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!

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