Spring is coming! Nature and spirit: everything is blossoming!
I cannot put into words my gratitude for the opportunity to live in Bulgaria and participate in Erasmus activities! Amazing country!
1. Erasmus Plus opportunities for Youth in Europe
2 weeks ago, I took part in the Social entrepreneurship Erasmus + training course in the city of Smolyan.
In general, it was divided into learning, cultural engagement, self- development, and entertainment.
During workshops and seminars, we have learned how to create a business idea, how to build a team of like-minded people, where to find the money for implementation, which instrument to use for creating a business plan, and so forth. Then for better understanding, we practice it through role games and team works. We presented our business propositions, defend them, discuss the weaknesses with mentors, and did SWOT analyzes.
Apart from learning, we met current entrepreneurs who shared with us how they started their deals, they shared troubles that they had overcome, and they motivated us not to be afraid to start our ideas.
Our Agenda was also full of cultural events. Participants from Italy, Spain, French, Bulgaria, Croatia, Azerbaijan, and Macedonia… prepared presentations and videos, they brought traditional dishes and drinks and even cooked national dishes by themselves. We were dancing and singing traditional songs. It was so entertaining and open-eyeing at the same time.
The facilitators showed us a city and local culture. We even visited a ski resort, where most of us foreign tried mountain skiing, and some of us saw snow for the very first time in life. They were happy as kids. It’s hard to describe these emotions.
In conclusion, it was helpful for self-development not only in a specific – business field but also in terms of soft skills and personal development.
P.s. I prepared an instructive video on “How to apply for such Erasmus + Youth training programs & Exchanges.” I hope it will be useful for you.
2. Placemaking for people in Bulgaria
We conducted #АктивниКвартали informative seminars that gathered people around Bulgaria. We shared our practices and experiences with Placemaking. The audience was taught how to advocate for social issues, how to collaborate with stakeholders, and how to negotiate with municipalities.
During these days, I was responsible for physical activities and games with participants. We did team-building exercises and danced. I’m so glad to receive back warm words from people about activities that I provided for them.
3. Daily routine
From time to time, I feel a bit lonely. It is not always easy to share a dwelling with other volunteers. Having said this I really miss one of the previous volunteers with whom we become really good friends! We enjoyed travelling and hiking together, watched movies, and discussed books… Only when I lost all of it, I started truly appreciate it.
Let’s move this planet! Let’s be positive role models!
1. “We reap what we sow”
At the beginning of April, I succeeded to visit the Youth Sports centre in Markovo village, close to Plovdiv.
At first glance, it is an amazing place where you may find everything that feeds your needs. Pool, darts, balls. Close to this building are a basketball pitch, sports grounds, and tennis tables.
You may say, probably on weekends it’s impossible to find any free space due to overcrowded but actually not. The thing is that nowadays the young generation prefers to spend time doing sedentary activities.
Nowadays, the majority of the younger generation are addicted to playing on computers and watching digital screens.
Regarding youngsters, I noticed that most of them are shamed to try something new, to start learning new physical activities. They are probably afraid to look weird or unconfident during exercising. Also, surprisingly for me, teenagers are freely drinking beers and smoking.
From my point of view – here is not a unique example. Nowadays, most of us have plenty of opportunities to do different types of sports and be active. Unfortunately, usually, we are not motivated enough or due to our surroundings, we are embarrassed to do it. Thus, we become a victim of society’s patterns around us. We say: “Ok, everyone does like this. So, and I will do!” Smoking. Drinking. Laziness. It comes not with genetics but with our environment. A question arises: “How to change the world for the better?” And what each of us may (must) do? Everyone can be a positive role model and create a flourishing atmosphere around themselves!
Don’t be afraid and try to engange people with your enthusiasm. Dancing and singing outdoor. Playing different types of games. Running or walking with friends. It’s significant to understand that our well-being, both mental and physical, is in our hands! It’s naive to solely rely on sports schools, trainers, and equipment because everything starts within us.
2. No Elevators Day
The international #NoElevatorsDay was on April 27!
We invited people to join the improvised flash mob on the stairs Together in Plovdiv to show what a great and easy option it is to be active and healthier – just by choosing the stairs.
Why did we do that? Let’s have a glimpse of modern reality. Elevators, food delivery, cars, and underground. On the one hand, all these technologies make our lives comfortable. However, does it make us healthier? Let’s see. The World Health Organization researches show us that today the vast majority of the population in developed countries has been experiencing a lack of activity.
We tend to spend more time while sedentary jobs. In our free time, we are also in front of computers or relaxing in cinemas. We would prefer to play board games with our kids, rather than go outside.
You may ask me: “And what?” Look. Decreasing physical activities and lack of fresh air leads to a decrease in immunity and an increase in illnesses. Headache, anxiety, obesity, and cardiovascular disease – become irreplaceable elements of the modern population.
We, BgBeactive, try to pay people attention that nowadays it’s necessary to move more to maintain the normal diseaseless lifestyle. Unfortunately, in my work schedule, there are not a lot of tasks related to communication and physical meeting with youngsters. For that reason, I extremely appreciate any opportunity (as this, described above #NowWeMove event) when it’s possible to communicate with people, teach them new physical activities and meet new friends.
3. Daily routine
I was sad that our mid-term Erasmus + program has to be onducted online due to COVID restrictions. Thus, I’m constantly looking for new opportunities where I’m able to develop my soft skills and gain knowledge in specific fields that I’m interested in. In this case, I am truly grateful to Erasmus + exchange programs and trainings. They allow me to acquire practical knowledge in different fields and meet new friends around Europe. I cannot put into words how it is important for soft skills development and creativity. Additionally, these experiences enhance my open- mindedness and teach me how to be a citizen of the world. P.s. I applied for an ECO exchange in Serbia. I’m looking forward to starting it and diving deep into a multicultural environment, discussing sustainable topics and youth activities.
You are who you are with!
1. Erasmus Plus ECO exchange
At the beginning of May, I took part in the Erasmus + ECO exchange in Serbia from 3rd to 12th of May.
It was about learning the basics of a sustainable environment and implementing knowledge in our everyday routine. We talked about Eco-fashion and rational consumption. We visited local Green and Youth NGOs. We lived in the nature without electricity for several days.
Our mentors also provided us with art and yoga therapy sessions. I’m a big fan of this program for the following reasons:
a) Meeting new friends and dipping into vivid cultures. Every time it’s an open-eying experience for me. Different traditions, different nations, and languages. However, despite all of this, most of us have something in common in general, something that I call spirit.
b) Soft-skills development. I adore this non-formal learning through art and sports, through learning by doing. I’m trying to share my knowledge and life hacks on how to find such programs through my social media because when you are truly happy and satisfied you want to share it with others. Check my video.
2. Like-minded people from Smokinya foundation
I very often join regular activities of our friendly NGO in Plovdiv. They conduct cultural events and karaoke, practical workshops, and dance classes. They gathered youth in Plovdiv together to create a positive blossoming atmosphere among the youngsters. I honestly love to be a part of its society!
Smokinya Foundation contributes to creating a world that works for everyone. They say: “At our core, we act out of love, care, and cooperation!” As an organization, Smokinya serves as a learning platform for individuals who are ready to commit to their learning and development needs. We create opportunities and provide space for people to learn, contribute and grow by participation, volunteering, and project leadership.
Smokinya Foundation realizes its vision and values through youth work. Youth work for them is providing contexts and fields for exploration and discovery of the inner spirit of youth that individuals, groups, and organizations possess.
3. Sports and nature
I’m grateful for this opportunity that the BgBeActive provide me – joining Wow-gym trainings. It is a marvelous place not only because of various equipment that you may use to challenge your body but what is more important – the trainers and people around you that raise your spirit here. I’m very happy to be surrounded by such passionate and vice people.
I also very much appreciate that Laska acquainted me with Hristo. He is a local sportsman and traveller. Once he invited me on 2-day hiking trip in mountains around Plovdiv city. It was a lonely house in the middle of nowhere. Only hills, birds, and winds. What a tranquil atmosphere! Undescribed! You are able only to experience it on your own! Each of us from modern cities needs retreats like this to understand that we – humans – are part of this beautiful nature. Air that we breathe, food that we harvest and eat, water that we drink!
4. Blood donation
I continue donating blood, already 2 successful procedures in Plovdiv.
I do it for 2 main reasons: it’s helpful for others and for me as well.
If other benefits are obvious to you it may seem not so clear.
So, from my humble point of you and my feelings – it refreshed my blood and boost my metabolic system.
Apart from that, you can check your blood and look for main blood parameters that indicate your state of health.
See you soon,
The Youth Spot Bulgaria is funded by the European Solidarity Corps programme of the European Union. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.