Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course
Venue: Pazardijk, Bulgaria
Dates: 1-8 September 2016
Participants: Lenka Martináková, Jana Ochvatová, Veronika Konrádová
Participating countries: Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Poland, Belgium, Croatia, Turkey, Bulgaria
Hosting organisation: Focus
Greetings from Pazardjik (Bulgaria)! From sunny and pretty much easy-going country where the Czech team attended training course called Life without borders from 1st to 8th September. We spent an amazing week surrounded by wonderful people from Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, Poland and – of course, great hosting country – Bulgaria. There were 3 people from each country plus two long-term EVS volunteers from Turkey so it was like a little surprise for those who are interested in EVS that they could asked them how their EVS is in Pazardjik.
If the name of TC was Life without borders the organization of it could be called Coordination without problems. Ivo, leader of Bulgarian Association Focus, prepared splendid little activities for getting known each other so new strong friendships started to be created in the very beginning. The charm of these activities was in hidden meanings of them, almost everything was somehow focused on refugees, inclusion and such things. Another thing is, that many of energizers were organized outside so local people could see that there was something happening thanks to Erasmus+ programme.
Main parts of the programme were designed for working in international teams which was very interesting because I guess everyone realized that communication is the key to everything, no matter from what country we come from. Few participants had a not so pleasant chance to see how language barrier works, they were afraid of their English, however, everyone tried to create a comfortable environment for them so in the end they started to be more secure in communication with the rest of us. For myself I can say that very friendly people met there, so supportive, always willing to help, which was very important for the project itself.
In various teams we were demonstrating differences among immigrant, emigrant, refugee and asylum seeker (through a short theatre), then through making the sculpture we were supposed to present inclusion, exclusion, integration and segregation. We came up with declarations of rights of refugees, videos and short presentations about refugees were showed us. One of the most interesting things was presenting the situation about migration/refugees in each participating country. Through this we could see sizeable differences throughout Europe, mainly between “hotspots” especially Greece and Turkey and “coldspots” such as the Czech Republic or Poland. Sometimes it made us feel how ridiculous the current situation is and we were discussing what we can do to change this situation. To not make this TC so hard for us (because of a hard topic) we spent one day in Plovdiv, which is a breath-taking old city in the middle of Bulgaria.
To conclude this, we learned new things, met new people, had new experience with this topic, spent great time in new country (at least for me), did a lot of productive work beneficial for our own development and many other things! In the very end I would like to thank EYCB for whole Czech team that they chose us and sent us there to experience all of this!