Meet the Participants in the Youth For Social Change Project

At the end of last year, Association FOR YOU hosted the great youth exchange Youth for Social Change. The main theme of the project was social entrepreneurship. Over 20 people from 3 European countries engaged in the mobility. Today we want to introduce you to 3 of the participants – Axel, Chrissy, and Dancho. Check what they have to say about the project:

A part of the group of the participants in the exchange. Axel is in the second row, in front of the column, and Chrissy smiles from the rightest corner of the photo. 🙂 

Hi! Please, introduce yourself with a few words.

Axel: Hello! My name is Axel. I am 24 years old and I come from Belgium. I was until recently educator and animator at the International French School of Varna, but I found a new job in a service center for a Belgian bank opening in Varna. How I got here is a different story, but to be short it is closely related to the Association For You. (If you are curious about Axel’s story and how do we know him you can read this short interview he gave us some time ago. 🙂 )

Hrisi: Hi, my name is Hristina Atanasova, I’m 24 years old from Varna, Bulgaria and I’m volunteering in the art social workshop Place FOR YOU.

Dancho: Hello, my name is Jordan Kolev, I am 21, a student who returned to Bulgaria after many years abroad. My goals are numerous and I know it will not be easy to accomplish them because of their number. I know I have to continue my training and develop my knowledge in different directions. Erasmus + projects help me with this … This project for social entrepreneurship was as close in scope as it was far off to my previous experience. I already had knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, but not in its social aspect.

Is this the first youth exchange you participate in?

Axel: Yes, it is.

Hrisi: No, that’s not the first one.

Dancho: This is not the first project like this for me. I have participated in 8 other youth exchanges and training courses with different topics that had something to do with interests. It’s because topics that affect business and creativity have always fascinated me. I am currently studying at a university majoring in international business, it was also a plus because it had to do with my studies. Even though I had other experiences in the past, Youth For Social Change gave me a different one on how you can help others.

Dancho (in the foreground) always in a great mood!

What did you learn in the youth exchange “Youth for Social Change”?

Axel: I mostly learned a lot about the good social innovation examples in Varna, as I am very passionate about the topic and that I myself made some presentations about it.

Hrisi: This youth exchange gave me a lot of practical knowledge about social entrepreneurship. I also learned a lot about the culture of the participants.

Dancho: Even though I had other experiences in the past, Youth For Social Change gave me a different one on how you can help others. What I mean by this: learning the tools, the effort and time needed to start something from scratch, the idea of ​​the project organizers; to show us not only theoretically, to learn the necessary actions, but at the same time to meet us with people who are practically engaged in this and their experience. This is a very good approach especially for me since I am a more practically oriented person and this leads to motivation to achieve my goals.

Also, the tools provided to us, such as programs, web pages for information on both the external environment and internal self-esteem and understanding, were useful and could also be used for other activities. I will be lying if I say that now that I have this knowledge, I will be able to open and start my business tomorrow. But what I learned gave me the basics to get into the process afterward.

What did you like the most in the youth exchange “Youth for Social Change”?

Axel: I really liked the motivation of the participants. They were eager to learn more about the topic and really wanted to act on it. They also had a lot of ideas and I found it very ınteresting in general to exchange with other youngsters from other countries.

Hrisi: I really liked the fact that I learned a lot about the topic that will help me in my future professional development. I also met a lot of great people and I hope that we will stay friends.

Dancho: I am very pleased to have participated in this youth exchange. Thanks to the good organization of the trainers, in the end, I felt close to them like the other participants, without feeling a barrier between us and the coaches.

Hrisi was a very active participant in the discussions.

Did you learn something new about yourself? What?

Axel: Yes, I learned that I really enjoy giving presentations. I thought it was something that I would never be comfortable with, but I understood that when it is about topics that really trigger me and over which I have some knowledge, it is absolutely not the case.

Hrisi: I think spending time with people outside of my usual social circle has helped me gain a different, different perspective on things.

Dancho: I am very pleased that I was able to enrich my knowledge and find some interesting things about myself during the process. It was thanks to the other participants and the stories they shared that made me rethink some personal things.

What are your future plans?

Axel: In the short term, I will stay in Varna for still a while and, as I said, work in this service centre and acquire some experience. In the long run, my idea is still the same: I deeply want to work in the social entrepreneurship field or in socially innovative enterprises at some point. That is basically something that I want to do for a long time and that’s also why I decided to take part in this youth exchange.

Hrisi: For the moment I don’t have any plans for the future. 

Thank you all for the great conversation! I hope that you will be so active and inspired in your future projects and endeavors!