Bulgarian summer adventure of our short term volunteers

From 23.06.2021 to 03.08.2021 ten volunteers came to Bulgaria to be part of eco festival. They took part in many activities including movie making, spreading awareness of ecology with children in Koprinka, cleaning the dam, visiting bee farm and apple tree garden, helping in Yablanitsa fire center and in Mindya, providing interviews in radio E-volution in Veliko Tarnovo, and much more while traveling around Bulgaria and getting to know its beauties.

It has been already two months that volunteers finished their project, so they had enough time for reflection and absorbing everything they experiences here. Therefore we were curious and asked them, after some time, how they evaluate the project, if and how it changed their lives, and how they liked their stay in Bulgaria. Here is what they shared with us.

What participants liked the most about the project was especially meeting new people from different countries, traveling, working with kids, and having the opportunity to improve English skills. Some of them find it relevant for their personal or professional goals mainly in terms of teamwork and ability to deal with people coming from various countries with different backgrounds, finding out that everyone behaves and reacts differently in various situations and that it is necessary to understand the other people’s needs and expectations. It also gave participants motivation to work on similar projects in their countries and considering other options that ESC or Erasmus programs offer. Some of them even changed their life goals, they enlarged their horizons and became more open-minded, aware of environmental protection or they want to continue living in new places if they have the opportunity. But the project did not have an impact just on volunteers – the children from the school of Koprinka we worked with became more involved in the subject of sustainability and in learning more about other cultures and countries.

The volunteers would present the project as suitable for everyone who wants to experience an adventure and challenge themselves, that they could educate locally about protecting the environment and can have great experiences in Bulgaria. Also, some would say that this kind of projects are something that everyone should try, because they are interesting and make you feel that you’re helping to the others. The food, the Chalga, visiting the countryside and the cities, the amazing nature and nice people were things volunteers like the most about Bulgaria.

And what did participants take away from the project? For some, it was motivation, emotions, or nice time spent with other volunteers. For the others, it was learning about sustainability, understanding that ,,nature is a great gift, which is created with a lot of attention and in a precise way and without human’s greedy inventions it could be more and more wonderful and peaceful“ and that even though we all come from different cultures we managed to live and cooperate together as a team.

Adriána Čigášová

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