My name is Silvi and from January to August 2022 I was volunteering in a Montessori school in Telfs, which has made me ponder a lot about what is important for one’s education and nurture. During my volunteering I had discovered a lot about education and nurture. How fruitful it is for a child to thrive as a part of more than a system, but a community: taking part in each aspect of school life and voicing what is dear to them as an individual. Teaching, learning and relishing the beauty of the Alps, I spent a year in InfoEck – Jugendinfo Tirol looking for the greater meaning. I share with you some photos which illustrate this amazing journey!


28 April 2022 – Meeting with other volunteers to exchange with each other and discuss the “Sustainable Development Goals” and the “EU Youth Goals”.
20 may 2022 – our volunteering team is meeting to discuss solidarity, non-formal learning and reflection on learning processes. Our host was the amazing space of Die Bаckerei
“Cooking for Solidarity” 6 may 2022 – Our volunteering team was cooking for a good cause and welcomed many guests! The donations collected went to “Nachbar in Not – Help for Ukraine”. We presented the European Solidarity Corps and our project. Check out the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/3166487790239693

From the autumn of 2022 our ESC group has been hosting a radio show “Talking Europe” – spoiling the audience you with fine music and exciting topics. Website of Radio FREIRAD: FREIRAD 105.9 Freies Radio Innsbruck
5 July – Time flies! This photo was taken at our last hiking together! The project was over but tyhe journey just begins!
26 September 2022 – Back in Bulgaria I was able to share my experience with local volunteers and inspire them to volunteer abroad within the European Solidarity Corps program!

Volunteering Projects under European Solidarity Corps/2021-2-AT01-ESC51-VTJ-000044972

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 Posted by Kathy at 12:32 Comments Off on Volunteering in Tyrol – photostory

“Volunteering Circles II” is a long-term initiative of the organization CVS-Bulgaria, which includes 11 motilities in 4 circles (Volunteering, Social Inclusion and Integration, Human Rights and Art and Culture) as well as a number of complementary activities to improve the quality of the project results achieved in Bulgaria with international participation.

More information about the project and its goals you can find below:

The project consists of several circles: Volunteering, Social Inclusion and Integration, Human Rights and Art and Culture. Each circle has its main focus but the volunteers will work as a team and will be included in all the tasks and events provisioned within the project. Along with the regular activities the volunteers will be included in several complimentary activities envisaged in the project. The organization is always open for suggestions coming from the volunteers and answering the current needs of the target groups we work with. Below is a galary of photos from some of our past activities and events.

Detailed description of the regular and complimentary activities within the project you can find here:

The practicalities of the project are arranged according to the European Solidarity Corps guidelines, allowing the volunteers to enjoy a free participation. All necessary costs for the implementation of the project are covered, including food and pocket money, international, local transport and insurance, accommodation and utilities (when applicable). Detailed information can be found here:

The information about the positions and available vacancies you can find below. Please note that this information will be updated regularly. According to the rules of the funding program, the volunteers must be 18 to 30 years old (volunteers who have not reached the age of 31 upon applying are welcome). Moreover they should not have been a part of long-term EVS/ESC project in the past. In addition to these formal requirements, we are looking for young people who:
– would like to work in the field, spirit of activism and initiative
– have a strong motivation to support communities in need
– are eager to get to know different cultures
– have the motivation to develop their own ideas and initiatives
– desire to improve language skills
– have the motivation for learning, development of personal competences and creation of new friendships

Eligible countries: Participants must be legally resided in one of the following countries: EU countries, Turkey, North Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine,Syria, Tunisia
Venue of placement: Sofia, Bulgaria (some of the activities may require living/travelling within Bulgaria)
Working language of the activities: English, Bulgarian(Bulgarian online language courses will be provided)

Placement positions and vacancies: 
Number of positions: 2, Vacancies: 2, Type: Bulgarian volunteers, Duration: 6 months, Start date: flexible, but no later than June 2023
Number of positions: 1, Vacancies: 1, Type: International volunteers, Duration: 12 months, Start date: January/February 2023 *
(* let us know when you can start in January or if not possible what would be the earliest date when you are available)

Number of positions: 1, Vacancies: 0, Type: International volunteers, Duration: 12 months, Start date: December 2022
Number of positions: 2, Vacancies: 0, Type: International volunteers, Duration: 12 months, Start date: January/February 2023 *
(* let us know when you can start in January or if not possible what would be the earliest date when you are available)

Number of positions: 2, Vacancies: 1, Type: International volunteers, Duration: 12 months, Start date: January 2023 *
(* let us know when you can start in January or if not possible what would be the earliest date when you are avauilable)

Number of positions: 1, Vacancies: 0, Type: Bulgarian volunteers, Duration: 12 months, Start date: January 2022
Number of positions: 2, Vacancies: 2, Type: Bulgarian volunteers, Duration: 6 months, Start date: February/March 2023

We asked our volunteers to share their experience and help you choose CVS-Bulgaria as your future hosting organisation:

If you think this is your dream volunteering project and you are ready to join The Volunteering Circles II, please send us an e-mail with title the circle you wish to join and your name (example: Refugee Circle_Marina Costa) at cvs.katerina@gmail.com your CV and motivation letter.

Please follow the update in the number of vacancies and apply as soon as possible. All shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview. 

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

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). In 2019, the organisation also became a member of the civil association “Ravni BG”, which brings together 30 civil organizations that believe in democratic values and work in the field of human rights protection, vulnerable groups, sustainable development, advocacy, etc.

More information about our aims, approaches and activities you can find here:

Volunteering Circles II project /2020-3-BG01-ESC11-094933/ is co-funded by the European Solidarity Corps program of the European Union, operated by the Human Resourse Development Centre in Bulgaria.

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 Posted by Kathy at 16:38 Comments Off on Volunteering circles II – call for long-term volunteers

In a nutshel, through the eyes of our participant Anh Duong, the training looked like this:

 Posted by Kathy at 16:26 Comments Off on Project cafe – all we learned about projects from the inspiration to action!
 Posted by Kathy at 14:57 Comments Off on The Beauty of Cultural Diversity

ES-MAD 7.1. Villarejo Educa

Dates: 01 July 2022 – 15 July 2022

Location: Villarejo de Salvanes, Spain

The proposal includes a program of activities for children and young people and a parallel program aimed at volunteers? learning about the history and heritage of the Villarejo de Salvanes town. This workcamp offers the volunteer group an opportunity for personal growth and a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The tasks would be to promote the ecological perspective in leisure activities, raise awareness about the generation of waste in everyday life and work on environmental education in general.

 Application and more information: https://workcamps.sci.ngo/icamps/camp-details/15274.html


ES-MAD 10.2. Santuario Vacaloura

Dates: 10 July 2022 – 24 July 2022

Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The Vacaloura Animal Sanctuary was born in 2013 to welcome animals of all species, as long as they can be given a decent life. Currently, more than 100 animals of different species (rabbits, pigs, chickens, roosters, ducks, horses, sheep, etc.) live in the Sanctuary. Volunteers carry out the maintenance of the shelter (cleaning, construction and collection) and collection and preparation of food for animals.

Application and more information: https://workcamps.sci.ngo/icamps/camp-details/15361.html



ES-MAD 3.1. PURUJOSA: building in a small village

Dates: 25 July 2022 – 14 August 2022

Location: Purujosa, Spain

The volunteers will help build a house for the social use of local associations. This year in particular, the team of volunteers is going to plaster the walls, install the water mains, the floors and the windows. The Purujosa town is located in a natural park, so people interested in nature are welcome. The volunteers will also be able to do excursions and cultural visits of the historical surroundings of the village, and do several activities such as yoga, ceramics, going to the swimming pool in a nearby village, sports, etc.

Application and more information: https://workcamps.sci.ngo/icamps/camp-details/15273.html 


ES-MAD 5.1 – 5.2. – 5.3.  – 5.5. Casa Samuel (Salamanca)


  • 4 July 2022 – 17 July 2022
  • 18 July 2022 – 31 July 2022
  • 1 August 2022 – 14 August 2022
  • 29 August 2022 – 11 September 2022

Location: Salamanca, Spain

Caritas Salamanca has a safe house for people with HIV, that covers their basic needs and allows them to start a process of personal recovery to achieve the maximum autonomy. As this workcamp will take place in the House for people with AIDS and will offer to the future participants the possibility of living a volunteer experience in a social project, approaching a concrete reality of exclusion of some HIV-positive persons. Volunteers will accompany the residents in their everyday activities and assist in the organization of various activities of leisure time, encouraging everyone to participate and helping those people with special needs (being in a wheelchair or walking with difficulty).

Application and more information: https://workcamps.sci.ngo/icamps/camp-details/15369.html 



ES-MAD 10.3. Grefa: animal recovery, and research

Dates: 16 July 2022 – 31 July 2022

Location: Valladolid, Spain

The project tries to help in the manufacture and placement of artificial nests to favor the breeding of the lesser kestrel, fix the nests of owls and kestrels within the biological control project and collaborate in the municipal project “Landmark buildings of Castilla y Leon” (“Edificios emblematicos de Castilla y Leon”) in places of architectural interest. 

GREFA is a non-profit, non-government organization, created in 1981 as an association for the study and conservation of nature. Volunteers will work together with the team of professional and amateur naturalists, biologists and veterinarians and, for sure, other volunteers.

Application and more information:: https://workcamps.sci.ngo/icamps/camp-details/15370.html



 Posted by Kathy at 20:55 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Workcamps in Spain – why not this summer!

Would you like to realise your own ideas?
Have you been wanting to initiate your own project?
You (and eventually your team) are ready to rock, but you just don’t know yet how to get there and realise your idea(s)?
Well… read this call carefully and – if interested – join us!

Aims and Goals

  • Exchange with international youth workers, activists and volunteers about pressing topics in Europe that urgently need more attention, e.g. forced migration and refugees or social exclusion
  • Exploring Social Entrepreneurship as a tool for social change and just society
  • Learn from each other how to improve the processes of planning, preparing and implementing projects to tackle these topics
  • Develop ideas into concrete project concepts while learning from existing local and international projects, best practices and from the field of NGOs and Social Entrepreneurs
  • Build a support network to find synergies among project teams and to build on knowledge existing in networks and organisations
  • Use project management tools to develop, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate projects’ impacts.

The seminar will gather 30 participants from about 17 countries. The final selection of the participants will be done by the coordination team upon recommendation by the project partners.


  • Be able to attend for the full duration of the seminar
  • Ideally be active and be able to influence decisions of their sending organisations and have experience in volunteering, and related topics, such as Climate Justice, Gender, Social Inclusion, Human Rights, Community Development…
  • Be willing to commit yourself to spreading their new skills and competences to your sending branch in whatever capacity
  • We expect participants to actively contribute to this outcome after the Activity by writing short reports about their learnings and activities, and to share them with SCI-D, CVS and their sending organisation
  • Bring ideas for workshops, methods, tools, best practices and approaches to be shared
  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be able to work in English language
  • Be motivated and sensitive to work with people from different backgrounds

This call for participants applies only for youth workers, activists and volunteers from EU countries + Albania, Armenia, Kosovo and Ukraine. You can apply if you have a residence in one of those countries or hold a passport from one of them.

The venue

The training will take place in Hotel Complex Jeravna, which is situated in Bankya (Bulgarian: Банкя) – a small town and hot springs spa district located on the outskirts of Sofia. The district is famous for its healing and clean air and mineral springs and baths that have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.

The accommodation will be organised in double or triple rooms, which have a private bathroom, bed linens and towels, and free WiFi. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided in the restaurant of the hotel, according to the specific food needs of the participants mentioned in the registration form, starting with a dinner on 30th June and finishing with lunch on 5th July 2022.


More information about the trainers, draft program, conditions and project you can find in the detailed call here.


To apply for the project, please follow the link

Please submit your application by 03.06.2022! We will be happy to answer all your questions, please write to Britta and Jenia at: projectcafe@sci-d.de

 Posted by Kathy at 21:37 Volunteer activities Comments Off on PROJECT CAFE seminar is looking for participants

We are happy to share with you that on 17 May 2022, Tuesday, 18:00 CEST the first webinar of Learning Lab(oratory) project will take place. The topic is Visual Facilitation for Boosting Learning – how to apply visuals in our in-person and online educational activities. It will be led by Svetla Todorova, an amazing trainer in visual facilitation.

More information about the webinar and the trainer you can find here.

The webinar is organised in the frame of the “Learning Lab(oratory) – quality non-formal education in the digital world” project by SCI Poland, co-funded by the European Union.

 Posted by Kathy at 07:25 Volunteer activities Comments Off on  Visual Facilitation for Boosting Learning 

Are you planning an anti-racism action, and are you looking for funds? XminY may be able to help! Read on to find out how.

What is XminY

XminY supports social movements, action groups and changemakers fighting for a fair, democratic, sustainable and accepting world.

XminY is a unique worldwide action fund that has been supporting social movements for more than 45 years. XminY is supported by a few thousand individuals in the Netherlands who donate to the fund. This ensures our independence and freedom to determine our own political position and strategy.


XminY believes in the power of people to shape their world. Every great social transformation starts with brave individuals who take the first steps along the road to change. These are ordinary people who stand up in their communities, encourage others, and work together with them in the struggle for a fair, just, sustainable and accepting world.

Bottom-up change
XminY believes that problems can best be approached from the bottom up. Local activists and grassroots organisations know best what is the most effective way to realize their goals and how to give a voice to those who are unheard. XminY is proud to support these changemakers in their struggles.

Grassroots groups
XminY primarily supports groups that are new, small or controversial. Often, they do not receive support from bigger donors or governments; they do not meet donor requirements, of their questioning of established interests makes them contentious in their own regions. The projects XminY supports stand out because of their critique of the current economic and governance systems, and their dedication to putting people and planet before profit.

What we support
XminY supports demonstrations, occupations, direct action and other creative ways to change the world. XminY supports projects within the following categories: ecology, living and land rights, emancipation, media and democracy, peace and human rights, refugees and anti-racism, work and globalisation. We fund individual projects with a maximum grant of €3000, and the budget for the entire project cannot exceed €20.000. 

How to apply

Applications can be submitted by using the forms on our website. Please read our general criteria (below) and the costs we cover carefully before submitting your application. It would be a waste of your time if you put a lot of effort in an application that doesn’t match our criteria! We ask you to provide background information, concrete data, your planned activities and a detailed budget. There is no deadline for sending your application to XminY. But please keep in mind the decision making process can take up to two months, so apply on time!

Apply for funding

Dutch https://xminy.nl/aanvraag/

English https://xminy.nl/english/

Spanish https://xminy.nl/espanol/

French https://xminy.nl/francais/

Russian https://xminy.nl/pyccknn/

Arab https://xminy.nl/arab/

General criteria

  • XminY only supports groups, organizations or social movements that fight for an honest, just and ecologically sound society.
  • XminY only supports projects that aim to mobilize and inspire individuals and groups.
  • XminY only supports projects that go beyond specific individual or ethnic interests.
  • XminY prefers to support demonstrations, blockades, occupations, direct actions, revolts, revolutions and other creative forms of confrontational action.
  • XminY prefers to support grassroots organizations.
  • XminY prefers to support politically controversial projects that have difficulty finding financial aid elsewhere.
  • XminY prefers to support projects that lead to political actions.
  • XminY prefers to fund projects that are part of a long term strategy.
  • XminY supports projects with a maximum of 3,000 euros.
  • XminY only supports projects with a total budget of less than 20,000 euros.
  • XminY doesn’t fund structural costs like wages or rental costs.
  • XminY doesn’t support conferences, seminars, debates or other meetings unless they clearly aim to prepare for political actions.
  • XminY doesn’t finance juridical procedures unless these are part of a broader activist campaign.
  • XminY doesn’t support political parties.
  • XminY doesn’t support groups that try to exclude other progressive movements.
  • XminY doesn’t fund projects specifically aimed at disabled people or children.
  • XminY doesn’t fund humanitarian aid or healthcare.
  • XminY doesn’t fund emergency aid.
  • XminY doesn’t support cultural or educational projects that only aim at raising awareness.
  • XminY doesn’t fund micro-credit programs or income generating projects.
  • XminY doesn’t support projects through third parties. We want to cooperate directly with the groups we support, without an additional bureaucratic layer in between.

The Team of XminY Solidarity Fund


 Posted by Kathy at 19:18 Volunteer activities Comments Off on XminY – Funding for your actions!

When and Where: 6th to 13th March 2022, Mutters near Innsbruck, Austria

The project

International peace and volunteer work is rooted in face-to-face exchange of people from different regions and backgrounds. Regular trainings, seminars and volunteer camps where youth workers and young people can exchange experiences and ideas, form the basis of this. The need for personal exchange comes along with a greater need for travel and transportation.

Currently, many of the travel distances are covered by airplane. This contributes massively to the climate crisis and to increasing social inequality. Besides, the restrictions imposed by COVID19 have forced us to take a more urgent look at alternative forms of mobility. Among all the challenges, this also offers an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned regarding mobility in international peace work during the pandemic.

The Project MOVE makes mobility a peace issue and considers the acute need to raise awareness and to promote
critical reflection of current mobility choices in international volunteer projects and peace activities. Its main objectives are:

  • to enhance the knowledge, skills and competences of youth workers on the main topics,
  • to equip them with tools to make their activities ecologically and socially more sustainable, and
  • to create ideas and follow-up plans for innovative climate-friendly projects.

The project consists of four parts. This call for applications comprises the last two parts (Activity 2 and follow up), the “Landing and Spreading” Seminar near Innsbruck 06.-13. March 2022, and a Follow-up Period to finalise the project outputs and start implementing new project ideas.

During the training, participants from peace/volunteering organisations from 17 countries gathered in Nuremberg in
September 2021 to learn about the intersections of mobility, climate justice and peace work. They created and shared tools and ideas for activism, education and structural change regarding the topic. Between the training and the seminar, the training participants are implementing workshop ideas ‘On the MOVE’. They gather content and feedback for a toolkit on sustainable mobility and localise the topics discussed at the training – including running local or online workshops on travel guidelines.

Now we are looking for applications and participants for the second activity of the project, the “Landing and Spreading” seminar near to Innsbruck. There, we will discuss more topics connected to global sustainable mobility, such as e.g. gender and mobility. Part of the seminar will be to discuss the outcomes of the ‘On the Move’ period and to gather more information for a toolkit on sustainable mobility for volunteering organisations. The toolkit will be developed at this seminar. The seminar also gives space to connect to other international organisations and get information about their ways of sustainable travel. These activities will be held in English language.

The Venue

The seminar will take place in the youth house “Jungscharhaus Mutters”: https://innsbruck.jungschar.at/jungschar
It is located near Innsbruck, Austria, well connected to public transport and close to the mountains.

The Team

The seminar will be facilitated by an experience team of trainers/facilitators of SCI Germany and SCI Austria. Simon*, Jakob, Noah Marschner, Esther Wawerda and Sophia Schmid will be part of the facilitating team (for some days).


*Understand the link between (global) mobility, climate justice and international peace work
*Empower and train active volunteers, camp coordinators and seminar facilitators to advocate for sustainable means of transportation and implement local actions with their sending organisations
*Enhance networking capabilities, create & share tools and ideas for local activism and campaigning
*Initiate structural change regarding mobility within SCI and partners
*Create a toolkit about sustainable mobility and a draft for a sustainable international travel policy


*Local and global impacts of global mobility on resources, climate change and social justice
*Structures behind global mobility (acceleration, economic growth, global inequalities)
*Economic and political approaches to sustainable global mobility and their critique
*Peace work, mobility and its climate impacts
*Approaches to a more climate-friendly peace work, lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic
*Ideas/inspiration for local workshops and new projects including Project Management
*Travel Policies of different international organisations


*Mobility Toolkit – contents: NFE methods about global mobility, climate justice and peace, background knowledge to develop guidelines for sustainable projects, examples for sustainable approaches in peace and youth work
*Draft for a sustainable international travel policy
*Ideas and networks for new international cooperation in the field of sustainable global Mobility


We’re going to use a broad variety of non-formal education methods, such as world cafe, snowball discussions, re-
search, silent exhibition, simulation games, theatre, visual harvesting, arts, energizers, role games, team building ac-
tivities and more. There will also be project visits to local initiatives.

Follow up (non-residential)

Participants implement their own projects and workshop about the projects topic. They will also finish their work on
the Toolkit and the Travel Policy draft.

Participants Profile

Everyone who comes to this seminar should…

  • be vaccinated against Covid 19 or recovered (obligation)
  • have experience in international peace work
  • ideally be an active member and be involved in the process and decision structures of their sending organisation;
  • allow time and ideas for both the seminar and the finalisation phase;
  • ideally be motivated to participate actively in the production of the outputs;
  • be committed to abstain from flying and travel to the events via overland route instead;
  • bring ideas for own workshops;
  • have sufficient English language skills (spoken and written);
  • be committed to spreading their new skills and competences to their sending branches/organisation, e.g. via a workshop or a camp coordinator training.

Participants who already participated in the MOVE training (09/2021 in N?rnberg) will be given priority, but we are
also very much looking forward to meeting new people.

Please note that there will be opportunities to visit Innsbruck, but that this is not a “getting to know the region” pro-
ject. On some days the seminar also foresees evening sessions.

Logistics, financial conditions and sustainability

Simple life: The seminar will take place in a seminar house with simple living conditions. You will sleep in a room
shared with few other people.

Money, money, money: We can cover all essential costs of the program (including vegan food, travel costs up to a maximum amount per distance (maximum travel reimbursement amounts: 10-99 km = 20 Euro, 100-499 km = 180 Euro, 500-1999 km = 275 Euro, 2000-2999 km = 360 Euro), visa costs, accommodation and seminar) through a European project grant by Erasmus+. Your sending organisation might ask for a small participation fee. The costs will be reimbursed to you after submission of a complete expenditure summary and original receipts after project completion.

Sustainable food: The food we provide will be vegan. This is not just a practical decision, but also an ideological one: SCI believes in the values of sustainability and climate justice – and if we want to contribute to a more peaceful planet, we need to give up on industrialized animal agriculture and its destructive effects on our planet. We will also take care of the food ourselves so that’s a good opportunity to share food from your region

Sustainable travels?: This is also why we ask you to come to this seminar through more sustainable means of transport rather than flying (e.g. by train or bus), if somehow possible. Innsbruck is easy to reach with (night) trains and busses from many places. We will give you more guidance on how you can reach the venue once you are accepted to the seminar.

How to apply

Please send your application for the Landing and Spreading Seminar via this application form asap. After we accept your application, you will receive a detailed infosheet.

Covid19 Regulations

Please be advised that due to the pandemic and related measures, there may be changes. We ask you not to book
your trip before we have informed you that the training will take place at the planned location. We will let you know
about this about four weeks before the seminar starts. For the protection of all participants on site, we will only accept participants who are fully vaccinated with one vaccine accepted by the Austrian government and the last dose (second or third) is not older than 270 days:

BioNtech/Pfizer Comirnaty/BNT162b2/Tozinameran
Sinopharm / BIBP (Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co-Ltd.)
Sinovac-CoronaVac Vaccine
Johnson/Janssen + a second dose with another vaccine from one of the above

If you’re recovered you need a Covid-19 recovery certificate. This is valid until 6month (180days) after your positive pcr test. After 6 month you need one vaccination shot with one of the vaccines, mentioned above. This is valid 270 days after the vaccination, then you need a second dose.

We will also ask you to bring your own supply of FFP2 masks and a certificate of a negative Covid19 rapid test result no older than 48 hours (no exceptions). If the current situation in March forces us to do so, we will either do it online on the same days or postpone this seminar to another date and will inform you immediately. Upon confirmation, you are responsible to ensure that your trip complies with the latest recommendations of the health authorities regarding the spread of Covid19. For Austria, the regulations of the government agency apply.

We are looking forward to your application
The coordinating team – Britta, Esther, Sophia, Noah, Mirna & Simon*

For any questions contact: simon.jakob@sci-d.de

 Posted by Kathy at 11:11 Volunteer activities Comments Off on M.O.V.E. – Seminar: Landing and Spreading is looking for participants

In September, at the foot of Lozen Mountain, together with twenty-five youth workers, volunteers and activists from nine countries – Bulgaria, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Ukraine and Armenia we studied, created and shared stories and good practices in the context of gender equality. All this happened within the international training “Visual Storytelling  from A to Z”, organized from 14 to 23 September 2021 by CVS – Bulgaria, the Bulgarian branch of the international peace movement for and volunteers exchange network Service Civil International.

The training program was divided into thematic modules to provide new information, improve knowledge and develop the skills of the participants and enable sharing in a safe and creative environment. The program included meetings with visual arts experts, as well as a visit to several organizations that shared their own practices in the field of gender equality and further contributed to the training and development process. The modules were arranged thematically: “Meeting and getting to know of the participants”; “Introduction to the topic of gender equality”; “Expert meetings”; “Visual campaigns” “Visual stories become reality”; “Evaluation and reflection”. Also included were “Thematic evenings”, in which they managed to have fun, relax from the work process, but also continue to study and share prints. We created a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable sharing personal experiences and situations, as well as feel free to develop their creativity.

The project aimed to raise the level of self-awareness of the participants regarding their identity and to support their perception as individuals and not as objects of gender-determining stereotypes. The development of these competencies was assessed by the partner organizations as extremely important for the participants, so that they could, within their volunteer organizations at local level, pass on what they have learned to the volunteers and young people they work with. The times in which we live require young people and youth workers to increase their literacy on the topic of gender equality in order to achieve better self-knowledge and confidence to apply in their daily interaction on a personal and professional level. This need responds to their expectations. Objectification of people is very common in different countries and especially among young people brought up in an environment where it is perceived that strength is for boys and emotions are for girls. In the age of technology, young people spend more time online, where many problems are projected. This reality also showed the need to increase media literacy. The world of media and social networks is becoming more and more visual, so the need to develop competencies to distinguish the good from the bad examples of media provocations was also assessed as urgent.

Thus, the problems of our time identified in the planning process determined the goals of the training and the various thematic blocks of the curriculum. In the first part of the training, participants addressed various topics and concepts related to gender and gender equality, feminism, gender-based violence, human rights and discrimination, sex education and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. They shared the various challenges they identified in their local community, found many similar problems and grouped by interests to create visual narratives to counteract what was happening.

As part of the visual tools we looked at, we visited the premiere screening of the film “Women Do Cry”, which through the stories of several collective female images presents the problems faced by women in Bulgaria. The film was extremely influential and the participants were enthusiastic to discuss the plot lines in detail and to reflect on their own perceptions, connecting the problems shown with the real challenges in their own realities.

In order to achieve a deeper understanding of the topics and to gain a deeper insight into the specifics of the situation in the country, the participants met with experts from Bulgaria, in the person of Lili Dragoeva and Gloria Filipova from Bilitis Foundation, as well as with Yavor Konov from the Ivor Foundation, who painted a realistic picture of the challenges they face in their daily work in the field with people from the community and care for their mental and physical health, as well as the successes they have achieved over the years of hard work.

As part of the program, we organized a Human Library, during which participants were able to meet young people from the LGBTI community, who told them about the difficult personal journey they have taken and the constant struggle they have to lead every day to be themselves in an intolerant and often openly hostile society.

The program in the last module included four mentors-creators and experts in visual arts and social media: Victoria Marinova – an expert in creating concepts and content for social networks, Isabella Markova – a graphic designer who supports a variety of social causes with a unique style of illustrations, Violeta Apostolova – Leti, a photographer who captures details of the soul of the people standing in front of her lens, and Nikola Gulmezov, a journalist and photographer and videographer, whose photo and video stories not only convey the reality refracted through his talented style, but also inspire. For two days, they all supported and guided the participants in the preparation of their mini-campaigns, guiding and giving them useful advice, sensing their wishes about what they wanted to show and offering them a purposeful framework and guidance in the visualization process. Thus, in the second practical part of the training, together with mentors in the field of visual arts and social media, the participants created various mini-campaigns in different media formats on topics such as: sex education, obstetric violence, feminism, the right to abortion and the beauty of diversity. See the great results of this creative process, which the participants themselves are already spreading within their local communities, among friends, families and young people they work with, as well as internationally, through their network of partnerships.

Instagram @page.by.page.2021

Instagram @informed_maternity_care



Instagram @the.gender.dress

Game -sexual eduaction

The project “Visual storytelling from A to Z”,  2019-2-BG01-KA105-062826
 is supported by Erasmus+ Programme, under KA1, Youth workers mobility

 Posted by Kathy at 20:22 Volunteer activities Comments Off on Visual Storytelling from A to Z – a training which puts a focus on gender equality!