Association Euni Partners hosted the second international event for the exchange of good practices on the topic “Volunteering in times of crises”. The event took place between 15th and 17th of June 2023 in the Regional Historical Museum – Blagoevgrad.
Six remarkable volunteering initiatives were presented over the three days, followed by an exhibition, showing how these volunteers act on the field.
On the first day, the speakers Mrs. Efrosina Kostova – Volunteer at national campaign „Caps for Future“ and Mr. Boyan Kondurov – Chief Inspector Engineer Fire Safety and Population Protection, Blagoevgrad presented best practices from their experience. Mrs. Efrosina Kostova gave us insight on the National Campaign „Caps for Future“ for saving children’s lives and what has been done during Covid-19. After that, Mr. Boyan Kondurov talked about the firefighters`voluntary teams in times of crisis, how they act, what challenges they face on a regular basis, and the recent missions they participated in.
During the second day Mr. Georgi Botev – Chief Mountain Rescue Service south-west region and Mrs. Ani Andonova – Regional expert – Youth Work in the Bulgarian Youth Red Cross – Blagoevgrad shared the activities of the youth structure, as well as the services and initiatives they implemented during Covid-19 and other crises.
A workshop based on participatory methods “Volunteering in times of crisis” was held on the same day, with more than 30 young people participating, where they had to identify essential challenges and issues volunteers may face during their service and how to cope with them. All participants, young people and the project partners worked together in groups, took an active part, and at the end each group proposed innovative methods to deal with the challenges associated with volunteering.
During the last day of the event two best practices in volunteering were presented. Mr. Petar Petrov and Mrs. Liliya Angelska – Volunteers in the Social Kitchen at “St.Nikola” Church shared their inspiring cause – to take care of poor and socially excluded people, through providing them meals, clothes and a good word. Mr. Petrov explained how they started their initiative, how they manage to sustain it and what they did during Covid-19 in order to support those in need.
Mrs. Slavina Georgieva – a volunteer and regional coordinator for Blagoevgrad of Association „Operation Teddy Bear“, presented another long-standing initiative for supporting and helping children, youth and adults with fewer opportunities.
For more information about the ERAS project, visit www.facebook.com/EuropeanAllianceForVolunteerSupport.