Friday, May 30, 2014

Tolerance Caravan ended

Last destination – Burgas

Our Tolerance Caravan ended several days ago. The last destination was Burgas. Our volunteers enjoyed the journeys through different cities of Bulgaria very much.


Previously in Stara Zagora we had cheerful street activities near the 5th of October Park. Late in the evening we left the city and went by bus to Sliven. Sliven is a small city, famous for its blue rocks and its national park, the fresh air and the mineral springs. On the 16th of May the Tolerance Caravan visited The Foreign Languages Gymnasium Zahari Stoyanov, the Professional Gymnasium of Civil Engineering and the St.Paisi Hilendarski Roma school at Sotiria. The students greeted us warmly and showed great interest in our presentation. Many were motivated to find out more about the No Hate Speech Movement. The next day during our street actions on the main street local people and students that we talked to the day before got involved in our actions. They were drawing on the Tolerance Square, taking pictures, writing positive messages, spreading smiles and happiness.

The Tolerance Caravan team packed everything up and moved on to Burgas – the destination we were all very excited about. Burgas is a beautiful city which welcomed us with its sunny weather. We did presentations and street actions to promote and raise awareness to locals about Tolerance, the No Hate Speech Movement and Youth Cause.

Overall, Tolerance Caravan reached its aim to spread Tolerance idea around Bulgaria. The journey was very interesting for all of us. On the one hand we challenged ourselves to work under the circumstances of pressure, became more flexible and on the other hand we learned more about Bulgaria, culture, history, locals.



Tolerance Caravan ended, but the striving for tolerance hasn’t. We continue to work for the greater relations in the society and invite you to join us!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tolerance Car@van: Plovdiv and Stara Zagora

Beginning of the Tolerance Caravan! Plovdiv Trip 12.05.2014


The tolerance caravan has just been started! First destination - Plovdiv. We departed Monday early morning to start out action in the city a.s.a.p. Despite the lack of sleep we were excited and motivated to start our Caravan and spread the concept of Tolerance around Bulgaria.
For the first meetings we were warmly welcomed at one of the public schools of Plovdiv. Divided into several groups we gave presentations, spoke to the young people, conducted tolerance exercises, took photos, and made a film. The classes were very much involved in the communication. They were actively participating in tasks and sharing their own opinions or attitudes. In addition, we gave brief explanation about the EVS (European Volunteering Service), the No Hate Speech Movement, the Tolerance Caravan projects and the project for creating the network of NGOs – the Youth Cause (www.kauza.net)
Finally, our long-term volunteers gave presentation in front of the audience consisting most active students of the school. Slides, gestures, talks, laughs, flash of the camera – all around us. An interactive game made the process more joyful, invoked critical thinking and encouraged student to express their opinions very openly.
Our second day in Plovdiv was also busy with workshops in schools, and this time – not that traditional. We were invited to the school of deaf and the public school in the Roma neighborhood of Plovdiv.  It was extremely pleasant to experience the interest into the topic of the deaf and Roma community, who sometimes become the topic themselves.  
Late noon marked the time for long awaited street action, where every single passer-by was welcomed to participate.  Part of the central Square of Plovdiv became a tolerance zone, marked with the drawings on the pavement, positive messages and heart – shaped messages of love. At the Tolerance Caravan tent we were giving out leaflets and badges, as well as presenting No Hate Speech movement and promoting tolerance. Those of you, who met a gigantic running heart, be sure you met one of us wearing this gigantic heart costume intending to attract attention of the passers-by and to take pictures with them. The Tolerance Caravan tent with a joyful music, banners expressing tolerance concept and colorful paintings on the square, created tolerance atmosphere with intention to spread love and happiness on the central square of Plovdiv.


Next Destination - Stara Zagora!

After two days in Plovdiv we packed our bags to the next stop of the Tolerance Caravan - Stara Zagora.
Despite of the rainy weather our EVS volunteers actively continued the Tolerance Caravan journey and activities. We held presentations at Stara Zagora University and at the musical school. The audience interest in our projects keeps on growing. Therefore, it gives us motivation to be more active and involved in the Tolerance Caravan events.

The Tolerance Caravan will stay in Stara Zagora for one more day.  On Thursday, after 4 PM everyone is invited to come and to create another tolerance zone, this time – in Stara Zagora.  We will be waiting for you in the city park “October 5th”, next to the main pedestrian street. Our “Без Омраза“ heart is looking forward to hug every single one of you and give you presents! We guarantee good and happy afternoon, so do not hesitate to join us!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tolerance Caravan in the eyes of the volunteer



Hello,

My name is Tiki and I am from Georgia. I am one of the 11 short term volunteers living in Sofia for the project “Tolerance Caravan” organized by Bulgarian Non-governmental organization Infinite Opportunities Association. From now on, for the following two weeks, I’ll be the one to give you guys the updates of our travels throughout the country: spreading tolerance awareness and No Hate Speech movement among Bulgarian people and promoting an on-line platform, meant for educating society in the topic of tolerance, which will be launched in July.

We are 11 volunteers representing different countries: Georgia, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden and Hungary. International environment makes out volunteering service joyful and interesting. It has been one month we are doing
several tasks for Tolerance Caravan project. We are divided into main 4th groups working on logistics, organizing and planning Tolerance Caravan journey around Bulgaria, focusing on-line promotion, street actions, design work.

Tolerance Caravan contains one month activities in Sofia and 10 days of travelling around Bulgaria: Sliven, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Burgas. In addition, travelling part is coming and things are getting more interesting, excited and active at the same time, while organizing different tasks and preparing for different activities connected with Tolerance Idea. All of the volunteers will be travelling in the middle of May to do campaign and spread Tolerance in Bulgaria.

Preparing process is very exciting, all volunteers are involved into their tasks to use their skills and knowledge to make things right. Group communication and team working part is also essential, which makes everything easier and fun. During the Tolerance Caravan volunteers will be in charge of making presentations at educational institutions and doing street actions, including joyful games, performances, quizzes connected with the idea of tolerance and antidiscrimination.

So if you are interested in the topic of Human Rights, or simply want to spend some good time with bunch of international people, find us on the 12th and 13th of May in Plovdiv, 14-15 in Stara Zagora, 16-17 in Sliven and 19-20 in Burgas.