The Deep Roots Project and Beginning of the Eco Festival

The Deep Roots is a project funded by the European Voluntary Service (EVS) program. It gathers volunteers from different countries to work together and organize the Eco Festival in the city of Kazanlak in Bulgaria. Why and what does their daily job look like?
What is EVS
EVS is a program funded by the European Commission which enables non-profit organizations to accept volunteers from the EU countries for their projects and pay their expenses. Volunteers are provided with accommodation, health insurance, pocket money and reimbursement for their travel costs.
The idea behind our project and EVS, in general, is to bring people with different backgrounds (different ages, cultures, personalities,…) together and let them work on something meaningful, something that brings good to the community without expecting a financial profit from it. It’s learning by doing, by encountering with differences, exchanging experience and culture, and eventually, the EVS isn’t that much about learning professional skills by doing tasks from the hosting organization, like about learning soft skills by living in different country, dealing with other people, who you, for example, have to share the room with, speaking in different languages, etc.
The Eco-Festival Kazanlak
The initiative of the Eco Festival didn’t come from The Mutual Aid organization. In 2011 we held the EVS project Ecology Development, and our volunteer Raminta Krisciunaite from Lithuania wanted to organize an event which would attract many people because it would be fun and at the same time the program would spread knowledge about ecology. We gave it a try and it turned out to be very successful. Her motivation and enthusiasm inspired many people as well as us, and we decided to continue every year with a new edition.
The Deep Roots project 2019
This year we gathered 12 volunteers who live and work together as a team on promoting the Eco Festival in Kazanlak. They organize or participate in small events for the local community where they interact with people and share their culture and the purpose of being here. They prepare small workshops for the festival to show practical examples of ecological lifestyle. Ideas of reusing things instead of throwing them in a trash bin. They also prepare small educational games showing little non-ecological habits people have and the influence on our environment when so many people are having them. And last but not least they shoot eco movies which will be played at the festival and shared through online media like Facebook or Youtube, or at other events to raise eco-awareness.
You can meet our team presenting in schools, libraries, doing workshops in centers for people with disabilities, cleaning up the city, spreading flyers, or hanging up posters of the Eco Festival in Kazanlak. You can follow them on Instagram if you search for “ekofest.kznlk” or just come to the festival. Click here for more info on the Facebook event Eco Festival Kazanlak 2019.

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