Solidarity Project


Solidarity project is a logical continuation of “The Refugee Project” ( ) – the biggest and the most long-lasting volunteering initiative in the field of forced migration in Bulgaria, which CVS-Bulgaria has created in 2010 and ran in cooperation with Caritas Sofia from 2011 to 2020. 

Thematic focuses:

  • Peace and intercultural dialogue
  • Inclusion (Building Bridges)

Specific objectives:

  • Strengthened capacity to protect and promote EU rights and values
  • More supportive environment for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and rights defenders such as national human rights institutions
  • Increased citizen awareness of EU rights and values

Type of Activity/ Activities

Social inclusion and anti-discrimination activities (specific initiatives to promote social inclusion, gender equality, fight to racism and discrimination)

  • Regular activities in the centers for refugees of the Bulgarian State Agency for Refugees and the Integration centers of partner organisations such as Za Dobroto foundation, Help for Ukraine foundation and others. These activities will be carried out by volunteers who will be recruited, trained, supervised and supported by the coordinator of the project.
  • Psychological help for asylum seekers and refugees
  • Regular recreational, sport and cultural outings for asylum seekers and refugees

Apply to become a volunteer here.

Awareness-raising activities (festivals, street actions, public events, roundtables, meetings with bodies and institutions)

Awareness raising and cultural exchange events – we will organize diffeent awareness raising and cultural exchange events and one online campaign, which will aim to raise awareness about the issues refugees’ face, while at the same time promote the European values such as human dignity and human rights, equality and freedom. We will put a special emphasis on deconstructing the rumors and fake news, which are spread in the local communities in regards to refugees. We will leave space for the local volunteers to propose and plan the activities, following our experience in organizing human libraries, festivals, podcast, Refugee month initiatives, sport events, exhibitions etc.

Volunteering and/or cultural exchange activities focusing on increasing citizens awareness of EU values (“Solidarity Volunteering Academy” workcamp)

The idea of workcamps was born right after the World War I and since then has been bringing people from different parts of the world together to work and exchange experiences towards social inclusion, environmental issues, relief work, historical heritage, art and cultural and many others. These projects have been all clustered by the idea of local development based on tolerance, conflict transformation and promotion of cooperation and sharing of good practices. More information on SCI workcamps can be found here.

Within the project we are organising a volunteering workcamp “Solidarity Volunteering Academy”, which will take place from 14th to 24th September 2023 in reception centers in Sofia(study visit) and Banya village(workcamp activities), where a group of eight international volunteers and two coordinators will carry out educational, recreational and sports activitities for children, youngsters and adults.

In the small reception center of Banya the presence of NGOs is almost zero, on the contrary of the centers in Sofia or Harmanly, in this center there are no weekly organized activities for the asylum seekers. Furthermore the location of the center, in the little village of Banya, makes difficult the interaction of the refugees with the Bulgarians. With this workcamp we would try to break the situation of isolation of the center and create a space where the volunteers and the asylum seekers could meet and work together. Our aim is to encourage the intercultural exchange between internationals volunteers and asylum seekers and thus empower the asylum seekers and bring some light in their daily routine in the center, where they await the decision about their asylum claim. The main objective is to help the asylum seekers to feel accepted and reclaim their dignity and to facilitate their integration into the society.

In the first days of the workcamp the volunteers will have the oportunity to meet experts in the field of forced migration and learn more about the situation of asylum seekers and holders of temporary and international protection in Bulgaria. Together they will ceate an activity plan for the working days and will carry out the workshops in the reception centers of the State agency for refugees.

In the past we organised workcamps in the venue (2012 and 2017). We divided the asylum seekers in three different group: kids, women and men and we studied specific activities for each one of these group. Our schedule provided two shifts in the camp per day, from 10:00 to 13:00 in the morning and from 16:00 to 18:30 in the afternoon. For the kids our activities were focused on learning some basic knowledge of English and mathematics. In the morning we concentrate our effort on an educational part while in the afternoon we prepare more recreational and sports activities. We always tried to connect the recreational activities with the education part, trying to recall the notions that we taught with games.
For the men we organized different sports and craft activities, we built a big chess using empty bottles, we played different sports (football, volleyball, dogeball…) and we found a space to discuss about the differences in our country of origin. With women we have mainly organized crafts activities like making bracelets, necklaces, postcards, bags. Also with the women we managed to create a space to talk about different topics. We have also organized two cinema nights in the camp where we projected two different movies, one movie directed at children and another addressed to adults.

Apply for the Solidarity Volunteering Academy here.

photos: CVS-Bulgaria archive and Soulcinematic

Solidarity project is implemented under the SCI’s Re-granting Scheme(FSTP), funded by the European Union’s CERV(Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values) Programme. Grants are available for CSO’s in EU countries.