“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.


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


 Posted by Victoria at 10:23 Volunteer activities

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