Dates of the event: 1-5 March 2017
Place: Bresnik, Bulgaria
Seminar “Volunteering does make a difference” is the first part of the project “Volunteering – a pathway to employment” of the organization Big Brother Big sisters of Bulgaria. The seminar was held from 1st to 5th of May at the Berkut hotel complex, Bresnik, just a few kilometers away from Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv. It is worth mentioning that Plovdid was elected to be the European Capital of Culture 2019. But back to what’s important! The participants from 10 countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Azerbaijan – gathered in Bresnik.
And this time the partner organization from Croatia was the Association Strive! Strive! member and the volunteer participating in this project was Danka Brumen.
During the four days participants had the opportunity to share their experiences on the subject of volunteering, the opportunities it provides, and also talk about less amusing old laws and the obstacles encountered by volunteering and problems organizers of volunteering face every day. Through several discussions, participants agreed that the country in which volunteering is most appreciated and most accepted with no doubt is the Netherlands. Not only they have clear laws of a volunteering and organizers of volunteering, positive volunteer habits of people in this country, but volunteering is also recognized as part of the work experience, and sometimes rewarded with money or some other incentives.
Participants also talked through the series of fun and informative workshops about the benefits that volunteering provides and how to encourage young people to volunteer. The fact is that volunteering raises employment opportunities in European Union for 48%.
The evenings, as far as each international project is concerned, completed intercultural evenings where participants through the various quizzes and fun games learned the customs and traditions of the participating countries, and of course, all this accompanied by delicious testing of traditional products.
The seminar ended with a one-day trip to Plovdiv where participants discovered the historic beauty of the old city enjoying the smell of the rose oil. With many new friends and contacts, full of volunteer optimism, participants went home. Volunteering is not just an occasional activity but a way of life. By the next volunteering, kind regards!
Author: Danka Brumen