive examples were coming mostly from the NGO sector. The cherry top of the day was the Human library event that was organized at Cinema House in Sofia city center and the group of participants were invited and joined this amazing event to read the books collected in this edition of Human library: Humans from A to Z (photo gallery here). Nico, a participant presenting a Spanish partner in this project and who was born in Equatorial Guinea, volunteered and joined the event as a book. The feedback from the evening was very powerful and participants shared that it has been very inspirational and personal highlight moment for them.

The next day continued with the inspiration and sharing ideas from the real life with meetings organized with the representatives of different NGOs in Bulgaria and the study visits took most of the day. In small groups the participants met Center for Legal Aid “Voice in Bulgaria” , UNHCR Bulgaria, Caritas Sofia, IOM Bulgaria, Lumos, Български Червен кръст (Bulgarian Red Cross).

Sharing best practices in organising events

Sharing best practices in organising events

The last full day of the program was focused on the practicalities and how to organize an event back home. The participants were partnered by a country of representation and brainstormed ideas on future local activities to organize at home. They had the tools and the support to plan an event and we can not wait to hear more about it when implemented, because the ideas are really amazing, achievable and powerful.
The evening was dedicated to farewell party and giving away the very well deserved Youthpass certificates to all participants.

Departure day was set for 7th of November after lunch. The morning was full of gratitude amongst participants, but also towards themselves and during the evaluation session they all shared the satisfaction of learning so many things about the human rights, forced migration and the realities on the topic, but also they experienced changes of personal attitudes, expansion of personal point of views and realization of what their mission will be and readiness to be stronger defenders of the human rights when they go back home.

The program

The program

The earthquake simulator

The earthquake simulator

The people

The people

The space

The space

The newsroom

The newsroom

The letters

The letters

Overall the days were also full of morning breaking news – briefing the group what happened the day before, the evening gatherings in “family” groups for reflection of the day, writing letters to the trainers, but also between each other, keeping the good vibes with playing music and games in the evenings and most of all taking care for and respecting each other!



We, the organisers of this training, have no words to describe the diversity and the energy of the participants. Each one of them chose to apply and gave us the opportunity to host them and create such a colourful palette of humans from A to Z, full of potential and perspectives to volunteer for Peace and volunteer for Human Rights!

With their permission we share what they wrote to us the week after the training was over!

The project “Human Rights from A to Z”, 2018-2-BG01-KA105-048219 is supported by Erasmus+, under KA1, Youth workers mobility
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 Posted by Shirin at 13:57 Volunteer news Comments Off on Training course Human Rights from A to Z


About the hosting organization

Servizio Civile Internazionale (SCI Italia) is the Italian branch of Service Civil International network (SCI), international voluntary movement present in more than 80 countries around the world. For almost 100 years it’s been promoting international voluntary projects on the themes of peace and disarmament, conscientious objection, human rights and international solidarity, sustainable lifestyles, social inclusion and active citizenship. At the base there is a concrete commitment to change situations of inequality, injustice and violation of human rights.
SCI Italia, founded in 1948, is an NGO recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Advisory Member of UNESCO and the Council of Europe. It is based in Rome and is supported by several regional and local groups of activists. Regional and local groups deal with training activities and the promotion of volunteering in various Italian regions,
supporting the work of the National Secretariat. In Rome, San Paolo neighborhood, SCI Italia has been carrying out “La Citt? dell’Utopia” project since 2003, which plays a significant role at local and international level.
During its existence, SCI Italia has sent and received thousands of volunteers, contributing significantly to the dissemination of both practices and values of international volunteering in Italy. Every year about 300 Italian volunteers leave through our association for international voluntary projects all over the world; we also organize more than 30 international voluntary workcamps a year in Italy that host more than 250 international volunteers, thus contributing to the development of social activities, environmental protection and historical-cultural activities. SCI Italia is also coordinating, hosting and sending organization for European Voluntary Service (EVS) projects since 1997, and implements several international projects thanks to the Erasmus+ programme and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

Profile of volunteers

– have good command of English
– have good command of Italian
– be able to work in a team
– have good communication skills and motivation to cooperate with colleagues and SCI Italia’s activists
– have good educational and social skills, to be able to work with several target groups
– motivated to learn and share knowledge and skills
– have good computer skills (Ubuntu or Microsoft Office, email, internet)
– have a responsible attitude and take initiative towards her/his tasks
– have administrative and organizational skills
– open mind and flexible attitude towards working hours, especially between May-July

Project activities

Start: 01.11.2018
End: 31.10.2019
– process workcamps applications of volunteers via SCI Online Placement System (OPS) at
– support the organization of public events related to volunteering and active citizenship
– support the dissemination of SCI Italia’s activities and campaigns
– take part to SCI Italia’s trainings for workcamp coordinators
– keep in contact with workcamp coordinators
– coordinate 1-2 workcamps
– support the process of workcamps’ evaluation
– look after Italian long-term volunteers engaged in EVS projects abroad
– assistance in designing promotional material or online communication -related tasks
Project language: English, Italian
Local language: Italian
Pocket money, food and transport allowance: 300 €
Travel costs: covered according Erasmus+ funding rules
Lodging: La Citt? dell’Utopia, double shared room in a flat with other international volunteers

Application procedure

Send your CV and motivation letter in English. Your motivation letter should answer the following questions:
– Why did you choose SCI Italia and this particular project?
– What do you expect to learn and experience during your EVS?
– What can you bring to the work of SCI Italia?
The deadline for applying is 10.09.2018. Please send your application to Natalia at

 Posted by Shirin at 16:25 EVS news Comments Off on EVS in SCI Italy National Secretariat

Background and aims of the seminar:
SCI Madrid and the Trainers will host the seminar in Madrid, Spain, between 4th and 10th October 2018.
In total, we will be 25 participants from 12 partners: Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Russia, Spain and Ukraine.
The seminar will consist of five working days, in which methods, knowledge, experiences, approaches and ideas will be shared and the overall concepts of how to promote the visibility of homelessness in European society through local and international volunteering.
We wish to give the space to exchange how to do good preparation for volunteers and workers based on the human rights approach and focused on the autonomy and dignity of people, using volunteerism as a way to promote the visibility of homelessness in European society.

Profile of the participants:
Participants should be staff or volunteers responsible for preparation seminars and/or Homeless-related programs in your organisation, such as:
– Volunteers and workers involved in Homelessness issues in their organizations.
– Activists and workers involved in the selection and preparation of volunteers to work with Homeless People.
– Young participants with a strong interest in homeless people issues. And the implication of prejudices and stereotypes towards this group with the willingness to get involved with their sending organization to participate actively in getting a multiplier effect of what worked during the seminar in their locality of origin.
– Activists and workers involved in local volunteer projects.
– Trainers and experts in the field of training on Homeless People, Human Rights, prejudices and stereotypes or volunteering.
– Participants willing to act as photographers, journalists, etc. with the aim of increasing the visibility of the project.

In terms of selection, participants will be selected on the basis of their motivation and ability to act as multipliers.

The selected participants need to be activists and volunteers with a strong interest in Homeless People issues, plus they need to be ready to share with their sending organisations the outcomes of the seminar and promote these.

There will be no participation fee.
Activities costs, insurance, food and accommodation will be covered from the project budget, as well as travel costs in lines with rules and conditions of Erasmus+ programmе.

Contacts and deadlines:
Please download the application form, fill it in and send it to latest the 5th of August.

 Posted by Shirin at 18:26 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Overcoming invisible barriers: Volunteering with homeless


Project Start: September 1st, 2018

Project End: August 31st, 2019

Project summary:

The MJC is a nonprofit organization , we promote a non formal education. Our main goal is the development of active citizenship for young people and adults through the implementation of social and cultural activities ,including entering into the fields of leisure, recreation and sports. Education and prevention.

We have many projects for a diversified public: children, young people and adults, we have different actions with educational, cultural or social aims. We have several educational activities for migrants ( lessons in French, promoting social and professional inclusion) . Our goal is to fight against exclusions. We work with the school to help students in their formal educational work and connect teachers and family – parenthood – and we organize cultural actions for families with fewer opportunities. We also work with young people, we organize many actions of support to their projects and the valorization of their initiatives and we support the engagement of the young people in the local action. We have important experience in the field of youth work and assist many young people in very different projects: social, cultural, educational and professional. Most of our actions concern the engagement of young people and we support them in their process of autonomy.

 Volunteer Tasks:

 The EVS volunteers could be involved in many project in the MJC including social, educational and cultural activities

  • Migrants program: French classes, cultural workshops and visits, social escorting
  • Leasure activities for children and teenagers during holidays or after school
  • Events: «Village des Sciences» (event promoting the discovery of Science), intercultural week, «Village des Associations» (event promoting local civil society), sustainable development week, initiative and citizenship week, International Volunteers day
  • Multimedia lab: access to Internet, office and video traineeship, games workshop, mobile computers, Web TV
  • Scientific, technological and environmental activities for children and young people: CNRS club, «small scientific» club, scientific or environmental animations within school or youth groups, organization of youth workshops
  • Support for the local civil society and development of initiative amongst the young people: help and advice for organization, training
  • School coaching: for children from the first year of kindergarten through primary and secondary school : help with homework, cultural and pedagogical workshops, introduction to English, educational outings and visits. Training, meeting and exchange days for the school coaches of the district. For families: links with the school establishments and familial outings
  • Web TV and video workshops
  • Administrative tasks as communication (flyers, advertisements, etc.)
  • Volunteers will be provided with French classes up to 4 hours per week during the project


Profile of volunteers:

  •  Willingness to work on the subject of migration and with young people
  • Willingness to be actively involved in the project and in the community
  • Personal motivation and positive spirit
  • Personal contribution to the project – ideas and proposals for activities and enrichment of the project
  • Flexibility, readiness to work as part of the team / group
  • Desire to learn new things
  • Easily adaptable, sociable
  • Basic knowledge of French is recommended, but not mandatory



Elbeuf is a small town near Rouen, the center of the Normandy region. The MJC Youth and Cultural Center works in an area where approximately 50,000 people live.

Accommodation will be in an apartment, with volunteers sharing a dormitory with a maximum of one other volunteer. The apartment has common living and kitchen areas. Volunteers will be able to prepare meals by providing 7 euros per day for food. MJC interns will also be accommodated in the facility, which will encourage contacts with the French youth. The accommodation will be a reasonable distance from the center of the MJC, provided a monthly travel card throughout the Rouen Normandy metropolis, as they will have access to entertainment, shopping, leisure facilities or sports. Individual support: 180 € per month.

Deadline for applications:

As soon as possible up to June 30th, 2018


You can look at the organization’s website:

Send CV and a motivational letter explaining which topic is most interesting to you and would like to emphasize during the project. Send the documents to

If you have any questions or need for additional information, Natalia from our team will assist you. Her email is

 Posted by Shirin at 11:43 EVS news Comments Off on Spend a year in Normandy as an EVS volunteer
Jun 122018

Contemporary societies, due to the immense interconnections existing and the increase of the mobility of people (voluntary or not, permanent or temporary), are characterized by cultural diversity and pluralism. This implies that the world experiences new phenomena in which the defense of identities, nationalism, the demands of social movements, the claim of cultural rights, etc. are mixed. For this reason, The purpose of this exchange is to contribute to overcome these challenges through the analysis of cultural diversity in order to exchange experiences and knowledge, discovering their links and facing t1_DwVgXzeIjBjn2OxBCjPglwogether the challenges it poses. All this from the need to develop a vision of cultural diversity that considers that diversity as a source of wealth and indispensable part of the solution and not as the source of the problems it faces.

That is why, thanks to this youth exchange we would like:

  • To promote the culture of dialogue, understanding and respect for the construction of a more diverse and inclusive society.
  • To emphasize the importance of cultural diversity in today’s society and its relation to common European values.
  • To encourage personal growth and the development of key competencies among participants, especially those with fewer opportunities, through positive interaction with differences and active participation

 When is it happening?

Arrival day – 13 July 2018

Departure day – 20 July 2018

Where is it happening?


The project will be held in Illora, a small town in province of Granada, Spain. The participants will be accommodated in the classrooms of a local school. Up to 8 or 9 participants in a room. There will be no mixed accommodation. Mattresses will be provided, but remember to bring your own linens. The bathrooms are located in a separate building, where the school gym is.

What activities will be happening?

  • Each group will have the opportunity to present their country in one of the evenings of the exchange
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (there will be a walk). The weather is warm, so do not forget to take a sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, swimsuit.
  • Group acquaintances and sessions on the methodology of non-formal learning to achieve the objectives of the exchange
  • Drinking alcohol will not be allowed.

Who will participate in this youth exchange?

The Bulgarian group and Spanish hosts will be joined by participants from Switzerland, Hungary, Italy and Poland.
This youth exchange is open to young people aged 18 to 30 and will be held in English. Participants are expected to be part of the full length of the youth exchange.

What are the financial conditions?

The travel expenses to be reimbursed to participants from Bulgaria are a maximum of € 360 per participant. Take into account, for transport between Granada and Illora, that you will use about € 6.

Food and accommodation for the duration of the project are fully covered by the Erasmus + Program.

Each participant has to take care of his / her own insurance for the YE period and the travel days. This will not be part of the reimbursement. As a member of the European Union, Spain has agreements on the recognition of insurance systems. Therefore, those who have a European Insurance Card can cover illnesses and accidents in the same way they are in their country. Please note that even if you have an EU insurance card it will not cover road accidents.

Application Contacts:

Please send your CV and motivational letter to by June 18, 2018 at the latest.


 Posted by Shirin at 09:34 Volunteer news Comments Off on Diverse


Project start: September 1 2018

Project end: July 1 2019

Project summary:

The Municipality of Bremanger have short-term and long-term goals in our EVS project., so the background for our participation is

Short – term : Local youth feel that something is happening based on their interests and desires.

Long term: Contributes to the development of  local youth work and our local community.

Our main goal is to increase activity and well being for children, youth and young adults age 10 – 30 years old and vulnerable groups in our social.

We are a depopulation municipality and wish our children and young people experience quality and fun activity  in their childhood environment. With a positive experience of their childhood years, we hope they come back after end education.

Also the working area of the organization itself deals with the non-formal and informal education, in this way the volunteers will have the opportunity to try out different working and learning styles, that will help them to acquire essential competences and will contribute to their personal and professional development.

We expect our project to have a high impact on innovative activities, especially in our focus area  youth work and inclusion of youth . We expect our participant to develop their physical skills in new and challenging situation, as well as exercising important social skills such as teamwork and leadership. We also expect that the project will provide great learning, motivation and commitment to us employees.

In the long term this will affect our communities and our local cooperative partners. To increased activity and well-being measures for children and youth it will  do our youth work more visible in the community. It will hopefully lead to better cooperation in all local child and youth work and in our organization lead to better cooperation between the sections.

As a host municipality we are looking for 4 EVS participant (1 from Bulgaria) age 18 – 30 years. Interested in our focus area child and youth work.

This work involves activities such as:

Work in the local voluntary service, library, school, youth club . All activity where our local people are involved.

  • Development of intercultural activities in the Youth Clubs and for the surrounding community
  • Daily work with the youngsters in the Youth Centre/ EVS apartment – to promote a “Meaningfull Lesuretime”
  • To promote non-formal education with youngsters with special needs
  • To create or to search for innovative materials to use in the Youth Centre
  • To plan – implement – evaluate activities
  • Develop workshop with focus on inclusion\involvement of youth Active Bremanger

Specially, we value:

  • willing to integrate actively, in the project and the community
  • Personal motivation and positive spirit
  • Personal contribution to the project. With ideas and suggestions of activities and enriching the project
  • flexibility, willingness to work as part of a group
  • willingness to learn new things
  • interact with people, to be talkative and outgoing.

Application documents:

  • CV in english
  • Motivational letter in english

Deadline for applications: 24 June 2018

Contact: Please send your documents to Natalia at


 Posted by Shirin at 16:03 EVS news Comments Off on Spend a year in Norway as an EVS volunteer