Youth Exchanges, EVS and Other Things…

Some time ago you had a chance to read about a youth exchange in Kranevo where we briefly presented participants from Varna. Now, you can get to know one of them. He will talk not just about youth exchanges but also about other projects in which he participated.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am Vasko from Varna, and I am 26 years old. I participate in youth projects under the Erasmus+ project already for 2 years. So far I have been to two international trainings. First one was a youth exchange in Constanța (Romania) and the second one in Kranevo (Bulgaria). During the latter I had a chance to meet new people as well as old friends from Constanța


Venko, during his EVS in Italy.

How did you start your cooperation with Association For You?

Two years ago I participated in a computer science project in Varna organised by the Association. This is how I started to participate in other projects as well.

Before we start with youth exchanges, tell me something about an EVS in Italy. I know you’ve been there not so long time ago.

I decided to go to Italy to see how people with different disabilities live in other place than Bulgaria. This is how I found myself in Modigliana.

What have you been doing there?

I was helping in an art workshop for disabled people. I had a chance to understand how their integration into society looks like and what are they needs. I saw what kind of help they get so that their life is a bit easier. The workshop place is open everyday and everyday they do something. They sew, integrate, cook for themselves etc. They get opportunity to participate in different activities. Every member has a task that has to be finished.

Have you noticed any differences between Bulgaria and Italy?

I did, big once. In Italy everybody who has disability has a chance be worthwhile for himself and others.

What made you think so?

Their daily work at the Kochinella workshop.

In this case, what is a difference between Място За Теб (Myasto Za Teb) workshop and the workshop place in Italy?

The difference is that in Italy the workshop place is already open for 14 years while Място За Теб (Myasto Za Teb) is a much younger initiative. In general, Association For You is rather a young association while Kara Bobowski works for 25 years.

There is also something else, Association For You struggles on its own while in Italy State helps. This is why there is a financial difference.



What does the workshop Място За Теб (Myasto Za Teb) miss? According to you, what kind of changes would be needed?

The workshop works very well, but there is a one problem. People with disabilities have difficulties to trust organisations as Association For You because most time in their life they haven’t seen anything good from others besides their close family. This is the problem of most organisations in Bulgaria.

Does it mean that there is a need for places like Място За Теб (Myasto Za Teb)?

Definitely. The workshop place Място За Теб (Myasto Za Teb) and the Association For You are a bit different from other organisations in Varna. The Association For You seeks to help everybody who look for their support. Moreover the organisation looks for young people who need help.

Tell me something about the Youth Exchange in Kranevo.

When I saw who will participate in the project, and when it occurred that I know half of them from Constanța, I decided to go as well and to check out on which level my English is. It is still not very good, but I think I managed to reach next step.

What do you think about this youth exchange?

This youth exchange was a bit boring in comparison to the one in Romania, because program was much easier and there was a lot of free time. In Constanța for example, we had to cook for ourselves. It is very good feeling when you prepare meal on your own and you know that you can do it well. Besides that, integrational games in Kranevo weren’t so interesting but good thing was that we could meet new people. The great struggle they make for themselves gives you a lot of motivation. I also had a chance to see a boy from Bulgaria who successfully integrates despite the fear of making contact with people. He does everything he can. Thanks to the projects like this one and help of the Association, his integration is going in a good direction.

Do you see any changes in yourself after these three projects?

I feel that I can handle things about which I tought I am not able to handle. I found out that I can be self-sufficient. In short, I can take care of myself.


To whom would you recommend youth exchanges?

To everyone who would be interested. If someone doesn’t know what it is, we will explain it easily.


Youth exchange gathers youth from different countries. They live together for 8-10 days, learn how to be tolerant and overcome problems they may come across in the everyday life.

Let me just add that during the project participants get different tasks related to the topic of the youth exchange and that during the workshop non-formal education practices are used.