A story from Stela Koycheva

‘’Share, Experience, Get Inspired!” is not only the name of the seminar I attended this October but also the most valuable lesson that I learned during my stay there. It is still in my heart almost a month later and I will cherish and keep it for long time. Mainly because during my stay there it proved to be true, it changed who I am and will help in the future.

Use inspirational places in the nature

Use inspirational places in the nature

These simple words convey deeper meaning that depicts the essence of being a trainer, educator, youth worker or generally a good positive person. Through opening yourself to share, experience you get inspired and this leads to changes- both internal in yourself and external. Aren’t we all as educators and people working in the social sector striving for change?

Roads and intersections

Roads and intersections

I met the most wonderful group of individuals- each of them had exciting stories and is doing impressive and meaningful work . We came in as strangers and left as friends as each of us helped one other to answer some questions, gain confidence, find insight or just have a productive time in an encouraging safe space. We learned a lot in terms of methods and practical skills. However, the most precious gift we got was the gift of sharing of experience, getting inspired and spread the positive energy all around.

Stay SEGI forever!

 
 

LogosBeneficairesErasmusLEFT_BG-1 The project “Share, Experience, Get Inspired! – Enjoy the diversity of non-formal learning tools” is a Youth workers’ mobility project (Nr. 2018-2-BE05-KA105-002479) and is co-funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

 
 
 

 Posted by Shirin at 17:42 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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
 

The project

Five countries (Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Tunisia and Lebanon), ten non-profit organizations (Rota Jovem, ALEM, GAT, CVS, Dominou, Association de Progression de Jeunes Tunisiens and MAP) and eight volunteers are involved in the project “Social Bond”.

It is an EVS project focused on the promotion of social inclusion in the educational and health fields and it consists in a long-term EVS (12 months, from October 2018 to September 2019) with a booklet about good practices to work for social inclusion as a main result of the project.

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Volunteers tasks and how to apply

The volunteer will be working in the framework of the Refugee Project. In 2010 we started a very ambitious initiative – to create a space where people could meet people regardless of their background and current vulnerable situation. The Refugee project is a space where thousands of volunteers every year open their hearts to asylum seekers in Bulgaria and give them a warm welcome through activities and quality spent time together. The project is managed by volunteer coordinators from CVS-Bulgaria and Caritas Sofia. The project gathers local volunteers who organize variety of lessons and workshops for the asylum seekers and refugees in the main refugee reception centers in Sofia – Ovcha Kupel, Voenna Rampa and Vrazhdebna, as well as excursions and different events. Every year EVS volunteers join this team and make a difference by being part of this crazy, vibrant and hardworking crew. The main activities within the project can be seen in our brochure.

If we sparkled your interest and you would like to find more about this position, please check the detailed call for volunteers:

Infopack CVS _Social bond

Tell us why would you like to be part of this project in a motivation letter and send it together with your CV to cvs.katerina@gmail.com

Deadline for application: 25 September 2018

 

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 Posted by Kathy at 17:36 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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CVS – Bulgaria and Caritas Sofia are looking for  VOLUNTEERS to work with kids, teenagers and adults as part of the Refugee Project in the reception centres in Ovcha Kupel, Voenna Rampa and Vrazhdebna at the State Agency for Refugees.

Every four months the Refugee Project recruits new volunteers and the time has come to start our activities again. Volunteers engage in the preparation and implementation of educational activities for children and adults seeking international protection in Bulgaria in the following topics: Bulgarian and cultural orientation, English, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Art, Music, Sport, extracurricular activities and visiting natural and historical landmarks.

As a volunteer in the project you have an active role in the adaptation of the children, teenagers and adults who are in the reception centres for asylum seekers on the territory of Sofia, to the Bulgarian environment as a whole and in particular to the educational system in the country. You will actively support the project by participating in thematic interest groups, including fundraising and excursions committees.

Tasks:

• Leading activities in: Bulgarian language and orientation, English language*, Mathematics, Art, Sports, etc.

• Engaging and maintaining the interest of children, young people and adults who attend the classes;

• Planning and organising training sessions/ activities as part of a small team

• Participation in organising and conducting extra-curricular activities: excursions, participation in events and tournaments, visits to museums, theatres, cinemas, etc.

• Organising and managing fundraising and awareness-raising events

Occupation:

• Morning or afternoon on weekdays

• At least one session per week on a set day convenient for you (or more if you are willing);

• 2+ hours per week, depending on your availability.

 

* Knowledge of English is not mandatory for all candidates but only for those who would like to join the English teaching group.

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Requirements:

• Over 18 years of age;

• Willingness and skills to work with children, young people and adults in a multicultural environment;

• Adherence to the ethical principles for working with vulnerable groups set out in the agreement between the volunteer and the “Refugee Project”

• Responsibility and ability to work independently after initial training and mentoring from the project coordinators;

• Interest in different cultures;

• Ability to carry out the tasks within the specified deadlines;

• Ability to work with other volunteers to plan and implement training sessions/ activities;

• Experience in working with children is an asset, as well as education in the field of social work and/or pedagogy;

• Knowledge of Arabic and /or Farsi would be useful; Other languages are a plus.

Duration:  15 October, 2018 – February 30, 2019, with interest and satisfaction on both sides, the duration of work may be extended.

 

Timeframe:

- Short online training

- on 13th and 14th October holding training sessions – two-day training

- 15h October – scheduled start of the activities.

Location:

• Ovcha Kupel: Integration Center at SAR (21A, Montevideo Street)

• Voenna Rampa: (11, Lokomotiv Street)

• Vrazhdebna: (270, Botevgradsko shose Blvd.)

Training:

• General information on countries of origin, EU and national legal practices and procedures;

• Detailed overview of the project and its activities;

• Information on other organisations operating in reception centers;

• Instruction on the specifics of working with children, young people and adults seeking or having received international protection by specialists from SAR / BRC / UNHCR /IOM/ Professors, etc;

• Introducing non-formal education and offering examples of working with children, young people and adults;

• Empathy, professional boundaries and prevention of the burnout syndrome;

• Training for the rights and obligations of volunteers;

Sofia Bulgaria 2016 - Picnic in the Nature - c_Jill Morrison Donoho 3Advantages:

• Intercultural communication, acquaintance with different cultures;

• Acquiring experience in working with children, young people and adults seeking international protection;

• Experience in planning and conducting educational, creative and sports activities;

• Acquiring skills for raising funds and organizing information events;

• Certificate from CVS-Bulgaria and Caritas Sofia in Bulgarian and English;

• Personal satisfaction.

 Mentoring and assessment:

• You will be mentored and assisted in your work by project coordinators and experienced volunteers who continue in the project;

• The contact persons will be the project coordinators;

• Periodic trainings; interim and final evaluation of the project.

Apply by:

-filling in the online form and if are new to the project sending us your CV (in Bulgarian or English) and photo at therefugeeproject@gmail.com  

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2018

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 Posted by Kathy at 14:43 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

 

TC “Human Rights from A to Z”

 1-7 November 2018

Red Cross Training Centre
Dolni Lozen/Sofia
Bulgaria

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After the successful completion of the training courses “EVS from A to Z” and “Mentoring from A to Z”, we are pleased to publish the call for participants for another training course from the A to Z series. The training course “Human Rights from A to Z” goes into the topic of human rights in the context of the phenomenon of forced migration. The training will be streaming in two directions – the theoretical introduction of the topic (human rights in the context of forced migration) and building of practical skills in order for the participants to consolidate the knowledge gained and applying it in their daily work with youth. It will take place in Bulgaria in the period 1st till 7th November 2018 and will gather 34 representatives of organizations from 12 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

The training program will be designed following several main topics:

- Human rights: Raising awareness about key concepts and terms connected with human rights topic. Understanding human rights’ historical development and evaluating the current situation. Expanding the knowledge about the existing protection mechanisms of human rights.

- Forced Migration and Refugees: Expanding the knowledge of the participants on the topic of forced migration in Europe and the world.

- The role of the non-governmental organisations: Understanding the importance of nongovernmental organizations and the civil society and their role for protection and respect of human rights, namely of refugees and migrants.

- Practical work: Support and guidance in organizing of workshops on the topic of human rights and forced migration. Gaining knowledge about educational tools for effective training of young people on the mentioned topics and prevention of radicalisation.

The participants we are looking for are:

  • youth workers, leaders and activists, with interest in and experienced on the topic of Human Rights and Forced Migration
  • Age 18+
  • Willing to learn and share
  • Willing to practise and multiply learning after the training course
  • Able to understand and express themselves in English
  • Are committed to attend for the full duration of the project

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Please refer to the detailed  Call for participants_Human Rights from A to Z and if you are interested and meet the set in the call criteria, please apply using the online Application form. If you have any questions, you can reach us at trainings@cvs-bg.org. 

Deadline for applications: 20.09.2018

The final selection will be done by CVS-Bulgaria, giving priority to candidates proposed by the Partner Organisations as long as their application is submitted within the deadline and the candidates profile fits with the participants profile envisaged in this call. Selected participants will be informed by 25.09.2018. All applicants will be informed about the final decision. 

 

 

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 Kathy at 15:02 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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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.

Costs:
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 volunteers@cvs-bg.org latest the 5th of August.

 Posted by Shirin at 18:26 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 
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Fighting rumours and stereotypes

Call for EVS volunteers 

(Italian candidates)

“Building Bridges between Communities” project is an initiative launched in May 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria as a partnership between the organizations CVS-Bulgaria, SCI Italy, SCI Madrid and Rota Jovem which aims to create space for understanding, dialogue and cooperation between different groups of people in the local community.

The project supports the core initiative of the organization: The Refugee Project (www.refugeeproject.eu), which is implemented in partnership with Caritas Sofia since 2011 and  gathers local volunteers who organize variety of lessons and workshops for the asylum seekers and refugees in the main reception centers in Sofia – Ovcha Kupel, Voenna Rampa and Vrazhdebna, as well as excursions and different events. The Refugee project is a space where thousands of volunteers every year open their heart to asylum seekers in Bulgaria and give them a warm welcome through activities and quality spent time together. The project is managed by volunteer coordinators from CVS-Bulgaria and Caritas Sofia. Every year EVS volunteers join this team and make a difference by being part of this crazy, vibrant and hardworking crew.

The Refugee Project Brochure

About the EVS project 

Check out this dream EVS project below and if you are a volunteer from Italy ( We already selected candidates from Spain or Portugal), do not hesitate to apply! We promise it is worth it!

 

Volunteering circles: Human Library on Migration

Volunteering circles: Human Library on Migration

The project will bring together the efforts of three EVS volunteers from Italy, Spain and Portugal, who will work within one year to 1) Raise awareness among young people and fight rumors in the local community that affect marginalized / vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants; 2) increase the media literacy of young people and combat hate speech; 3) enhance the integration of refugees through different kinds of interaction with the local community / organized volunteering in temporary accommodation centers; organized outdoor activities and excursions; events /; 4) promote of volunteering and its opportunities for integrating marginalized / vulnerable groups. CVS-Bulgaria has been working in these fields for many years, both nationally and internationally, in cooperation with a number of international partner organizations. The volunteers will be involved in the different stages of the project, namely Identification of rumors, creation of a Network and Campaign to fight rumors and Evaluation and dissemination of results. As part of the project, each volunteer will have specific tasks that will be directed both to the main goal of the EVS project and to the other objectives – to build up the activities of the previous EVS projects on the subject; actively involving target groups in the rest of the activities of the organization, including informing and encouraging their participation in Erasmus + activities; supporting the bilateral integration process and informing the local community on the topic of forced migration. The results of the project will be: an online platform and a campaign to fight rumors; a strategy for identifying rumors in the local community and their logical refutation; multiplier training on the subject, an online handbook for multipliers; different materials for organizing and conducting activities with refugees; articles in the newsletter on project achievements and related topics; educational workshops within the CVS UNI format; an international volunteer camp at a reception center for refugees outside Sofia. The volunteer service activities are particularly connected and predetermined by the idea of fighting racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia and working towards social inclusion and respect for human rights. The project activities will be complimented by two national trainings for multipliers, an expert workshop for creation of handbook for multipliers and five national events for its presentation and promotion. In their activities, EVS volunteers will work first to familiarize young people with the problems and their nature, caused by the lack of tolerance and perception of foreign culture. These are issues of paramount importance in the European Union and worldwide, because our shared existence would not have been possible without the initial building of a bridge between communities and connecting with each other.

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Working in The Refugee project

Dates: 1.07.2018– 1.07.2019
Venue: Sofia, Bulgaria (some of the activities may require travelling within Bulgaria)
Working language of the activities: English, Bulgarian
Contact person: Katerina Stoyanova
Contact email: cvs.katerina@gmail.com
Project theme: Building bridges campaign, Antiracism, Antifascism, refugees, ethnic minorities, refugees/asylum seekers
Number of vacancies: 1 (Italy)

During the year of this exciting voluntary service the volunteers will be supported by CVS-Bulgaria, its staff and volunteers. They  will be part of a dynamic and amicable team of co-workers in the office of CVS-Bulgaria and will have the opportunity to be included in the ongoing events and tasks, concerning the overall work of the organization, will join the other EVS volunteers in their project activities and will participate in the process of planning the activities in CVS-Bulgaria.

 

Personal project

Each volunteer will have the opportunity to develop its own personal project, while the volunteers will be introduced to already existing partnerships the organization has – Vlahi Nature School, Concordia Foundation, Sofia International Film Festival, Caritas Sofia, UNHCR, Bulgarian Red Cross, The Council for Refugee women, Multi Kulti Collective, Sate Agency for Refugees. They will have the chance to involve them in the development of their personal project which will definitely enrich their experiences and help them develop key competences.

Profile of the participants

An interest and some experience (or strong motivation to work) with asylum seekers is essential. Strong motivation to learn Bulgarian or basic knowledge of the Bulgarian language is an advantage. Volunteers are required to be flexible, independent and responsible, with good social and organizational skills. Most welcome will be candidates with strong self driven and self initiative personalities, creative spirit and open mindedness, ready to develop a great project within the framework of the suggested EVS program.

adults class

Working in The Refugee Project

Food: Provided money allocations for food every month 250 lv (128 EUR)
Accommodation: Provided – a room in a shared apartment; all utilities and Internet are covered
Pocket money: 4 EUR (per day)
Insurance: Provided (standard EVS CIGNA health insurance)
Phone: Phone and monthly plan covered in order to fulfill the project tasks
Transport - international: reimbursed up to 275 EUR
Transport – local: Monthly public transport card
Bulgarian language course: OLS
Support: Personal support will be provided by individual mentor; task related support will be provided by the coordinator/supervisor and other staff members of the organisation.

If you think this is your dream EVS project, please send at cvs.katerina@gmail.com:

- your CV

- motivation letter

Deadline for applications: 10th June 2018.  All shortlisted candidates will be invited for a skype interview. 

For any further questions, please contact us at cvs.kterina@gmail.com

Information about CVS-Bulgaria

CVS-Bulgaria is a non-governmental organisation that has been working in the field of international volunteer exchange since 1998 and was officially registered in 2002 as an organisation working in public benefit. CVS-Bulgaria is a branch of the international peace and volunteer-exchange network of Service Civil International (SCI – www.sci.ngo) and a full member of South Eastern European Youth Network (SEEYN – www.seeyn.org).

CVS-Bulgaria aims to promote the values of volunteer work through organizing variety of voluntary activities; to motivate young people to be active and participate in volunteer actions – thus taking part in the development of the civil society; to promote and support intercultural understanding and solidarity, social justice and environment preservation.

Main activities of CVS-Bulgaria are: organizing short- and long term volunteer projects, youth exchanges, trainings, hosting and sending volunteers for projects in public benefit in Bulgaria, Europe and the world, as well as working in partnership with other NGOs on local and international level to promote volunteering as a tool for active citizenship.

 Posted by Kathy at 18:37 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

A national study on the information and training needs of beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria conducted in 2017 identified the need of development of coherent and comprehensive program for information and orientation to facilitate the adaptation and inclusion of members of this group in the host society. Aiming to respond to this need Center for the Study for Democracy organized a national workshop “Training Module for Cultural and Civic Orientation of Beneficiaries of International Protection” that took place in Sofia on 25 April 2018.

The workshop gathered professionals from public and NGO institutions mandated to provide services to refugees in Bulgaria as well as members of the refugee community. They discussed a draft Module for cultural and civic orientation of refugees, developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy and provided input for its fine tuning and finalization. By way of group discussions participants formulated guidance regarding the chosen topics, the relevance and comprehensiveness of the provided information and the proposed training techniques. The pack of recommendations formulated at the workshop will serve to finalise a Module for Cultural and Civic Orientation for beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria.

Learn more about the project here

 

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 Posted by Kathy at 09:08 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

This Spring, in Mitrovica, GAIA and friends will organize a youth exchange about urban permaculture, with the focus on gardening and food production. The Youth Exchange will gather 25 young people from Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Kosovo, what means that this call is open only for young people who are residents of those countries (we are sorry for those who are not) and applying through organizations which are partners for this exchange: PVN Albania, VCV Serbia, VUK Croatia, CVS Bulgaria and GAIA Kosovo. It will take place from 25th of May until 2nd of June and will be organized in partnership with Down Syndrome Kosova in Mitrovica and the City Museum. communitygarden Why permaculture? Permaculture is a design system that uses ecological principles, which can be applied to organisations, communities and economies to create a more harmonious and sustainable system of relationships. Based on the ethical foundation of care for the earth, care for the people and fair share, permaculture shows us a way, inspired by ecological understanding and principles, to create beneficial relationships and work with nature to regenerate and restore land, communities and our relationship to both. With learning about permaculture and gaining practical and theoretical knowledge about its principles and designing, which are inspired by natural systems, we can learn about social connections and ways of creating sustainable, resilient societies. forster_community_garden   Urban permaculture? Half humanity now live in cities and they have large ecological and human effects on the planet. So how can permaculture food production be applied to our towns and cities? There are, in fact many techniques that allow urban dwellers to grow food the permaculture way.  Using permaculture design principles, we can transform our garden, roof top or balcony into a sustainable food-producing garden. We can also share land and create community gardens or initiate community supported agriculture (CSA). What will be happening? During this youth exchange we will explore possibilities for Mitrovica to develop urban garden and to include young people interested in environmental and social topics. We will do different workshops, games, discussions, movie projections, practical work in garden, visits to cultural and natural sites and so forth. Of course, we will learn and discuss about permaculture as well as local heritage, issues and exiting initiatives. We will also organize activities with the host organization and other partners in Mitrovica. Mitrovica_banner Mitrovica is located in the North of Kosovo, with a population of around 100.000. The city is geographically divided by the Ibar River, into a Northern and Southern part, then also with a strong ethnic division as well. What are the conditions for participation? Each partner organization will choose 4 participants and 1 group leader who already took part in similar activities. Previous experience in international youth gatherings (exchanges, seminars, workcamps…) is not required nor advantage, but we expect that participants are: ·         interested in urban gardening, permaculture and social inclusion ·         willing to get prepared before the youth exchange ·         willing to live sustainably and in an international community ·         willing to be actively included and contribute ·         young between 18 and 30, while group leaders can be older than 30. Practicalities Accommodation and food will be covered through the project. We will be accommodated in Mitrovica South, in the house of Down Syndrome Kosova, which offers different educational and creative activities for people with Down Syndrome. Some of the activities will be organized with the friends from the host organization. Food will be traditional, seasonal and vegetarian. Travel costs (only environmentally friendly means of transport) will be reimbursed after ALL ORIGINAL tickets are received by GAIA. permaculture-herb-spiral-e1398701750642 If you are interested to take part in this youth exchange, you should apply before 5th of April 2018. by sending you application form to communication@cvs-bg.org!

More about GAIA: www.gaiakosovo.wordpress.com More about SCI: www.sci.ngo

 Posted by Atanaska at 22:42 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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The overall objective of the project “Inside Outside” is to rise the quality of youth work and promote the professionalism of youth work as well as to develop participants’ professional and personal competences for further work in the youth field.
Project objectives:
• To develop youth workers knowledge in the field of Emotional and Social intelligence.
• To provide participants the opportunity to evaluate themselves as youth workers by Salto Resource Centre developed  “The garden of learning competences” and provide support for setting personal goals.
• To develop participants personal and professional competences using non-formal educational activities.
• Share personal experiences about working with young people in the context of Emotional and Social intelligence and to share best practices about how they supporte youngsters.
• Ensure the opportunity to share and learn new methods to work with young people on Emotional and Social intelligence, critical thinking, promoting active participation, social inclusion, etc. and to discuss how to better support, both individually and as a group, and especially young people with fewer opportunities, minorities, migrants and other socially excluded groups in order to prevent the radicalization of young people.
• General contributions to improve the quality of youth work and cooperation among organizations in a European level.

Which countries take part: Latvia, Greece, Malta, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Austria

Profile of participants: youth workers and/or trainers and/or facilitators and/or leaders and/or mentors. There is no age limit but the participants should be 18+

Transport costs: They will be reimbursed after the training upon giving providing all the documents and tickets. The maximum amount which will be reimbursed for Bulgarian participants is 275 EUR.

Where: The training course will take part in two places – the first 5 days will be implemented in a guest house „Puduri”, Kemugs, which is 50 km away from Riga. The last day the activities will be in the youth centre ‘Bambuss‘ and the accommodation – in hotel „ Rixwell Irina”.

More details about the profile of participants, a detailed program of the TC as well as information about the project team, you can find HERE!

In order to apply, please fill in the application form till 30/05/2018!

Good luck!

 Posted by Atanaska at 17:50 Volunteer activities Comments Off