The project and Its context

Five European countries (Portugal, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Spain), ten non-profit organizations (Rota Jovem, ALEM, GAT, CVS, CEIPES, ACTOR, Dominou, NEXES, AFAIJ, Basida) and ten volunteers are involved in the project “Strengthen the bond of inclusion”.

It is a Strategic EVS project focused on the promotion of social inclusion in the educational and health fields and it consists in a long-term EVS (9 months, from October 2017 to June 2018) and a complementary four-days seminar (October 2018) to share the personal and professional experiences of the volunteers and present a booklet as a main result of the project.

Infopack ALEM

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, click here.

Deadline for application: 30 August 2017

 Posted by Kathy at 17:36 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

„Building Bridges through Theatre

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Training Course on working with asylum seekers and refugees using theater methods

After a successful implementation of the training course on working with refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland this summer, we are planning to apply for a project for the second Round of

the Erasmus+ programme, the deadline February, 2nd 2017. The project is a training course for youth workers and young activists already working or willing to work with asylum seekers and refugees in different local contexts and moreover how different theatre methods can be involved in such work.

We are looking for partner organizations from the programme countries and neighbouring countries willing to be actively participating and involved during the whole project. Please have a look at the description of the training course and if interested, get back to us as soon as possible.

The training course «Building Bridges through theatre» will take place in Bulgaria in October and will gather 30 participants, interested in the topic for 7 days willing to learn more and ready to develop workshops and multiply the effect of the training back in their local communities.

Call for partners Building Bridges TC

If you are interested in becoming a partner organization and send 2 or 3 motivated participants to the training, please send us  by 30th January 5pm CET to cvs.katerina@gmail.com:

- Partner identification form/ please describe very well your experience on the topic and the people involved in implementation of the project/
- Mandate letter (stamped, signed and scanned
- number of participants you would like to send (2 or 3)

We will need the original mandate letter as well, to be sent to:

CVS-Bulgaira

P.O. Box 140

1113 Sofia

Bulgaria

mandate_TC BB through theatre

Partner Identification – BB throught Theatre

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

Thank you in advance,

CVS-Bulgaria team

 Posted by Kathy at 09:34 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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Training course on Human rights and Forced Migration

We are planning to apply for a project for the second Round of the Erasmus+ programme, the deadline February, 2nd 2017. The project is a training course for youth workers, leaders and activists willing to learn the basics and know more about Human Rights and Forced Migration. During the training we will discuss how human rights are exploited nowadays and what we, as the active part of the society, can do to contribute for the positive change within our local communities. There will be a special focus on forced migration and the human rights of displaced people.

The training course «Human Rights for Dummies» will take place in Bulgaria in July and will gather 30 participants, interested in the topic for 7 days willing to learn more and ready to develop workshops and multiply the effect of the training back in their local communities.

The project is developed and will be implemented in a partnership with Step by Step Foundation. More information you can find in the detailed call below:

Call for partners Humаn Rights for Dummies TC

If you are interested in becoming a partner organization and send 2 or 3 motivated participants to the training, please send us  by 27th January 5pm CET to cvs.katerina@gmail.com:

- Partner identification form
- Mandate letter (stamped, signed and scanned
- number of participants you would like to send (2 or 3)

We will need the original mandate letter as well, to be sent to:

CVS-Bulgaira

P.O. Box 140

1113 Sofia

Bulgaria

mandate_en_2017_HR for Dummies

Partner Identification – HR for Dummies

 

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

Thank you in advance,

CVS-Bulgaria team

 Posted by Kathy at 10:09 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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Balkan Myth Busters – Youth Exchange in Kosovo

13th – 23rd of March 2017

This youth exchange will gather 30 young people from Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria and Germany. The program will be focused on deconstruction of national myths, stories and legends, through creative, non-formal and informal educational methods. During this youth exchange we will:

  • explore backgrounds of different national myths
  • learn about the role of national myths in shaping of identity
  • explore collective identities, national, Balkan, European and other
  • be deconstructing myths, and try to understand their impact on the society
  • learn how history textbooks are being used for nationalistic propaganda
  • learn about local identity of people in Velika Ho?a
  • visit Prizren, mosques, medieval churches and the fortress
  • visit Visoki De?ani Monastery
  • visit local cultural organizations
  • enjoy local food, products, customs and traditions

This youth exchange is part of Balkans Myth Busters project, supported by Erasmus+ program and includes series of international youth events. In November 2016, a seminar on national myths and youth work took place in Tavankut (Serbia), while in August 2017, we will organize another youth exchange in Trstenik (Serbia).

The project is coordinated by VCV from Serbia and GAIA from Kosovo, while other partners in this youth exchange are CVS Bulgaria, SCI Hellas, SCI Germany and CID Macedonia.

 

 

PROGRAM, ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD

Program will be diverse, intensive and very much up to participants. We will be having sessions in the morning and afternoon, but also evening activities. Frame of the program will be prepared by the group leaders, but participants are expected to contribute with their own ideas, skills, questions, suggestions, games, movies etc.

We will be accommodated in several private houses around the village. 4-6 people will be sharing one house. The food will be prepared by local cooks and it will be traditional, local, seasonal and vegetarian. The village is traditionally rich in wine-growing and wineries, so participants will also learn about this old tradition and taste some of the best wines from Kosovo.

 

LOCATION

Velika Ho?a (local dialect: Golema O?a, Albanian: Ho?a e Madhe) is a village located near the town of Rahovac/Orahovac. It is one of the Serb enclaves in Kosovo, and houses some 13 Orthodox church buildings, most of which date back to the Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in history in 1198, but the region itself was populated even during antiquity. The village is famous for its viticulture, a tradition that also dates back to the antiquity. Therefore Velika Ho?a is often called the “village museum”.

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WHAT IS A YOUTH EXCHANGE?

A Youth Exchange in the frame of the Erasmus+ Program is a project which brings together groups of young people from two or more countries providing them an opportunity to confront and discuss various subjects while learning about each other’s countries, peoples and cultures. Youth exchanges give young people the opportunity to become active, involved, creative, and critical, to learn from each other, to learn about and challenge themselves, to make mistakes and learn from that, to experience diversity in small…

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPANTS

Each partner organisation will choose 5 participants, among which one will be a group leader, who took part in the BMB seminar in November last year. Previous experience in international youth gatherings (exchanges, seminars, workcamps…) is not required nor advantage, but here are several points which will be taken into account. The participant should:

  • be interested in topics and willing to get prepared before the youth exchange
  • be willing to live sustainable and in an international community in a small village surrounded by nature and hills for 10 days
  • be ready for active participation and contribution
  • be in the age between 18 and 30 (few exceptions possible for young people under 18; group leaders can be older than 30)

 

PRACTICAL CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

  • accommodation and food will be covered through the project
  • travel costs (only environmentally friendly means of transport) will be reimbursed after ALL ORIGINAL tickets are received
  • internet will not be available, except for urgent, so if you are supposed to write your thesis or cannot survive without Facebook, please do not consider applying

If you are interested, please fill in the application form and send it to cvs.mira@gmail.com no later than January 31st. Soon after that we will get in touch with the selected participants

 

 Posted by Vera at 00:33 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

Let’s create a project together where mentoring is an art we aim to master!

CVS-Bulgaria is planning to apply for a project “Mentoring form A to Z” for the first Round of the Erasmus+ programme, the deadline February, 2nd 2017. The project will be a further step in organizing and implementing LTV/EVS projects of high quality by developing and improving the competences of mentors of longterm.

The training course «Mentoring from A to Z » will take place in July and gather 30 representatives of organizations (mentors) for 7 days(incl. a day for arrival and departure) willing to start to support or have already been working with longterm volunteers and willing to improve their skills in supporting to the volunteers.

Call for partners Mentoring from A to Z_2017 ?????????????????????????

Partner Identification – Mentoring from A to Z

mandate_TC Mentoring from A to Z

If you are interested in becoming a partner organization, please send us by 23rd January 5pm CET to cvs.katerina@gmail.com the:
- Partner identification form
- Mandate letter (stamped, signed and scanned)
- number of participants you would like to send (2 or 3)
We will need the original mandate letter also sent to:
CVS-Bulgaira
P.O.Box 140
1113 Sofia
Bulgaria
For any further questions, please contact us at cvs.katerina@gmail.com

Thank you in advance,

CVS-Bulgaria team

 Posted by Kathy at 10:40 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

Call for EVS volunteers

(Italian, Catalan/ Spanish and Hungarian candidates)

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 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, Catalunya/Spain or Hungary, do not hesitate to apply! We promise it is worth it!

 “The Refugee Project: Integration in Action 2” is a partnership between CVS-Bulgaria, SCI Italy and SCI Hungary (Utilapu Halozat).The project starts at the beginning of 2017 and  aims at joining efforts of three EVS volunteers, who in one year term will work towards the integration of refugees through organized educational activities in the reception centers and outdoors, promoting volunteering and its power to encourage active citizenship while integrating vulnerable groups and promoting active empowerment and inclusion of refugees. The projects 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.

blackboard_EVSDates: 1.03.2017– 1.03.2018
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: 3 (Italy, Catalunya/Spain, Hungary)
Work starts: 1st March. 2017
Work ends: 1st March. 2018

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to support and optimize the activities of The Refugee project and to promote the topic among the Bulgarian society.

Tasks of the volunteers

We are looking for three highly motivated volunteers for a 12 month EVS program who would be working in the framework of The Refugee Project in Sofia, Bulgaria: www.refugeeproject.eu

The  EVS volunteers will be busy with different activities, which are an integral part of the success of The Refugee Project initiative: Supporting the coordinators of The Refugee Project in implementing the volunteer management cycle:-recruitment, training, coordination, support and evaluation

-participation in the daily coordination and upgrading of the activities in the reception centers in Sofia.
As part of the project every volunteer will have specific tasks, which will contribute to the main aim of the EVS project and the specific goals:

VOLUNTEER 1 

Volunteer Academy: workcamp with refugees

Volunteer Academy: workcamp with refugees

  • Supporting and leading the excursions working group within The Refugee Project
  • Organizing regular volunteer meetings for team building and knowledge sharing within The Refugee Project
  • Organizing Tolerance workshops (The Tolerance project) in schools, which will aim at raising awareness on topics such as: refugees, human rights, hate speech etc.
  • Organizing CVS-UNI workshops for knowledge sharing among volunteers on different topics and inviting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to take part.

VOLUNTEER 2

  • Helping in updating the website content of The Refugee project
  • Publishing website content connected with the topic of the project on the website of the organization
  • Updating the interactive map for organization working with refugees in Bulgaria
  • Organizing an international volunteer workcamp in a refugee center outside of Sofia

VOLUNTEER 3

  • Supporting and leading the fundraising/events working group within The Refugee Project
  • Increasing the presence of the project in the Social media/online promotion/info bulletin
  • Supporting the Communication officer in working with the social media of the organization
  • Supporting the organization of Volunteering circles (series of events dedicated to promote volunteering as an instrument for active participation and youth empowerment, EVS promotion, supporting of vulnerable groups, breaking stereotypes and building a positive image of the target group of the project etc. Involving migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to take part.

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

Volunteering circles: Human Library on Migration

Volunteering circles: Human Library on Migration

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.

Practicalities 

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

The Refugee Project: Picnic at Pancherevo Lake, Sofia

Food: Provided money allocations for food every month
Accommodation: Provided – a room in a shared apartment; all utilities and Internet are covered
Pocket money: 70 EUR (per month)
Insurance: Provided (standard EVS CIGNA health insurance)
Phone: Phone and monthly plan covered in order to fulfill the project tasks
Transport: Monthly public transport card
Bulgarian language course: Provided
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 (mentioning the position/s/ you apply for and explaining the reasons why you would like to be a volunteer in this specific project and what skills/experience you think would add merit to your application.)

Deadline for applications: 20th January 2017.  All shortlisted candidates will be invited for a skype interview. Final decision will be made by  15th  February 2017.

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.

building_bridges_logo_final-05Printhrdc

 Posted by Kathy at 19:04 Volunteer activities Comments Off

Nov 282016
 

International meeting on social inclusion hosted by CVS-Bulgaria

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Social Inclusion work continues to be a focus of the Youth and Unemployment Working Group this autumn in Bulgaria, where 14 experienced coordinators and activists from SCI Italy, SCI Catalunya, CVS – Bulgaria, VCV, CID, SCI Hellas, SVIT – Ukraine, Zavod Voluntariat – SCI Slovenia and Utilapu Halozat gathered to evaluate the social inclusion season 2016 and plan their work together during the whole year of 2017.

Three  youth exchanges in France, Bulgaria and Catalunya happened during the summer of 2016 with the participation of youngsters, experiencing different challenges in their lives. The mutual cooperation of the partners was a focus point of the meeting in terms of evaluation of activities, forming good practices, update and improve tools and create new opportunities for social inclusion work.

As a result of the meeting an info material pack with best practices and tips for social inclusion projects was developed, open to everyone willing to work in this field.

 Permalink  Posted by Victoria at 09:35 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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

Erasmus+

The project is financed under the Erasmus+ Program.

Enjoy the stories of Asen and Tsvetan! :)

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What to do when an EVS opportunity comes up?

by Tsvetan

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

1

Tsvetan

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

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

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

2

Pictures from the Village Games

3

Pictures from the Village Games

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

At Sevnica’s Castle

At Sevnica’s Castle

Having a short lecture in Krsko’s nuclear power plant

Having a short lecture in Krsko’s nuclear power plant

 

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

A short rest during a long hike

A short rest during a long hike

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

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EVS as a life-changing experience 

by Asen

Asen and the other volunteers

Asen and the other volunteers

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

And I’m glad I didn’t.

All together

All together

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

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

 

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 Posted by Natalie at 12:18 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

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

Erasmus+

The project is financed under the Erasmus+ Program.

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

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

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

The main objectives of the EVS stage were:

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

DCIM105GOPRODCIM106GOPRO12088099_1191581307524625_2257055771277442788_nDCIM105GOPRO IMG_0325IMG_054812075054_1191582600857829_2258182203771313616_n

 Posted by Natalie at 15:28 Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

“Erasmus for All, Erasmus for Inclusion” Youth Exchange in Bulgaria

Youth Exchange VlahiWhat do social inclusion, a nature school in a small picturesque Bulgarian village and an international group of youngsters have in common? On a first glance – nothing, but for 10 days this September these three elements combined in perfect synergy! From 1st till 11th September CVS Bulgaria hosted the youth exchange “Erasmus for All, Erasmus for Inclusion”, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. It gathered a group of 20 young people, including youngsters with fewer opportunities from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Catalunya in the mountainous village of Vlahi to share their ideas and experience on the topic of social inclusion.

1In the first part of the exchange the participants had the chance through interactive games, discussions and theatre to share what they knew about social exclusion, human rights, intercultural communication and conflict resolution. The method of non-violent communication by Marshal Rosenberg, especially, caught everyone’s fascination.

2In between these educational sessions, the group could enjoy the breathtaking nature of the Pirin Mountain, where the village was situated. They were also able to learn more about “nature inclusion” from three NGOs working in the village to promote sustainability and nature preservation.

3DSC_1114

In the second part of the exchange, all participants had the chance to put what they learned to practice. They split into groups according to their interests in specific issues leading to social exclusion (like racism, prostitution and HIV) or the groups of people at risk of exclusion (refugees, people with visual disabilities). They discussed initiatives that could be organized on international and local level to promote social inclusion and tackle the issues leading to it. They also organized street actions to raise awareness of locals in the cities of Sandanski and Sofia on these issues.

street actionsOf course, there was time for fun as well. The international participants learned how to prepare home-made ljutenica (a beloved conserved food in Bulgaria) and came home with a lot of interesting ideas for games you can play outdoors. Who says you can’t have fun without the Internet?

4DSC_1037What was the best thing about this exchange? The amazing group of people, who managed to become close friends for these 10 days. We miss you all!

9CVS-Bulgaria team

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 Posted by Victoria at 10:23 Volunteer activities Comments Off