Being a volunteer youth worker at CVS-Bulgaria has been a great experience. So far, I’ve been able to meet with dozens of refugee children and play my part in making what can otherwise be an incredibly stressful period of their lives a little better.

An important yet oft ignored aspect of youth work is the mental well-being of not just those being worked with, but the youth workers and volunteers themselves. In the last week of February, I was able to participate in a training consisting of 30 unique participants, 10 different countries, and 17 nationalities around the world. 

Centered in the peaceful Poznan, Poland, this little melting pot of the world came together to address this pressing issue in the youth worker community. I eventually arrived in Poznan and was greeted by an incredibly welcoming and vibrant group of individuals, all with unique backgrounds and perspectives to add on this matter.

Multiple workshops addressing mental well-being were led by our instructors for the training, Natalie and Goska. Their seasoned experience in youth work allowed them to share multiple pieces of helpful advice in maintaining our well-being in stressful periods.

Even while learning at the training, our mental health was thoughtfully considered by our trainers. Some of our activities – when the weather allowed it – was held outdoors, where we were able to connect with not only nature, but with each other as well. 

While I take the many lessons and advice learned at the training back to Sofia, and eventually my home in the United States, I also take back countless memories. One of the pieces of advice offered by our trainers in order to deal with stress is to surround ourselves in a positive environment. I’m especially confident that such was achieved in Poznan, and I hope to keep in contact with the many great individuals I met during our training. I strongly urge anyone – regardless of their background or hesitations – to consider taking part in training courses of SCI, a truly wonderful experience.

“Stop. Reflect. Do Better” project (2023-1-PL01-KA153-YOU-000148664) is run by SCI Poland and co-funded by the European Union.

 Posted by Kathy at 17:35 Comments Off on SCI training courses – a truly wonderful experience!

Our partners from Tudatos Ifjusagert Alapitvany are organising Jump’IN training course from 15 to 22 October in Holloko, Hungary

About the project: 

The training course Jump’IN is designed for newcomers in Erasmus+ project realisation, beginners in project planning and management in youth work and also for those who would like to get on board with Erasmus+ Programme, especially with youth exchange activities. The training activity is especially designed for members of organisation, who have accreditation in the field of Erasmus+ in order to develop and lead quality youth exchange events connected to any of the 11 European Youth Goals.

This training course is focusing on exploring and understanding the project management cycle within the youth field. The main aim is to provide youth workers with space and tools to discover Erasmus+ youth projects and to equip them with practical tools and methods to develop their own project ideas and understand how they become capable to manage a successful youth projects within the framework of Erasmus+ Programme.
The programme is designed to enable youth workers to develop and realise their youth exchange projects to be able to implement them after the course.

Participants profile:
The training activity is especially designed for members of organisation, who have
accreditation in the field of Erasmus+ in order to develop and lead quality youth exchange events connected to any of the 11 European Youth Goals.


Costs will be covered accrding to the rules of the Erasmus+ Programme. A participation contribution of €60 (€10/working day) per participant is expected to be paid as contribution.


Application deadline is 15th September 2023 for the participants. 

Application can be done throught this online form.

The call is available here:  http://trainings.salto-youth.net/11574

The detailed call for participants is available on SALTO, as well as here

 Posted by Kathy at 15:19 Comments Off on Jump’IN training course is looking for paticipants

The Master’s of Arts (MA) Programme Peace and Conflict Studies provides scholarly education in areas of international peacebuilding, conflict transformation, development policy, diplomacy, human rights, security, and disaster management. It also provides action-oriented training in teamwork and development, diversity and identity, inclusion, capacity development, and intercultural communication. 

Duration/ECTS: 4 semesters /120 ECTS

Mode of Study: Full time

Language of instruction: English

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any discipline

Application period for 2023/24 intake: March 1 to May 15, 2023. 

MA Programme Peace and Conflict Studies info: https://www.uibk.ac.at/en/programmes/ma-peace-and-conflict-studies/

Admissions procedure: https://www.uibk.ac.at/studium/anmeldung-zulassung/aufnahmeverfahren-ma-peace-and-conflict-studies/

Cost structure: for EU-students and students that have the same legal status as EU residents, the MA Programme is completely free of charge except for a minor Austrian Student Union tuition fee of currently 21.70 EUR/semester. For non-EU-students the costs are currently 726.72 EUR/semester.

For specific questions candidates can directly contact Prof. Dr. Andreas Oberprantacher, MA at Andreas.Oberprantacher@uibk.ac.at

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 Posted by Kathy at 18:38 Comments Off on Master’s of Arts (MA) Programme Peace and Conflict Studies in Innsbruck University
May 072023

The right for self-determination in gender

International Activity for youth and social workers, activists and volunteers

05.-14. June 2023 in Berlin – Weissensee, Germany

(Call for applications)

Gender is a socially constructed phenomenon that is often understood as only binary, and therefore excludes other forms of gender expression in our society. Cis-normativity and cis-sexism leave little if any space for gender diversity, self-determination and other forms of sexual identity.

As peace and volunteer organisations, we want to support a large number of young people who are exposed daily to discrimination, structural violence, human rights violations and exclusion in society due to their gender or sexual orientation. In many regions, these problems are denied or, worse, those affected are verbally harassed or physically attacked. It affects different areas of their life such as family, school, work, personal development. In some countries, these problems go beyond customs, stereotypes and norms, where LGBTQIA+ communities are still criminalised and legally denied their rights and freedoms. 

It is equally important to gather and share experiences – whether common or different – to build stronger connections and unity among LGBTQIA + activists. In many countries, the situation has been stale or almost unchanged, hence a breakthrough is needed. Our project will provide an opportunity to establish contacts, learn from each other, and share knowledge in activism and advocacy and thus impact directly on local communities.

The Venue

The activity will take place at Tagungswerk im KuBiZ, Berlin – Wei?ensee

Aims of the Project

  • Support and advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA + people.
  • Acquire skills and competences to more effectively do so and to strengthen the concerns of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities.
  • Learn how to raise awareness among others and how to share knowledge, to advocate and campaign for gender justice.
  • Contribute to more visibility for LGBTQIA + communities through creating visual and informative materials e.g. videos, flyers, magazines, posters and social media campaigns.  

Living in a Group

We will spend one week together in a group of almost 30 people with different backgrounds and experiences. For us it is very important to take time to create a safer space to live and work together. For this we will set up a group agreement all together at the beginning. Please be aware that inclusion, anti-discrimination and reduction of stereotypes is nothing very easy and might be challenging for people. We invite you to come openly to the seminar and to be open to learn, reflect, and on the same side be mistake – friendly!


  • Participants create their own zine / booklet with personal stories from interviewed persons;

Everyone who comes to this seminar should…

… be actively involved in their sending organisation, in youth or voluntary work or in activism

… ideally have experience in international peace work or activism

… participate actively in the activity and in the production of the outputs

… be comfortable with speaking and writing in English

… ideally be committed to come to the activities by overland route (public transport, no flying)

Eligible Partner Organisations/Countries: 

Please note that there will be opportunities to spend free time in Berlin, but that this is not a „getting to know the city” project. 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.
  • Costs: We cover all essential costs of the program (including vegetarian/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 an Erasmus+ European project grant. We will reimburse your costs some weeks after project completion, after you have submitted a complete expenditure summary with original receipts. Your sending organisation might ask for a small participation fee. These fees are, apart from excessive travel costs, the only costs you need to cover yourself.
  • Sustainable food: You will prepare meals in small teams and shifts for the whole group. Food will be simple and preferably vegetarian or vegan to support climate justice.
  • Sustainable travels: Please use sustainable means of transport rather than flying. We will give you more guidance on how you can reach the venue once you have been accepted to the seminar.

How to apply:

Please send your application for Breaking Through with the filled Application Form to cvs.katerina@gmail.com and breakingthrough@sci-d.de. After we accept your application, you will receive a detailed Infosheet. 

Detailed call for participants

 Posted by Kathy at 16:17 Comments Off on Breaking Through

TC “Y.D.E.A.” Youth Development through Emotional Awareness”
9th-16th  June 2023
Emen village, Veliko Tarnovo region, Bulgaria
(Call for participants)

Are you intrigued by Emotional Intelligence? Do you want to know more about Social and Emotional Learning? Do you want to improve your emotional competences to boost inclusion in youth work? Then…we have a great Y.D.E.A.! Join our Erasmus+ project and you will:

  • get to know and learn more about the international participants and their organisations, through team-building and interactive sessions;
  • increase your knowledge on Emotional Intelligence, Social Emotional Learning, Emotional Awareness, social psychology, mental health and how to apply this knowledge to youth work to boost social inclusion and impact;
  • through “learning-by-playing” sessions, develop non-formal educational methods, tools, models and practice based on SEL and EI, and focused on the current needs of young people;
  • develop and consolidate sensitivity and the expertise concerning mental health issues within the organisations, the networks, the International Voluntary Service movement and in youth work in general;
  • share ideas and inspirations on how to create synergies with formal and non-formal education bodies, to reach-out and include young people with fewer opportunities.

We will offer you an excellent learning opportunity that will support you to increase the quality of non-formal education activities you and your organisation are doing, and also a unique networking experience with fellow-minded people from across Europe. Please read the following points to check if you are eligible to apply!

The ideal participants are educators and trainers (also to-be trainers), workcamp coordinators, volunteers, NGOs staff and board members and youth workers with an interest in emotional intelligence, mental-health, non-formal education, social inclusion and its applications in      their work with young people.   

There are a few formal requirements you need to satisfy to join the training course:

  1. You need to be a resident of one of the 14 project countries mentioned on the cover page.
  2. You must be able to communicate in English (the working language of the course).
  3. You must be at least 18 years of age.
  4. You need to attend the whole course duration (there is no possibility to make exceptions).
  5. You commit yourself to take part in the preparatory and in the follow-up phase of the project.

We explicitly encourage participants of all genders, abilities and ethnic backgrounds to apply!

The provisional training programme and details about logistics can be found in the detailed Call for participants below! 

Deatailed information can be found in the Call for participants

If you consider yourself a suitable candidate for the course, please fill in the application form   by 16.05.2023, 23:59 CEST.

Before submitting your application, please contact the partner who will act as sending organization (click on the organization name to consult its website):

AustriaSCI Austria
BulgariaCVS Bulgaria
Czech RepublicEYCB
GermanySCI Germany
ItalySCI Italy
North MacedoniaCID
PolandSCI Poland
PortugalAssociao Para Onde
SlovakiaYouth for Equality
SloveniaZavod Voluntariat
SpainXeracion Valencia
TurkeySystem & Generation

You will be notified of the selection results by 20.05.2023.

All those accepted will receive a detailed infosheet (including how to get to the venue, how to book your travel, what to bring, more information about the agenda of the project and details about the preparatory tasks). We will support you in the pre-departure phase together with our project Partner Organisations. Please do not start booking tickets before receiving the official confirmation of approval by CVS-Bulgaria!

If you have further questions regarding the project, you can write to us at trainings@cvs-bg.org

We are looking forward to your application!

Stela, Kat & Mauro (The coordination team)

The project “Y.D.E.A.-Youth Development through Emotional Awareness”, 2022-3-BG01-KA153-YOU-000100089 is supported by Erasmus+ Programme, under KA1, Youth workers mobility

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

 Posted by Kathy at 19:05 Comments Off on Let’s learn together about emotional inteligence! We are ready to invite you to join a one-week training course “Y.D.E.A.”

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!