P. Kulina and G. Kuzmanov

How everything started? What are your mission, daily activity, and projects?

Alternativi International started seven years ago in the city of Blagoevgrad, in the Western part of Bulgaria, from a group of young people who wanted to make a change in the society and provide youngsters with opportunities for development. It started as an enthusiastic idea and then it turned out that a lot of people joined it and that we can did much more. So seven years later, I think we are much more people and much more successful.

Our mission is to work for young people, for their personal and professional development. We provide consultations and different mobility opportunities with Erasmus+ programme. A very important part of our mission is volunteering because we believe that volunteering really provides great experiences for young people and also develops their potential and capacities.

Part of our activities is also related to the European Voluntary Service. We always host young people from different countries through the programme. Their activities are mainly related to informing young people about mobility opportunities they can benefit from with Erasmus+ programme.

They organize clubs for different interests (cooking, dance, etc), cultural events and happenings in Blagoevgrad. They also have an online magazine and newsletter about informing young people, so they are supporting our organization in everyday activities. This is a big part of our daily activity. Another one is making presentations in schools, working with local young people and also developing volunteering on a local level.

What does good practice means to you? Can you give us an example of it based on your experience?

Good practice is something that our colleagues have experienced, have already tried out and it worked out. We try to get good practices from different countries to implement them in our everyday activities. Good practice is networking, a very powerful tool. It is something that we try to work on mostly on a national level to build a network of NGOs supporting each other and working towards one aim and one goal.

What do you wish the youth and the volunteers around the world?

I would like to encourage every young person to get the time and the chance to volunteer because it is very useful and very beneficial for them. It will develop their potential. I also wish that all of us are living in more peaceful society all together, and not only wait for the change to happen, but also make an effort every day, with every single step to make and build our society in a better way.

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