Thank you for this interview. First of all we would like to ask you about your organization. Can you briefly present it and tell us what’s your mission?
Our organization starts in 2012, 5 and a half years ago, and, as you can notice, our name “Dream of romance, flowers and space” it’s a bit weird, but the interesting thing is that in Bulgarian is “Блян за романтика, цветя и космос” and the first letters of these words are “Брцк”, the acronym for the revolutionary committee.
The idea of this name came from our ex-partner of the organization, she was also EVS volunteer here in Sliven, she was Polish and we worked together in the beginning when we established the organization in 2012. She gave this idea to start the name with this abbreviation and after we decided to change the meaning in a more romantic name.
In 2012 it’s started with 10 young people, around 25/30 years old, just to make something different here in Sliven because Sliven it’s not very well developed city honestly and there weren’t a lot of events and activity for young people. So we started to organized some events in the city garden, in the center, to invite some bands from other cities to perform here, like musical events and this kind of things and in the beginning we didn’t know about the Erasmus+ and our idea wasn’t exactly to work in projects but later it’s happened as a normal next step. We started to work with the Erasmus+ in 2013, we received accreditation as hosting organization and, since that moment, we worked a lot every year with EVS.
Our web radio, recently in the last 2 years and a half, worked very hard in the youth media. The first project started in 2014 but the radio and the firsts broadcast started in March 2015. Step by step, we prepared our studio, I’m very happy how our studio looks like, quite more professional, and now we work mostly in the web media.
And about this quote that I really liked “Once experienced the radio it’s hard to resist in the future”. Can you explain something about it?
This came from my personal experience. I used to work in professional radio in the past as journalist for a while, from 2005 to 2006. I was living in Veliko Tarnovo at that moment and after that I came back in Sliven I started to work in a professional media here in Sliven where I touched with hands the radio experience.
It’s like a passion, you found a special one and you start to follow it. After I worked in a web radio here in Sliven, for local news and politics, where I gained experience. In 2014 we run this project and, because of this experience, we started to work on the radio. I know how to set the mixer, cable and software. That’s how it’s started. As I said it’s like a passion or a hobby.
Now I don’t work in professional media, I don’t know, maybe in the future, I will start to work again, who knows, but now I’m coordinator of this project and I try to teach to volunteers and also some workers here from the schools how to make broadcast, how to use computer software and this kind of things.
Now let’s switch to youth media and we would like to ask you what do you think about youth media in Bulgaria? It’s an active field or still have to be developed?
Honestly, I don’t think that it’s an active field. Of course this is according to me but we have youth media so I know some organization in Plovdiv, in other cities, in Varna maybe, they have this youth media, websites, blog and this kind of things but I think it’s still not a very popular field. Anyway for the young people to be involved it’s very important and, as I am seeing actually, especially this year, more youth organizations try to develop their own media.
Of course we try to improve, to use more tools in our work, this year we put the camera in our studio to try to reach more people and increase our audience. But talking about the radio it’s not very popular and should be more, and maybe this is the reason why Erasmus+ finances the youth media like our project.
What does good practice in youth media means to you? Can you give us an example of it based on your experience?
I can share with you some tools that we use in our work, as an example maybe of what this means to me. One of the things that I told you it’s about the camera so now we can be on facebook and youtube. In this way we can share, we can reach more people and it’s more interesting for the people not only to listen but also to see what we do.
Another thing that we did this year is to make an application for mobile phones, but it’s still in progress. People can install this application and receive notifications, when we start broadcasting, information, about the topic of the day, and they can listen to the radio from the phone.
Another thing that we don’t use too much now but I think we are gonna use more often in the future is the newsletter. We have a profile with MailChimp, a platform for newsletters. From our website, people have the possibility to subscribe and they can receive all the information about what’s going on, the latest pots, the interesting posts and what’s happening on the radio.
One of our volunteers did the last newsletter and this is an example of a really good practice I think. Unfortunately, in Bulgaria -I don’t know in the other country, I think they use more the newsletter- it’s not so popular in general.
What do you wish to the youth and the volunteers around the world?
The most important thing I think for the young people it’s to be active and interested in what happens in the world around them. Doesn’t matter if in their own country, Europe or the world. To be interested in politics and social life and to not be lazy, to be motivated to take action in life. This is very important. And, particularly in Bulgarian, it’s very important to be more active and to take part in different projects, because there are a lot to know, not only Erasmus+. It is important and necessary for Bulgaria.