Dec 202019
 

On the occasion of the International Volunteers Day, CVS-Bulgaria organised DOBROFEST – an event dedicated to the promotion of volunteering. On the 11th of December 2019 more than two hundred people visited the event, which took place in events hall “In the park” in Sofia, a luminous and cosy venue.

In this event, the visitors were able to learn about the activities of 33 different organisations, all of them working with volunteers in the topics of Human Rights, Ecology, Education, Culture, LGBTIQ+, Urban, Social work and Refugees. Check out the full list of the 33 organisations in case you couldn’t visit the event and you want to learn more about them.

Each organisation had a stand and representatives to talk about their projects, receive donations and organise small activities for the visitors.  They were also provided with a vegetarian lunch and a bag with presents from CVS – Bulgaria. As for the visitors, they were handed at the entrance with a volunteering passport which was aiming to motivate them to visit and find out short facts about each stand and organisation. Those who completed all the answers received gifts as mugs and totebags, but the most important gift they received was the interaction with the representatives and learning about the activities of many topics connected with raising awareness on peace.

In a parallel to the stands for two hours both visitors and organisations had the chance to participate in the 100 Workshops corner, where four workshops took place: “100 ways to include volunteers in our projects”, “100 values of volunteering”, “100 peace actions” and “100 ideas to volunteer”. The workshops were constructed in a way to show the versatility of volunteer work and to give construct on the values and motivation on people. To make them feel the personal connection and then the last two on what methods can be used and how to start their own idea.  In this corner DobroFest had the lovely presence of two very vibrant ladies from “500 markers” who made a visual recording poster of the event and the workshops.

Close to the bar visitors could find the Speed dating Corner, where eight CVS-Bulgaria volunteers from different backgrounds and with experiences in different projects at home and abroad could share practicalities, fears, expectations, life stories about volunteering with anyone who sat with them.

During the whole event people could also give live feedback of the event using the  “Mentimeter” application. They could write write up to 3 words to describe the event in their opinion and all was projected on a wall at the entrance of the venue.

Right next to it, there was a Photo Corner set up. In this space people could take pictures with their phones with the photo frame of the event and upload them to Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #DobrofestBG.

And if you think this was enough for a 6 hours festival, wait to hear more. After 8 pm in the program everyone could enjoy the screening of the documentary “Volunteering vs. Violence” – a video created during a project dedicated to the 100 anniversary of Service Civil International and after that to dance under the sounds of  an ethno latin jazz beats and the energetic performance of Echoo Balkan Samba Band.

This event was part of the 100 Actions for Peace, campaign dedicated to the 100 anniversary of Service Civil International (SCI) and is organised under Volunteering Circles project 2018-2-BG01-KA125-048262, with the support of Erasmus+ programme of EU and Human Resource Development Center (HRDC).

CVS-Bulgaria would like to express gratitude:

  • to the whole team behind the organisation of DobroFest
  • to all the 32 organisations who believed in it and joined with all the colours of their projects and materials
  • to our host Events hall “In the park”
  • to our infopoint hosts at New Bulgarian University (on 3.12.2019), VMWare (on 4.12.2019), A1 Bulgaria (on 5.12.2019) and Sofia University (on 5.12.2019) who let our team in their premisses to personally meet and invite their students and employees
  • to all the media who supported the event and interviewed the team to make it popular
  • to all friends, allies and volunteers at home and all over the world who shared the event with friends and family
  • to all visitors who were at the venue and with dedication and interest were asking for information, talking with everyone, enjoying the cosy atmosphere and making the event a successful one for everybody!

Enjoy more photos in the galery on facebook!

 Posted by Shirin at 14:21 Volunteer activities Comments Off on DOBROFEST
 

After the successful implementation of the Volunteers Managеment training earlier this year, it is time to invite interested participants for the Volunteering Projects Management seminar.  It will take place in Emen village, near Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria between 23rd and 29th April 2020 and will gather 32 representatives of organizations from 13 countries – Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria.

The specific objectives of the Volunteering Projects Management seminar are as follows:

  • raising awareness on the philosophy of volunteering and the opportunity to realize quality and successful volunteer projects
  • providing principal information on volunteer projects, basic documents defining rights, responsibilities and roles of the main stakeholders involved
  • deepening knowledge of the overall process of managing volunteering projects, and acquiring the skills to effectively structure activities throughout the project cycle – needs assessment, preparation, application, implementation, evaluation, follow-up activities, dissemination of results
  • encouraging the use of non-formal learning methods and creativity in the implementation of volunteering projectssharing practical and useful advice from experience in volunteering projectsdeveloping practical skills for managing and implementing quality volunteering projects in view of the risks and changing realities and the challenges we face
  • sharing good and not-so-good volunteering projects practices and stories aimed at improving the quality of future volunteering projects
  • creating a supportive and shared group of organizations for the purpose of future collaboration and assistance in the volunteering projects management 
  • increasing understanding of Erasmus +: Youth and European Solidarity Corps programs and the volunteering opportunities they offer.

Dates and venue of the seminar

The seminar will take place from 23rd (afternoon) till 29th April 2020 (5 full working days and two days – 1 arrival – 23rd April and 1 departure day – 29th April) in Bulgaria, in Imenieto hotel, Emen in the Veliko Tarnovo region. The participants need to arrive in the afternoon on 23rd April and depart on 29th April 2020.

The participants we are looking for are:

  • project managers, coordinators, supervisors and support staff of volunteering projects (short and longterm projects)
  • Age 18+
  • Willing to share knowledge, ideas, useful tips
  • Willing to practise and multiply learning after the seminar
  • Able to understand and express themselves in English
  • Are committed to attend for the full duration of the event
  • Are committed to do a follow-up/dissemination activity to be implemented in their country after the seminar

Travel costs will be reimbursed after the seminar acording to the reimbursement procedure explained in the detailed call for participants. Food and accommodation are covered by the project and additional insurance will be also provided.

All participants will receive Youthpass upon successful completion of the seminar.

Please refer to the detailed Call for participants, which includes the draft program, if you are interested and meet the set in the call criteria, please apply using the online Application form. The deadline for applications is 27.01.2020.

If you have any questions, you can reach us at trainings@cvs-bg.org. 

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. All applicants will be informed about the final decision. 

Looking forwatrd to recieve your applications!
CVS-Bulgaria team

The project “Volunteering from A to Z”, 2019-2-BG01-KA105-062812 is supported by Erasmus+ Programme, under KA1, Youth workers mobility.


 Posted by Kathy at 13:34 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Seminar on Volunteering Projects Management is looking for participants
 

32 youth workers from 13 European countries took part in a Training course for Volunteer Management. The training was organized by CVS-Bulgaria, the Bulgarian branch of the international peace movement and volunteer exchange network Service Civil International. The participants from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Germany, Hungary, Estonia, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey arrived on November 11th and left a week later on November 17th with enriched knowledge and skills for working with local and international volunteers.

The international training course is the first activity part of the Volunteering from A to Z project (№2019-2-BG01-KA105-062812) which is supported by the Erasmus+ program and the Human Resources Development Centre in Bulgaria.

The training aimed at raising awareness of the philosophy and values of volunteering with the idea of implementation of more qualitative volunteer projects. The program focused on the volunteering opportunities offered by the European Solidarity Corps that functions since the end of 2016 and until now more than 30 000 young people have participated in ESC projects. The Erasmus+ program and its aims to encourage active citizenship, learning, and volunteering was another aspect in the program.

Workshops

In the six days of the training course the participants got to know the roles, rights, and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved in the volunteering process. Through presentations, theatre performances, discussions in small groups, individual work, and brainstorming in plenary the participants examined step-by-step the 8-stages of volunteer management cycle. The practical work improved their skills in communication, conflict transformation, intercultural learning, motivation, and implementation of online tools for volunteer management work.

The opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences was an important aspect in the training program. The participants used the specially designed sessions but also the non-formal delicious breaks. For the latter, every one contributed with their favorite snacks and sweets from home. There is no universe in which we can’t say that the Delicious breaks were more colorful and exciting than any usual coffee break.

Delicious Breaks

Since Plovdiv was the town hosting the training, we can’t skip the topic of the European Capital of Culture. Stanislava Tasheva and Kami Clifton from Foudnation Plovdiv 2019, the organization coordinating the European Capital of Culture, were also our guests. They presented their work with focus on the work of Kami with the hundreds of Plovdiv 2019 volunteers. The slogan #Together turned one of the main conversation topics.

Another guest lecturer in the training was Svetla Todorova from Mosaic Training, who introduced us to the secrets of visual facilitation. The awakening of the creativity is as important as our good skills in coordination and mentorship of volunteers. Most of the participants shared that the small and thought-through details are the ones that make an experience more valuable and memorable.

All of the participants are active citizens who work for diverse civil causes in their countries. On November 16th, the International Tolerance Day, the youth workers chose to join a peaceful demonstration for equality “Together is great”. The participants walked through the centre of Plovdiv with messages, music and dances. The organizer was the League for equality – a coalition of organizations, activists and experts who work for equal participation of all in the civil life with a focus on some of the mostly excluded groups (Roma, LGBTI, people with disabilities). The participants stated clearly their support for #tolerance, #respect, #equality with no regard to ethnicity, colour of skin, gender, religion, disability or other identity aspects.

The training finished with summary of tips and tricks for better work with volunteers, as well as inspiring phrases. CVS-Bulgaria will present the collection to the participants of the upcoming seminar for project management of volunteer projects. The seminar will be held in April 2020 in Bulgaria and it aims at upgrading the achievements of the training course as part of the Volunteering from A to Z. We will include all the gathered tips and tricks in an agenda designed to support the work of a volunteer project coordinator.

As the European Capital of Culture for 2019, Plovdiv welcomed us with its autumn colours, changeable weather with lots of sun but also foggy mornings and quiet drizzle. In the free afternoon we had the chance to learn more about the history of Plovdiv with the help of an experienced tour guide. Everybody was impressed by the architecture in the Old town and the lively Kapana neighbourhood despite the rainy weather this day.

Last but not least, we would like to express our gratitude to our hosts from the Youth Centre Plovdiv and the Municipality of Plovdiv who provided us with excellent working conditions!

 Posted by Mira at 19:09 Trainings, Volunteer activities Comments Off on Quality volunteer management work leads to a more tolerant and better world
 

The past Friday 27th of September CVS-Bulgaria collaborated with the National Agency for Refugees bringing children from the refugee center Ovcha Kupel to Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski to participate in the program Children’s Day One included in the European Scientist Night 2019. The activities aimed to approach science to kids through different activities devised to promote their participation and have fun. 

The representative of the National Agency for Refugees and our ESC volunteer Hugo went to the center to pick up the kids in the afternoon and take them to the university by minibus. Other ESC volunteers were waiting for them to carry them to the class where the activities were going to be done. The first workshop, related to Mathematics, kept the attention of the kids, who were participative answering the questions of the teacher throughout the lesson. 

Afterwards, they played with small robots experimenting remote control of electronic devices. They could also enjoy a snack with the volunteers while start bonding with them through their usual games. 

The evening continued with a lesson, shared with kids from other families and backgrounds, about astronomy. It was a good opportunity to interact with other kids, especially when the teacher started using virtual reality glasses and all children got excited. They could use them to find different stars, planets and constellations. In a different workshop they could also create their own 3D glasses as well as use the microscope. Some of them gave their first glance to the molecular world.

They received their diplomas for participating in the event as well as two booklets and a bracelet. At 6 pm we took them to the center again, sharing a good time and laughs together on the way back home. This was the first activity with refugee kids carried out by our new wave of ESC volunteers and it was an enriching experience for both the kids and our new team. We will soon collaborate again with the National Agency in our pathway towards the promotion of tolerance, inclusion and peace among people.

 Posted by Shirin at 13:36 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Evening of Science 2019
 
The Human Library “Community, Communication, Common Space” 14 September, Tsar Simeonova Gradina, Plovdiv

During our life we often face stereotypes, injustice and prejudices.We are asking ourselves: “Why some live in abudance while others count the coins in their pockets? Why some enjoy freedom while others even don’t have a passport?” But as volunteers we do not only ask questions, we want to do something about it: act and make people aware. This is why we decided to make migration a main topic of the Human Library ” Community, Communication, Common Space” , that our organisation CVS-Bulgaria and UNHCR Bulgaria held on 14 September in Plovdiv during the Night of the Museums. The Human Library was complimented by UNHCR’s interactive exhibition “Identity” , featuring some of the books’ stories.


“Human Library” methodology was not chosen by chance. In our case every refugee became a “book” telling their story to a reader from the local community for 15-20 minutes. Any person passing by in the park could be a “reader” if they were instrested and could spare some time.
We had a total of 10 books, which were10 stories filled with life hardships during war and civil outbreks one one hand. On the other, each book was talking about new beginnings and possitive experiences finding a new home in Bulgaria.
The power of the method is to be in the moment, diving into a story which could not be repeated again with the same sencereness and passion.
There is a belief in the local society that refugees are an asocial group of people, who do not want to be integrated and do not contribute to the host country. Thanks to Human Library “Community, Communication, Common Space” the citizens and guests of Plovdiv(the Capital of Culture 2019) could face the challenges that refugees encounter and understand better their emotions and break different stereotypes. They met people who want to belong, to love and be loved, to work, study and thus be a valuable member of the society.

A “book” about Kurdistan, told by Keihan and Farasat
A Pocketful of Dreams, told by Peter

The readers were firstly intrugued by the exhibition and then timidly approached the librarian desk to subscribe for “reading” a book. Each person has a limit of four books to read so in this way we could reach more people. We also managed to read some books. It was really useful experience since we are starting now to dig deeper into the topic of forced migration. There was no unhappy reader, from what we saw in their eyes, or from the conversations and evaluation forms we had later, we got the feeling that everyone was very happy with the event. We especially remember the comment of one girl “You are doing very valuable work. Thank you”.
This event was very significant for the books as well. They were able to share their worries, get support and empathy, as well as a feeling of belonging, which is very important for the refugees. Our books were very glad to meet interested people in their stories and spend some time with locals. We, as a team of organisers also contributed to their positive experiences, travelling and spending some free time together. We, the volunteers believe we have found some new friends among the books we have recruitred for this event.

Am Djad is a Syrian musician who found his new home in Bulgaria


“Reading” such kind of books helps us recognize the value of positive attitude in our life. We only need to support each other in our community and communicate learning more about each other. We understood, that there are no issues that can’t be solved, and we remembered that the main rule of happy life is to meet all that is ment to come with a smile, believing in the good outcome.

Volunteering Circles project / 2018-2-BG01-KA125-048262/ is co-financed by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union

 Posted by Kathy at 14:12 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Human Library Plovdiv 2019
 

TC “Volunteers management”
11-17 November 2019
Youth Centre, Plovdiv /Bulgaria/

After the successful completion of the training courses “Human Rights from A to Z”, “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. Volunteers Management training course is the first activity within the Volunteering from A to Z project and will take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in the period 11th till 17th November 2019. The training will gather 32 representatives of organizationsfrom 13 countries – Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria.

The specific objectives of the Volunteers Management training course are as follows:

  • raising awareness on the philosophy of volunteering and the opportunity for quality volunteer management
  • providing principal information on volunteer projects, basic documents defining rights, responsibilities and roles of the main stakeholders involved
  • deepening knowledge of the volunteer management and implementation cycle
    and the main tasks during each of the 8 stages
  • sharing practical and useful advices from experience in volunteer management
  • developing practical volunteer management skills, including competencies for
    communication, support, conflict transformation, intercultural communication and learning, motivation, focusing on online volunteer and knowledge management tools
  • sharing good and not so good volunteer management practices and stories, in order to learn ideas for improvement and development of future volunteering projects
  • share good practices and emphasize the importance of learning, its tracking, evaluation, recognition and linking it to future better employment of young people in the labour market
  • establishing a support and sharing group of organizations to assist with management volunteers in future volunteer projects
  • increasing understanding of Erasmus +: Youth and European Solidarity Corps programs and the volunteering opportunities they offer.

Dates and venue of the training course

The training will take place from 11th (afternoon) till 17th November 2019 (5 full working days and two days – 1 arrival – 11th November and 1 departure day – 17th November) in Bulgaria, in the Youth Centre in Plovdiv. The participants need to arrive in the afternoon on 11th November and depart in the afternoon on 17th November 2019.

The participants we are looking for are:

  • project managers, coordinators, supervisors and support staff of volunteering projects (short and longterm projects)
  • Age 18+
  • Willing to learn, develop 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 event
  • Are committed to do a follow-up/dissemination activity to be implemented in their country after the training course

Travel costs will be reimbursed after the training acording to the reimbursement procedure explained in the detailed call for participants. Food and accommodation are covered by the project and additional insurance will be also provided.

All participants will receive Youthpass upon successful completion of the training.

Please refer to the detailed  Call for participants Volunteers Management from A to Z and Draft Program 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. 

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. All applicants will be informed about the final decision. 

Looking forwatrd to recieve your applications!
CVS-Bulgaria team

The project “Volunteering from A to Z”, 2019-2-BG01-KA105-062812 is supported by Erasmus+ Programme, under KA1, Youth workers mobility

 Posted by Kathy at 17:37 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Training “Volunteers management” is looking for a participants from Austria, Germany, or Slovakia
 

August 2019

by Carmen Moreno 

Girls and the wild: only four words but combined in such a way that my curiosity didn’t take long to wake up when reading about this project. Being someone who quickly jumps on the wagon of trying new things, the idea of living in nature for one week while sharing ideas about gender equality with people from different backgrounds sounded like an exciting adventure to me.

I have to confess however that during my flight to Sofia, right after the cabin crew gave the security explanation, I couldn’t help but wondering how come I took the decision of spending half of my holidays in a village with a population of eight people surrounded by people I didn’t know in a country I’ve never been to. It was not easy but I tried to remind myself that the  best experiences in life occur when we step out of our comfort zone.Too close to a clich?, not sure if such thought was helpful at all.

What made my fears go instantly away was meeting the rest of volunteers, coordinators and participants once we arrived at the workcamp. From the very first day, one could feel the good vibes, the willingness and passion we shared to build something together. A light sparkled among us and didn’t stop twinkling during the whole week we spent together in Vlahi.

Not everything was a bed of roses though as we all faced some barriers along the way. We learnt about the importance of respecting each other’s own pace when it comes to trying new things as well as to listen to our needs and be able to communicate them assertively. This experience taught me as well the importance of being flexible to respect different points of view. It was also truly enriching to gain insights around topics such as gender roles, self-love or gender stereotyping from different perspectives during the workshops, especially when we shared personal stories among us.

In my flight back home, when the pilot announced we were ready for takeoff, I had very different thoughts. My head was full of fresh energy and new ideas but there was one feeling standing  above all: I felt very grateful (and proud) for having had the chance to contribute to this wonderful project. Clicheing apart, every accomplishment starts with the courage to try.

August 2019



 Posted by Shirin at 14:32 Volunteer activities Comments Off on At least I tried: a volunteer perspective – workcamp in Bulgaria
 

August 2019

by Ulrike Gansen

Ulli and Lore enjoying the view of Vlahi village

I am in Sofia. I meet two young women from Belgium and Spain for a breakfast together. We are in a really nice caf? with a beautiful, shady backyard, carpets at the wall and the aromatic smell of freshly brewed coffee in the air. How did this happen? What am I doing here? I didn’t know both of them before. And now we are chatting, laughing – and sharing our expectations about our first workcamp. For all of us, it would be our first one. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect. But we came all to Bulgaria to volunteer in a workcamp on gender equality with people we don’t know in a place we don’t know.

However – we made it to Vlahi, a small, remote village in the Pirin mountains with only 8 human habitants (and some dogs, cats and a lot of goats). For one week, we lived in the Vlahi Nature School – a lovely building made from only natural materials. We shared one big bedroom, used compost toilets and enjoyed refreshing cold showers.

But who is “we”? We were three international volunteers, three coordinators from Bulgaria and Poland and four young women from rural Bulgaria. And although I didn’t know anybody before, I felt quickly almost like home.

During one week, we did workshops on gender roles, gender stereotypes, beauty images and self-love. Although we all were from different countries and cultural backgrounds, we experienced the same expectations and obligations that are connected to being a woman. We hiked, we camped in the wild, we set a fire, laughed and discussed.

Even though the time period we spent together was short, we had language barriers and not everything ended up as planned, the workcamp gave me a lot of valuable insights in the intercultural perspectives of feminism and gender equality. I met wonderful human beings (and animals), challenged myself by adapting a really basic lifestyle, enjoyed the Bulgarian wilderness and night sky and reawakened my love for camping! Thank you really much!

 Posted by Shirin at 14:27 Volunteer activities Comments Off on “Girls and the wild”-Workcamp in Bulgaria
 

It all started with the Gendered realities project and the call for local activities on gender equality topic by SCI.

The team of three girls Bea from Poland, Vili and Shirin from Bulgaria, who already had organized two workcamps on women empowerment in a small village in Lukovit region in Bulgaria (in 2017 and 2018) embraced the idea to continue their doing in the summer of 2019. They went bold, driven by the need to focus on the potential of the local young girls who they met in the previous years. Their idea was to go out in the nature, meet international volunteers with these girls and challenge the gender roles that are still very present in their own communities. The idea was approved and on 17th of August the team, together with three volunteers from Spain, Belgium and Germany met with 4 young girls from the region of Lukovit. They took the bus from Sofia to Kresna from where the most popular local driver with a minivan suitable for the broken road took them to the distant Vlahi village (population of 8 people).

The accommodation was in Vlahi Nature School a building restored only by natural materials and it provided big kitchen area, nice beds, compost toilets, outside showers with water heated by solar panels, amazing mountain views and a sky full of stars. First touch with the nature was already there! The program was intense from the first meeting, because there were only 7 days to spend together. The coordinators team was very lucky to have volunteers who came prepared with workshops on body image, beauty standards, self love, gender re-presentation in school, media, different job opportunities. The non-formal methods of barometer, taking a step forward, drawing, magazines and photos from internet lead to deeper discussions and sharing of personal stories. This has been the most challenging part for everyone because translation from English to Bulgarian and vice versa were needed for everyone to take part and understand each other’s backgrounds.

After two days of intensive workshops it was time to prepare for the wild camping. It started with watching the movie Wild and preparing the list of things needed for the campsite. Then there was time for the quest to find the best spot to set up the camping. During the hike the amazing sights of Pirin mountain appeared even closer and everyone felt excited of what else is coming. When the perfect spot with flat ground and river nearby appeared, the decision has been made, the group went back to the school for a short rest and packing for the camping part of the week. Workshops on how to open a tent were made, together with building a small table from wood and stones. In the morning some of the girls shared they did not feel very comfortable spending the night in tents, so the group had a session for midterm evaluation and everyone shared if their expectations were met so far. The best outcome of this discussion has been the decision to never give up after the first time, to check what and how it can be improved and at least try one more time (camping or in life situations). The rest of the camping experience has been dedicated to outside games for bonding, first aid in case of emergency, starting a fire, cooking, taking care for each others needs and create a comfort in the wilderness.

The last two days were used for an evening of the talents and cultures, some free time hiking to the nearest waterfall and personal and group reflections, together with evaluation of the overall experience. During this time the moto of the workcamp has been decided and it corresponds to the full experience of every person who took part in it, considering the low and the high moments of it.

With pride we share it with you – At least I tried!

This story might not sound to you as a regular workcamp as we know it in SCI, but it was an effort that the three girls took very boldly and executed successfully, mixing different activities and programs that they know. Lessons are learned, eyes have been opened and fingers are crossed for more action on Gender equality and women empowerment in the future!

All this has been accomplished with the financial support of

And with the support of local organisations

 Posted by Shirin at 15:49 Volunteer activities Comments Off on At least I tried! – our workcamp in the wild
 

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

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

Nina’s impressions

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

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

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

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

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

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

**********************************************************************

Boyan’s story about the project

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

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

And the training in pictures

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

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

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