14-19 November 2016
The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is a partner in the Youth Worker Mobility Project taking place in Varna – European Youth Capital 2017.
The title of the project is Together on the InnoWave, which aims to increase the capacity of local youth organisations and their dynamic nuclei, the youth workers, in order to implement quality youth initiatives and projects that will have both a local impact and a European dimension.
The main objective of the project will be achieved through the exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of youth innovation and urban development with representatives of other European cities with strong youth policies and capacities and experience in the field of youth and the implementation of the European Youth Capital initiative. The training will give participants the opportunity to exchange good practices and inspiring ideas in two directions – the development of engaging youth activities and the use of urban spaces for the benefit of young people.
A VISIT TO VARNA, FUTURE EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL
We travel for different reasons and inclinations, people have always travelled, I travel because I want to meet people. I want to deepen my knowledge, to share my thinking with others, to learn about other people’s thinking, to gain new experiences, to (re)form my own opinions or ideas.
A great opportunity presented itself when the Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., offered me the chance to visit the city of Varna in Bulgaria. I gladly accepted the opportunity.
Varna is a beautiful city. We cycled around a large part of the city, which really comes alive in the summer. We saw sand palaces, an open-air theatre, a zoo, many beautiful buildings and monuments. In the evening we enjoyed good food and good company. The hotel where we stayed was 25km from the city. So we took the opportunity to enjoy the fresh sea air and the wonderful view of the Black Sea at our leisure.
I was surprised that the languages (Bulgarian and Slovenian) were quite similar. Understanding certain words and phrases made communication easier. I met people from six different countries (France, Italy, Greece, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, and Portugal). However, our main purpose was not to get to know different cultures, but to improve the EYC (European Youth Capital). Our task, which we pursued during the morning and afternoon meetings, was to exchange knowledge and experiences. Varna will take over the title of European Youth Capital next year (2017). Through this meeting, they wanted to bring together individuals and groups who have been involved in the creation of the EYC in their city. We had to present examples of good and bad practice and seek answers to important questions that would improve the organisation and delivery of the EYC (Example: we were looking for an answer to the question of how we can evaluate the EYC and determine whether it was successful).
In the workshops we also looked for solutions, asked questions, fostered creativity and critical thinking. We also met with the Mayor of the city, who welcomed us very warmly and promised support and help. He assured us that he would promote the development of Varna as the European Youth Capital 2017.
For me, the experience was invaluable. I think we have worked well together and I believe that Varna will successfully take over the EYC 2017 title.
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