logo_bmbThe Balkan Myth Buster is project financed by Erasmus+ program, which has been implemented by VCV Serbia and GAIA Kosovo in 2016-2017. The project reunites 8 peace organizations from Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany and Croatia: 24 participants from all of these countries met first in November 2016 in Tavankut, Serbia on a training course, focused on a research on myths and its impact on the formation of identities and for the Training Course. In March 2017 a youth exchange as the second activity took place in Velika Hoca e Madhe, where 30 young participants reunited for ten days. And then in September 2017 a second youth exchange happened in Trstenik, Serbia, dedicated to the creation of a new mythology and positive stories for the future.

As a follow-up of the project it has been decided to open a web page with the intent to collect different memories and testimonies from the Balkan countries, aiming to show the region from a different point of view.

The records presented would show moment of integration, cooperation and kindness among the citizens of the different Balkan countries, we are looking for stories that could deconstruct the concept of group identity bonded with a given nation; these would finally allow us to go beyond the rhetoric of single stories which is the kind of narratives that tells only one side of the story and contribute to narrow minds and views, fostering stereotypes and prejudices.

Among the Balkan region there are thousands of stories that would serve perfectly the goal. They just need to be told!

If you have a story that you think is suitable and is worth to be shared, you are more than welcomed to visit the blog Mything Point and send your masterpiece at the following email address office@volotiraj.rs

The story does not need to be long and elaborate, the more you go straight to the point the more it will be effective!

We can’t wait to hear from you!

For more info about the project visit:

VCV Serbia – Balkan Myth Buster

GAIA Kosovo – Balkan Myth Buster

 Posted by Atanaska at 19:06 Volunteer activities Comments Off

The time for a festival has come! Its name is No More War /26, 27 и 28 January/ and is a CVS-Bulgaria initiative in the framework of SCI International PATH project. The Festival’s main focus is on peace in its micro and macro dimensions while the accent is placed on the lessons learned from history.

path logo

The topics we will touch during the festival are like a lump stranded in our peace-craving throats: anti-militarism, conflicts and forced migration, radicalization prevention, human rights, non-violence and non-violent communication, peaceful protests and social transformations, life in harmony with oneself, others and the environment. Our goal is to put them on the agenda and enable our society to look beyond the traditional discourse. Various discussions, workshops and events will take place within the festival. Additionally the visitors will be able to follow the steps of an art installation that traverses the parallel between the history of forced migration in various conflicts of our past and present. The festival itself will be focused in two main locations – the Red House and the Cinema House.

Tasks for the volunteers:

  • welcoming of the international and local guests of the festival
  • distribution of advertising and informational material before and during the festival
  • supporting the organization of the events in the Cinema House (workshops, Human Library, Forum)
  • supporting the organization of the events in the Red House ( exhibition, workshops, discussions, evening program)
  • photo and video shooting


  • free time on 26, 27, 28th January
  • interest on the topic
  • motivation to be part of one different festival
  • willingness to work in a multicultural environment
  • good skills in communicating in English

The volunteers will receive:

  • a certificate for participation
  • food and water
  • opportunity to be part of the different event

Apply by filling in the short registration form!

If you have any questions, contact Nassi at communication@cvs-bg.org!

Deadline for application: 16th January 2018 г.

Thank you and see you soon!

CVS Bulgaria team

 Posted by Atanaska at 00:54 Volunteer activities Comments Off

The youth exchange “There is a crack in everything: that’s where the light comes: moments of resilience is written and organized by the Italian association Artemide, financed by the European program Erasmus+. It will be held at the House Laboratory Cerquosino, run by Artemide association, a social eco-village located into the Elmo-Melonta’s natural park, near the city of Orvieto, Italy, from the 5th to the 13th of February 2018, it will involve 20 participants and 5 leaders from Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Montenegro and Lebanon. Participants will have the possibility to experience life in nature with a low impact on the environment. Alongside the nature based experiential session, the exchange includes typical non-formal learning methods such as group works, workshops, simulations, reflections and excursions.



The main objective is to start up a process of personal growth through sharing a collective experience. The themes we have chosen for this exchange are social inclusion, active citizenship which strengthens the spirit of initiative of young people, their creativity and their entrepreneurship, solidarity and their ability to collaborate with and beyond the differences

By managing and sharing the path, laboratory activities, games of knowledge focused on the methodology of non formal education, the exchange “There is a crack in everything: that’s where the light comes: moments of resilience”, is a real simulation of active citizenship in order to provide participants with new tools useful to cope with certain aspects of their discomfort. The simulation is a true “active laboratory of needs”. Within the shape of an educational path the young will give their own creative and innovative contribution at everyday activities. A further objective is to ensure that the gap of difference and resistance to the new and different is less deep, to get to enable new models of inclusion, going against the logic racist, sexist and xenophobic.


Italy- Cooperativa abc

Lebanon– Children and youth centre Shatila

Bulgaria– CVS Bulgaria

Montenegro– Centre for Civic Education

Germany– Mostar Friedensprojeckt Ev

20597182_1885449448443530_3427710789124289556_nParticipants from Bulgaria: 4 youngsters and 1 leader

Age limit: 19 – 25 years old

Language: English

Please bring white clothes which will be needed for the purpose of the activities

Financial conditions: 100% food and lodgement covered by the project; travel expenses anticipated by the participants will be refunded at the end of the project upon receipt of the travel documents in original and as soon as the Italian N.A. has paid the 1st instalment.

In the case of Bulgaria, the host covers 275 € for the travel expenses

You can find more information about the host тук!

In order to apply please fill-in this application form till 18th January and send it to Atanaska at communication@cvs-bg.org!

Good luck!

 Posted by Atanaska at 18:58 Volunteer activities Comments Off

Volunteer Stories: “Training Course and Seminar about the Good Practices in EVS Volunteering”

Faro, June and October 2017

We are happy to share the inspiring story of Tsvetomira Minkova – CVS Bulgaria’s volunteer, who during the last year took part in a project, aiming at improving the quality of the EVS experience. Here is what she shared with us:

My story started in September 2016 when I began my volunteer program in Naples. Thanks to this, my interest in the idea of EVS began and I was accepted as a participant in the great ECOS double project. The first adventure began on 19th of June and continued until 26th of June. Its goal was to reinforce the theoretical foundations of EVS volunteering and through non-formal education and exchange of experience methods to reach a structured solution for the best EVS volunteering methodologies. To put theory into practice, from 5th to 12th of October, we reunited in Faro in order to share volunteer stories with each other and with the world.


The participants were from eight countries – Portugal, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Lithuania, and each country had three representatives. Our trainers and facilitators were Natalie from CVS Bulgaria, and Kostas, from Greece.

During the training, our sessions were held at the IPDJ (Portuguese Institute for Sports and Youth), which is next to the sunny park of Alameda. There, under the sounds of walking on the meadows peacocks and through various games, we met each other and shared our experience with EVS. We learned how to learn, how to learn during EVS, how to learn in a new multicultural environment, and how to be creative while learning. We shared our personal learning methods and exchanged experience by conducting in-depth interviews in small groups. In the morning, we tied our partner’s eyes and led him through the park to build trust between each other, and in the afternoon we looked at the roles needed for successful implementation of the EVS program and exchanged experiences from our organizations. We learned from our mistakes, shared our successful methods. We introduced our organizations to build future partnerships. We swam in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoyed the white sands of Farol Island, part of the Ria Formosa Nature Park, one of the wonders of Portugal. Finally, we created a systematic list of good practices that are necessary for a successful volunteering, reflecting on the experiences during the training. Also, we filmed a video with our music performances which were supposed to welcome the participants in the workshop in October.


The whole training was devoted not so much to the intercultural exchange but to the interpersonal communication. During the Bond-Evening, besides sharing our favorite treats and drinks, we talked about our “WOW” and “Oh, shit” stories, in order to learn more about our good and less positive experiences and about ourselves. During the farewell party, besides sharing our Youthpass certificates, we had to recognize each of us in his child’s photo. We also exchanged an important object for us (and the story behind it), in order to preserve it as a souvenir of the wonderful experience.

Several months passed, and in October, some of us returned to Faro to share our training experience with the new participants.

Once again, we were meeting each other through games. We presented our organizations and volunteer experiences. We created personal books and told the stories from the time of our EVS’. The stories were colorful and different like the books themselves, and finally we felt that what we are doing as volunteers is actually not only for us – but also for the community. Following the exchange of stories and the well-known good practices during the training course, it was time to share with the public and to try to attract new enthusiasts to the EVS family! For this purpose, we were divided into two groups – the first was aiming to create a book of stories, and the second had to make a promo video! I was in the video group. We had a total freedom of action, and many disagreements arose, but we finally managed to work together! We have created a video to encourage other volunteers to tell their stories and to show more people that EVS matters – that is our hashtag – #EVS_matters. We also recorded our stories and published them on the seminar’s page. Follow our example ;)

The next day we gathered to enjoy the results of the hard work. We did not forget to talk about the European Solidarity Corpse before we venture on an autumn beaching in Faro’s waters. We needed our rest in order to be fully committed to the next task – promoting EVS volunteering in the city and the university campuses.


Whole morning there was an intense preparation. We created decorated balloons and cheerful masks (which the future volunteers were using for the funny pictures in our photo corner), compasses that pointed the direction of EVS, special origami hats and brochures with information – for a few hours we had to prepare all of this in order to be able to promote it in the afternoon. This was our favorite task, because while we were doing it we could really feel the direct and real impact on the community. We could contact the locals and engage them in the idea of volunteering – and we really realized that what we are doing is not just a task for the seminar, but it has a real meaning and a result! (You can see photos and more information on the blog and Facebook page.)

Most sessions took place in the historic building of the Coordinating Commission for the Development of the Region of Algarve. Last day, we also had the opportunity to look at the Regional Museums of Algarve, which is located in the same building. There we met various aspects of the lifestyle and typical crafts of this region. In the afternoon, our sessions were moved to Faro Beach. There, we reflected on the last week under the sun rays and talked with each of the participants within four minutes to exchange ideas and future plans. This also laid the ground for many fruitful conversations that continued at the farewell party in the evening. In this wonderful place, we also got our Youthpass certificates. The documents was first given to a wrong owner, so he/she had to describe the real owner of the certificate in a few words. It was a touching moment in which you can  understand how close you became  to people from distant countries only for a week! Thanks to the perfect organization of Natalie and Kostas, we finished our activities just in time to enjoy the sunset! We met it with applauses, and some of us even swam in the sea!


The evenings during the project were also devoted to the exchange of stories. After the evening tour of the city, near the harbor, we gathered to exchange our objects. First we had to guess the owner of the object and the story behind it, and then we could hear the real volunteer’s story! Our evenings continued in various games and conversations in Faro’s plazas and harbors that helped us get even closer. We didn’t feel when the week has passed!

Special thanks to Carlos for the overall organization and idea of the training and the seminar, to Natalie and Costas for guiding us patiently and with enough freedom and improvisation on the way to learning and good EVS practices, and to Aristea for the media coverage of everything we have achieved together!

If you like this story, you can also become part of the EVS family or to share your story!

Here you can see our video, book, and other interesting materials related to the seminar and EVS volunteering. Especially for the project was created a blog, where you can trace our day-to-day EVS-TurnOn-Faro experiences!

 And do not forget: #EVS_matters :)

 Posted by Atanaska at 13:31 Volunteer activities Comments Off

The biggest literary event – Sofia International Literary Festival – will be awaiting their guests between 12th and 17th December. In 2017 the focus of the fifth edition of the festival will be the literature and culture of the Visegrad countries – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. We are awaiting international guests, meetings with Bulgarian writers, children workshops, concerts, exhibitions, parties and informational sections.


In order to make this amazing cultural event come true, Bulgarian book Association and CVS Bulgaria need motivated volunteers for the following positions:

  • Person in charge of the logistics (with a very good level of English): welcoming and sending the international guests, as well as accommodating them in the hotel of the festival.
  •  Person in charge of the statistics: keeping a diary of the festival events – their attendance and interest by the audience.
  •  People in charge of the stage: monitoring the order and the necessary quantities on the stage and on the fair; monitoring the order of the guests and when they are going to the stage; supporting  the technical team.
  • Volunteers at the informational point:  guiding the visitors towards the stands; distributing the informational materials; giving information for the cultural program of the fair and the festival.
  • A volunteer, organizational support of the exhibitors: coordinating the organization of the placement and removal by the exhibitors; distribute and collect the reception and transmission protocols; describe and deal with the complaints.

All volunteers will receive a certificate for voluntary work, sandwiches, access to the parties during the festival as well as vouchers for books.

If you would like to join us as a volunteer, please send us a short motivation letter mentioning in which position/s you are interested and a contact number to Aleksandra Stanisheva stanisheva@abk.bg till 6th December!

Good luck!

 Posted by Atanaska at 14:35 Volunteer activities, Volunteer news Comments Off

peace dayThis year CVS-Bulgaria celebrated the International Day of Peace by adhering to the “Action Day countering Hate Speech against Muslims”, promoted by Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement. Together with our EVS volunteers we created two activities: an action in Sofia and a workshop in Vlahi Nature School.

“Action Day countering Hate Speech against Muslims” in Sofia 

Emanuele Bertucco

We thought that a good way to fight against ignorance and prejudice towards Muslim people would be to spread peace messages around the city of Sofia on 21st September. Our messages aimed to target the stereotypes that see Muslim as intolerant towards other religions, or as immune from terrorism, or again, as radical and extremist people. We tried to explain, for example, that Muslims are the most affected by terrorism, that also in many Muslim countries there are progressive movements that fight for human rights and for justice and that the widespread vision that connects Muslim to extremism is completely wrong.

You can see our peace messages here: No hate speech action 21st September 2017 messages


This experiment resulted to be very interesting and we were able to have a conversation with many different people about the topic of tolerance and non-discrimination. Unfortunately not all reactions were positive and some people refused to talk to us. This is an alarming sign that warned us about the necessity to not underestimate the danger of intolerant attitudes and to continue promoting intercultural dialogue and fighting against prejudices and xenophobia also in our daily life. On the other hand, the words of support and the gratitude for our action coming from some other people were very encouraging and make us hope that with the effort of everyone who defend human rights and the dignity of the people is still possible to counteract and defeat the ignorance and false fears.



Workshop on the topic of forced migration in Vlahi Nature School

Mireia Figueras Alsius

The next day, 22nd September we made a presentation on the topic of forced migration in Vlahi Nature School. Our audience were 14 students, teenagers  from 11th School “Hristo Botev” in Blagoevgrad. We started with explaining the origins of the International Day of Peace, hoping to inspire the students to create an action on their own next year. We continued with a discussion on the concept of peace, marked main terms connected with the topic of forced migration and described the refugee situation worldwide and also in Bulgaria, focusing on children and youngsters, our audience counterparts. We spoke about the future challenges and received a lot of questions from the students which fueled the discussion further. We spent a great time together and very interesting opinions and reflexions came out, proving that the work with youngsters is very important in order to fight intolerance and discrimination in our society. We are hopeful to continue creating and leading workshops with young people around Bulgaria in the framework of the Tolerance project and future initiatives who will be aiming to counteract false rumors and prejudices.

21981852_10155767863992210_294417526_o  21985857_10155767864777210_194070683_o


*the actions are part of the EVS project “The Refugee Project: integration in action 2”, financed by the Human Resource Development Center, Erasmus + program.


 Posted by Kathy at 15:27 Volunteer activities Comments Off

 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


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:


P.O. Box 140

1113 Sofia


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


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:


P.O. Box 140

1113 Sofia


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

pic w

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 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.



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”.

pic r


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…



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)



  • 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