Привет! Днес ви представяме една история, чийто автор е Снежина Козарева – координаторът на младежки проекти в Си Ви Ес – България. В своя блог snezhinkini тя споделя своите впечатления от PR обучение, което се проведе от 6 до 13 март в Словения. В него взеха участие още Невена Маркова и Зорница Тошева. Размислите на Снежи са на английски и са в няколко части – ние публикуваме втората, а тук може да ги видите и в оригинал.

Since I was already asked to continue the story maybe I can do so with presenting a bit the group and the training itself (let’s not forget I was there for the training first of all :) )

From my previous post you already know there were people from Croatia and that we had our own bus from Zagreb to Novo Mesto :) ) Actually the majority of the participants (including the trainers) came from the Slavic Balkans meaning Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia (I hope I did not miss anyone). There were also 2 Albanians to bring some different language taste to the rest of the Balkaners. And we also had few “extra terrestrials” coming from Ireland, Wales, Germany/Austria and Belgium. But they were the minority. Of course we did try to include them (it’s all about inclusion you know) but it was hard not to hear from almost every corner Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian or Bulgaro-Macedonian (please note that the languages are names according to similarities and geographical situation of the country starting from East to West – the way we travelled).Poor little Jon (Wales) was so shocked when being told what to do without being asked “please” or when we discussed at the table some toilet matters… And at first he was so frustrated by the difference between the Balkan 5 mins and the British 5 mins :) ) But at the end of the training he was already Balkanized :) ) Of course he needs to come more often or he will lose it :)

As for the training itself. It was on PR, promotion and visibility of youth organizations (for shorter I will just use NGOs). Here maybe I should not forget to mention that the training was funded by the Youth in Action Programme of the European Commission (for further info you can check the following website: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/youth/programme/about_youth_en.php). We had trainers from the Slavic Balkans – Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia. The training was more focussed not on theory but practice and was very dynamic which I myself find very good and useful because I can always google the theory and read it but when it comes to own experience things completely change.

We had the chance to practice some public speaking (even me who at some moments of the training had some very serious voice problems and was struggling with myself to make some noise.. What shall I say? I do not give up easily :P ), we made presentations, worked in different teams, a SWOT analysis on the promotion strategy of their organizations ( for some of the pax it was for the first time in their lives), we had to spot the difference between marketing and PR. We also had the chance to prepare for interviews – radio, TV and newspaper. We even hosted a small press conference and worked on press releases. And then we had some role play with journalists and project coordinator and recorded radio and TV interviews. And for our own sake these videos and recordings are somewhere lost in the eternity :P

Of course the Youth in Action Programme was presented as well. But not in the boring power point presentation but through some action – we were divided in four groups and had to make a song – turbo folk, pop, hip hop and rock – about one of the four priorities of the Programme. I was in the turbo folk group and for the first time in my life I was actually composing, singing and dancing this kind of a song. And the group all agreed that it should be simple and worth watching :P I even had a stage costume :) ) And not that I want to show off but our group was the only that did not use the melody of another song and did lyrics and music (maybe choreography not :P ) all by ourselves :) ) Proud to participate :) )

Another useful but not that funny part was when we were discussing the slogans of our organizations, the way we promote our activities and when, where and how it is actually best to recruit new volunteers (yeah, we all work with volunteers).

Maybe the best part was when we had to make the photo book – some of us had to write the intro of the book, others intro about this training course (or training curse as someone said :P ) while the rest were selecting pictures from different voluntary projects – workcamps, seminars, trainings, exchanges, etc. Hopefully the book will be available soon :) Maybe after reading it you will decide that volunteering is actually cool or sexy as they say in Hungary :P

And now after explaining about the formal sessions maybe I can briefly explain about our social life in between the sessions (including evening-morning :P ). Lucky us the sun finally showed itself and you could see almost all of us going out to the main square (which was actually 10 meters away from the hostel), enjoying the sun and the coffee :) In every lunch break we went to explore the town of Novo Mesto – there was a wonderful river – Krka – and a really nice nature around the place. Pity the spring had not arrived yet to entirely enjoy the magnificence of the place (thanks Urban for bringing us there!).

The group was really great! We all had a lot of fun together and since day 1 we became good friends, even started joking about each other :) ) And it appeared we had so many things to share with each other that it was such a hard job to make lovely August shit up at night before going to sleep. I had to go there several times and ask once, twice.. politely and then spit fire as Danijela would say :) ) It was annoying back then but after arriving home I do miss this noise and hearing the boys talking every night (I was in the room next to theirs :P ).

Of course I cannot miss to mention that every night we visited the local bars exploring fine Slovenian drinks – wine and beers :) ) The first night we went to one of the bars at 9:30 pm, made a really big order and once the waiter brought us everything he said: “Enjoy. Oh, did I forget to mention that we close at 10 pm?”.. Witty boy :) ) Never mind – we found another bar :) ) And another one and another one :) ).

Ok, folks, this is all for now. There is still a lot more to say (I actually have no idea how to continue the story, maybe someone can give a hand with the ideas?).

Meanwhile enjoy :) )!

Snezhina Kozareva, youth projects coordinator in CVS – Bulgaria