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1. Where are you from?
I’m from Gran Canaria, in Spain.

2. Tell us about yourself?
I think I am sociable but in occasions I’m very shy when I meet people but when I know them I feel better. Also I am a person with a big desire to work and know new costumes. However I am very undecided when I have to choose different possibilities but if I am sure of a thing I‘ll try to make the best of it.

3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what did you do?
Yes I have volunteered in an association for drug addicts in Spain and the relationship with the other volunteers was good. I did therapy with young people and the volunteers helped us to organize the projects of the patients and give ideas to improve our therapy.

4. What’s the reason for you to make this decision and came here in Bulgaria ?
Because I need to know new things and I like help people so for me it was a great opportunity to fulfill my aims.

5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?
At the moment, my first impression is good but I feel very lost because I need to improve my English to get better and fluent communication and yes I’d come back again because at the moment I feel comfy with the guys and the people are very kind.

6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?
For me there are a lot of advantages because I can meet new people and different costumes that are different to me, know other foreign languages and it’s a possibility to feel secure and comfy with myself. Also I can share experiences with other people from different countries and know different points of views so it allows me to have an open mind.

7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?
I think that the Bulgarian people will be involved with the project because they show a proactive attitude with the no hate speech campaign and other ways of fighting violence.
I think I have a good attitude to fight the hate speech because now I can’t communicate very well but I am very enthusiastic and I‘ll do everything possible to help to end this problem that nowadays increases.

8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?
The people should help other people because the world will be better if we’ll do this but normally the people judges before they know someone and it’s very easy to give your opinion and comment on other people but it’s really difficult to be in the skin of other people.

9. If you had to describe #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE project with one word, what would it be?
OPENMINDED.

We are happy to introduce to you our new shortterm volunteers from Italy and Spain!

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1. Where are you from?
Angelo: I'm from Italy

Nicandro: I am from Italy.

Lucila: I come from Galicia, a beautiful green region in the north west of Spain.

Raisa: I’m from Zaragoza, a city in the north of Spain.

2. Tell us about yourself?
Angelo: I have a great team spirit and I like workgroups. My interests are new technologies, traveling, Internet, sports, film and music.

Nicandro: I am 26 six years old and I come from a small town in the south of Italy. I have got a Master’s Degree in Law and I am interested in the European subjects. I am also fascinated by other cultures and I am always trying to learn more about the countries I visit.

Lucila: I’m an enthusiastic person, I enjoy with everyday little gests. I discovered leaving abroad that languages keep my brain alive so let’s try how Bulgarian goes!

Raisa: I’m 24 years old and I’m studying a Master Degree. I like to travel, the music, to read... and I’m a happy person. I want to live adventures in my life around the entire world.

3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what did you do?
Angelo: For a short period I helped an association of Civil Protection in their fire-fighting activities with aerial reconnaissance by microlight aircraft. I was a summer camp animator for children for two years. I’m founder member of the recreational and cultural association GAP Aidone that increased the number of members to 30+. Within the association I work in a team to organize and carry out
activities and events in order to enhance the area and promoting active citizenship

Nicandro: I volunteered with an association in Rome concerning the census of the homeless people living in the city.

Lucila: It’s not the first time that I have the opportunity of volunteering. Before I did punctual actions like collecting food in supermarkets, teaching elderly people how to use new technologies or helping kids with their homework.

Raisa: Yeah, I did a volunteering in Nepal with Spanish NGO. We filmed a documentary about disability in the country. I lived there during 3 months and it was a great experience. I met a lot of people and I knew other culture.

4. What’s the reason for you to make this decision and come to Bulgaria ?
Angelo: I don't support the usual "things do not change", but I believe in a reality that through creativity, cooperation and knowledge things can really change. I think that all people have the duty to improve everything around them. Here, with this project, there is the possibility to change some things.

Nicandro: I wanted to challenge myself on an international environment doing something useful for the people and myself as well.

Lucila: I heard about the EVS a few years ago, but it was this year when I felt it was the moment to do it. I just had one clear thought, the project had to be related with human rights and inspire me to keep dreaming of a better world. That was exactly what I found when I read about Love & Hate project, and met Maria from the Infinite Opportunities Association in Sofia.

Raisa: I chose this project because it is a good and important program. Volunteers are doing a very good mission here and I want to be part of this. In addition, I want to live a new experience and I’ve never been in Bulgaria before so it is the better way to know it.

5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?
Angelo: This is my third day here and I really like Sofia. I think I would come back here again

Nicandro: This is my second time in Bulgaria, the impression I had when I came back here was of great excitement as I would like to discover more about this city and the Bulgarian culture.

Lucila: I just visited Sofia so far, but the first impression is love at first sight! I can’t wait to travel around the country! Spring looks like a nice season to enjoy the city.

Raisa: My first impression was very good. I thought that the country will be different but I’m very happy to be here. I will probably come back again because I want to visit the whole country and it’s impossible in only two months.

6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?
Angelo: I can open my mind by meeting new ideas and new cultures

Nicandro: I am sure this project will be of great importance not only for my future career but also an amazing opportunity to increase and develop new useful skills.

Lucila: It’s a big opportunity to meet Bulgarian culture from inside, to see how other cultures solve their differences. The first big challenge is the language!

Raisa: I think that I will grow up with this project and it will be very important for the development of my career because this is a job experience too.

7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?
Angelo: It is still early to describe the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project but I share and believe in tolerance, antidiscrimination, combating hate speech and promotion of diversity.

Nicandro: I just arrived here and honestly still don’t know about the general attitude of people about this project. As far as I am concerned I feel exited in starting this new project and deal with the topics related to it.

Lucila: I’ve just arrived so I couldn’t taste properly how is Bulgarian people, but I believe my attitude can help others attitude, so I always give my best!

Raisa: This is an important project. Children are on Internet all time and it’s impossible to watch them always. They have to understand that all people are identical and we cannot discriminate each other by Internet just because of their countries or other conditions. I don’t know what think people in Bulgaria because I arrived only few days ago but I hope that they feel happy for the opportunity to collaborate with Hate Speech campaign.

8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?
Angelo: Does Intolerance bring the advantages? I think no, so why to be intolerant?!

Nicandro: I would explain the topics of the project and the importance of them in the easiest way possible.

Lucila: My personal advice would be, don’t look other way if you know there’s something unfair around you. We are all responsible.

Raisa: What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?
I will say that we have to teach the children what the right way to use Internet is. Internet is a strong weapon if you don’t use it correctly and we have to show them how they must use it.

9. If you had to describe the LOVE&HATE III project with one word, what would it be?
Angelo: Essencial

Nicandro: Respect.

Lucila: RESPECT!

Raisa: Equality.

July 22 is the day proposed by No hate speech movement for the European Day of Victims of hate crimes. It was also the day we chosed for the closing event of the project Toler@nce Pl@tform. We celebrated 18 months of tolerance together with friends and colleagues at SOHO’s garden.

 We saw more than 2,500 smiling faces, we were with you 109 times in various events and visited more than 26 cities in search of unforgettable emotions. If you want to see part of our activities, please, watch the documentary movie that we have created especially for the Pl@tform.

   Thanks to all who participated in Toler@nce Pl@tform and became part of the campaign and part of IOA team. Although our project ends at the end of this month, we intend to remain a priority horizontal activity of the association.

Because we care, and this is only the end of the beginning.

The time has finally come, there’s only one week left until our new short term volunteers arrive! We can’t wait to welcome Anabel, Raisa and Lucila from Spain and Angelo and Nico from Italy and we hope they bring a lot of south European energy and passion with them! Together we will spend April and May spreading the word against hate speech and for more tolerance all over Bulgaria. Besides visiting as many schools, universities and Youth centers as possible in and around Sofia we will take off to an adventurous tour through the whole country with stops in all your towns and villages. So get ready for two months full of exiting things and a lot of fun street actions to join and help us spreading the word! We are looking forward to see all of you very soon J

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    Part of IOA team participated in the seventh National meeting “Youth worker” which was held in Varna in the period 24/06/15-28/06/15. Young people from whole over the country tried to define the profile of the youth worker, what are the role and tools of youth work and how to recognize the profession of youth worker training and work with young people. On the Tool Fair and the exhibition we presented two of our projects – Toler@nce Pl@tform and our Youth centre for information and consultation.

 Thank you for the interesting experience and see you soon! J

 

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This graphite can already be seen in Sofia. This is our way again to pay attention to hate speech, not only on the internet but also offline. The graphite represents our reminding to everyone to think before say something that can hurt or insulted someone. "No Hate Speech Movement" is a campaign of the Council of Europe, graphite is funded by National Programme for Youth 2011-2015, Special thanks to Bojidar Simeonov-Bozko for making the drawing.

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In the period 02/06/15-07/06/15 the IOA team took part in Mobility in Buzau, Romania. We participated in an international conference with our partner organizations from Romania and the United Kingdom about the ending of the Green Community project. We discussed different ecological problems as the need of recycling and air pollution. Each of the organizations presented what they have done so far including their achievements and what else needs to be done. We visited recycling company where we saw recycling of waste of lighting equipment treatment, waste of electric and electronic equipment treatment and waste of plastic treatment.

It was a great experience for us, we would like to thank the partner organizations for their contribution to the project. 

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We spent the last weekend together with students from the American College of Veliko Tarnovo to talk about volunteering. During the training, we played games to get to know each other better and held discussions on the skills and opportunities for volunteering and doing good. For us it was very interesting to learn about the ideas of young people for their future in this area and what information they considered as useful. We had a great time with the group and will watch with anticipation in which voluntary initiatives the students will be included in their future.

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1. Where are you from?

Rosa: I was born in León, which is a beautiful city in the north of Spain. I love this city but actually I have been living in Madrid since I was one year old.

Nikolas: I’m Spanish.

Jade: Sallent de Gállego, Spain.

2. Tell us about yourself?

Rosa: I am an active person, willing to travel, learn new things, meet new people and have fun. I could say I love laughing! Regarding my studies... I have just finished my Bachelor's Degree in Translation and Interpreting (English and German). Since mostly I have studied it in Spain, I have also spent a year at the University of Leipzig by means of an Erasmus scholarship, and done an internship in Berlin at the Spanish Embassy.

Nikolas: I’m an open-minded person, emphatic, creative and, in general, optimistic. I like the sea and doing sports such as hiking, ride a bike and canoeing. I love being involved in new experiences and meeting new people. I love learning new cultures, new view points, sharing my knowledges. I would like to contribute to create a better society, less shelf-worry and more global. I feel myself as a  European or World citizen. I like to encourage myself and the rest of the people to develop new challenges, for feeling alive and enthusiastic, and trying new things.

Therefore, I think I’m responsible, loyal, serious and focus on planning realistic projects. I need being confidence and knowing the people around me. I prefer different activities because I’m boring easily with repetitive and monotonous works.

I’m a talkative person, sometimes a dreamer, and whatever I do I like doing it with passion.

Jade: I am a Media & Sociology student in London. I am enjoying a lot my degree and love many of the areas that it can cover: Photography, social research, development…. I love traveling and experiencing other cultures, always planning to go somewhere. I  am also a very enthusiastic person, and enjoy socializing and being outdoors.

3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what you did?

Rosa: Strictly speaking, I think this is my first volunteering experience, or at least, my first time in a NGO. I have collaborated and worked in summer camps with young and also interpreted in biomedical courses aiming to improve the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy.

Nikolas: I was in a volunteering camp in Chavagnac, France. It was an international group where we had to rebuild a farming house to make a ethnographic museum about the French culture and farming life style. I met interesting people and how to plant apple trees and making concrete and using stone and bricks to rebuild roads, paths and housing structures.

I visited other cities and knew the traditional French recipes.

It was a very intensive and learning experience.

Jade: I have done quite a lot of volunteering since I was in High school. I was an International Baccalaureate student, therefore I needed to complete the ‘Creativity/Action/Service’part of the curriculum so as to get my Diploma. I started helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds with homework for the NGO Cáritas, and thanks to those insights I discovered how addictive it can be. Now that I am in university, I am also trying to link volunteer work with my studies to some extent, for example: Last year, I worked in Cambodia doing social research and helping in an NGO.

4. What's the reason for you to make this decision and came here in Bulgaria?

Rosa: I was never before in Bulgaria, and actually coming here was also a chance, but the idea was quite appealing. I wanted to do some volunteer work and see how a NGO works. Not for a long time I realized I want to focus my career towards International Relations, Democracy and Human Rights and the #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE  project seemed to encompasses all these.

Nikolas: I needed a change on my life. I’ve been studying my degree +master for a long time (8 years) which they’ve been very hard-working to me. By other hand, I needed to have an international experience because I desired having had the opportunity to be abroad one year in my degree but finally it wasn´t possible. I want to improve my English skills and knowing new people and new cultural, new environments, new challenges that encourage myself again.

I think this is a kind of own knowledge path, recognizing my strengths and weaknesses, developing new skills and evolving as a person. Here, during this period of time I want to feel me useful for the society.

I want to lose the fear to the unknown. I’d like to rely on what’s important to me and thinking that things may be approach to the reality, but finally each of one have a background, an interest, skills, attitudes that may be the key for anykind of project, and no one may think is better of worse, it’s only in owr mind the purpose of achieving great things and each one has something good to provide.

Jade: I saw the project description, and it seemed very interesting as well as very linked to my degree. I was already looking for things to do this summer and Bulgaria seemed a great opportunity, a country where you don’t get that often the chance to visit.

5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?

Rosa: My first impression was both good and bad. It is already clear that the country is poor and here are a lot of people who do not have nothing, even to eat; the streets, roads and other infrastructure are not that good, like in countries like Spain or Germany... Therefore a lot of problems can be solved. I would come back again, yes, why not? This is my first week here, but I am sure that I am going to like it, it seems Bulgaria has beautiful and amazing cities to offer.  Some social groups are discriminated I am also sure that something can be done for social groups more discriminated and on the defense of Human Rights and tolerance.

Nikolas: I’ve had in this few days different approaches to the country. The first impression of my neibourhood was turning away. I felt a little uncomfortable. But each day I feel better. I think people is people everywhere they live,  what kind of clothes they wear, or whatever background or vital situation they have to deal. It may be have more differences between rich and poor people and I think there are cultural attitudes which need time to take over, like to communism period. By other side, I think this is a very future potencial country with good options for developing.

I’ve seen young people and I think we must be the future creatives who change for a better world.

Jade: I haven’t seen too much so far and I recognize Bulgaria was not among my ‘to-go’countries, but I am discovering it’s charm and enjoying Sofia a lot. The city is very green, has some beautiful architecture and many nice places to hang out.

6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?

Rosa: I think this is a great opportunity because I am gaining professional experience in cooperation projects and at the same time I am contributing to a good cause by helping others. Also travelling and learning a new language (Bulgarian, tough stuff haha)

Nikolas: I’m knowing a new culture, I consider this as a reinforcement project to win confidence in myself, to deal with other people of different backgrounds and adquiring a new prospective. This project maybe might give me new options to find a job. I’m improving my English speaking and I can learn basic Bulgarian language skills. It’s a real intercultural echange working all of us for a same purpose. That’s one of the most beautiful things I can match for.

Jade: Earning some working experience in the NGO sector, but also a chance to apply and expand what I have learned so far in college. Also, getting the chance to live in a different country and experiencing a different culture, which is always very enriching.

7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?

Rosa: Up to date I have only been once in a presentation in the framework of the No Hate Speech Movement campaign, although they were young they seem to be conscious about the risks and harm bad comments can make, nevertheless no everyone is mindful about it. Me as a translator am aware of the power of the Word, And the true is that none of us are free to be discriminated on social network websites or the internet.

Nikolas: I think everybody is enhanced on the project in more or less degree, and all of us are erasing our awareness in the social problems of this country. At the same time each of us may support a different attitude but together we can do wathever we want. Young people I think is very sensitive to the problem and they want to cope with it, but probably who is suffering the effects of the crisis is hatred. I think everybody is wised up but its not working up enough.

I,m dealing with it and I want to be the most active and brave as I may be possible.

Jade: Well, the project targets mostly young people given that they are the biggest groups of online users. seem quite eager to participate and interested about the different approaches to social issues we present.

8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?

Rosa: Lets try it, get involved and learn more about it! It also affects you!

Nikolas: I advice them to read about a little bit and try to seek where they can influence to cope with tolerance online and offline too. In their daily working role, with their families, where they live, and any effort , although it may be a little it may match a great change.

Jade: That in order to create a better world, it is important that all of us support and defend the things we care; never mind the scope of the contributions, every single one can help.

9. If you had to describe  #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE project with one word, what would it be?

Rosa: Awareness.

Nikolas: Global Unity.

Jade: Inspiring

          

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You have endless ideas which make the world or your town a better place or you want to change something and start a successful own project? But all the “know how” that is needed for starting an own venture is missing. You did not have the change yet, to think about all the steps from the idea to the implementation in detail and with professional help?

Than our workshop is perfect for you! This weekend, the Infinite Opportunities Association provides a training course about youth entrepreneurship. The training course will take place in Varna from the 6th to the 8th of November.

We will use these days to collect ideas, talk about the first steps of creating an own start up and also think about potential problems and obstacles which could make the road to success more difficult. To found a lot of new businesses in only three days would be a bit utopic, but we are going to start the process.

Accommodation and food is provided by the Infinite Opportunities Association in context of the project “MIKC – Youth Information and Consultation Center”, funded by the National Youth program 2010-2015 and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. The participants just have to cover the travel costs to Varna by themselves.

Use your chance to learn how to be a young entrepreneur and join us on the training course! Please send us the filled registration form to office@infopass.eu until the 30 of October 2015. You can find the form HERE. The detailed program will be sent to the registered participants. We are looking forward to see you in Varna!

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Today we say goodbye to our short-term volunteers – Elena, Luisa and Alexis. During the last two months we made a tour across Bulgaria together having a lot of presentations and street actions. Spreading the message of tolerance we visited Sofia, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen, Dobrich, Ruse, Pazardjik, Batak, Popovo, Targovishte, Ezerche, Razgrad, Montana, Botevgrad, Pravec, Zlatarica, Lyaskovec and Kilifarevo.

After two months struggling with the Bulgarian language they can now understand and speak basic Bulgarian sentences.  Also they can tell you where the best gyms in Luylin are.

Ignoring the bad weather we have recorded a lipdub about discrimination and stereotypes. Last but not least Elena, Luisa and Alexis are staying in the hearts of the team of IOA members.

Goodbye girls and hope to see you again!

          Elena Luisa Alexis

                   paula   abel1

                   judit1   miriam1

 

1. Where are you from?

Paula: I'm from Germany.

Miriam: I am from Germany. There I lived in several cities like Goettingen, Hannover, Berlin and Erfurt.

Judit: . I'm from Vigo, a city of Galicia in Spain

Abel: I’m from Vigo, Spain.

 

2. Tell us about yourself?

Paula: I am 18 years old, have just finished Highschool and normally live in Hannover with my parents and my younger sister. I like music, photography, sports and meeting with my friends. I don't know what to study yet and hope this year will help me.

Miriam: I am 23 years old and have already finished my bachelor’s degree in communication- and political science at a German university. Obviously, I am interested in political issues. Especially in subjects like gender equality or the rights of refugees. In my free time I like to read, go swimming and visiting cultural events.

Judit:I am a cheerful girl who enjoys helping others. I love the world of social services and especially working with disabled people.

Abel: I’m an enthusiastic young motivated to start a new stage in my life, selling new chagenlles and rewarding new opportunities.

 

3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what you did?

Paula: No, it's my first volunteering experience.

Miriam: After I passed my school leaving examination, I absolved a gap year taken to do voluntary work in the environmental sector. During this year, I worked for an NGO called GREEN LEAGUE, which is allocated in the sector of environment protection.

Judit:I volunteered at small projects in my city (collect food , clothes, toys for children ).

Abel: No, this is my first time working as volunteer in another country but, in Spain, I usually collaborate with nonprofit associations, like sports or culture organizations.

 

 4. What’s the reason for you to make this decision and came here in Bulgaria ?

Paula: I need some time to decide what I want to do in the future and to get to know myself better and I want to spend that time doing something that matters.

Miriam: I wanted to do a voluntary service in a foreign country. At the information event of my sending organization, I liked the project-description of the #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE>project most. During my studies, I learned a lot about racism and prejudices, but on a theoretical level. Helping to fight this phenomes in the real world, seemed to be an interesting and – not just for me - useful experience. Furthermore, I am interested in the history and culture of Eastern Europe and prefer big cities to live in. Thus, Sofia seemed to be a good choice.

Judit:Because it is a great challenge for me and I think it will help me evolve as a person. I also think it is important to help the poorest countries to make the world a little more balanced.

Abel: All my university education was about European issues, I think that opportunity is a good way to put into practice everything learned about European values and know more than Europa.  

 

5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?

Paula: I didn't know much about Bulgaria before I came here but so far I've experienced a lot of positive things and would definitely come back!

Miriam: Now, I am here for three weeks and until now, it is a positive experience. I am still trying to observe how people behave here and what is maybe different to my country. My first impression was, that people in Sofia seem to have a lot of time, because they’re walking so slowly. At the moment I am happy, to spend five more month here. If this is going to be a great time, I would like to come back and show friends and family this beautiful city.

Judit:. I think it is a country of contrasts. Many nice but also quite neglected other things. The language seems very strange but not impossible to learn. Someday I think I will return if I have the opportunity, as other countries that need volunteers.

Abel: I’ve arrived two days ago, I can’t not say a lot of Bulgaria, but my first impression it’s a multicultural and multiracial country. The people look friendly.

 

6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?

Paula: It will be my first real work experience and also the first time living alone and I hope that will prepare me for the future. I also think that I can learn a lot of important things and get to know new people, a new country and hopefully a new language.

Miriam: I already worked in German NGOs, but it is a new experience to get in touch with the processes in a Bulgarian one. I am also glad to have the chance of learning Bulgarian as an absolutely different language to all I’ve learned yet.

Judit:think I'll learn a lot about topics that fascinate me and is very good for my professional future.

Abel: Obviously, I’ll win professional experience, knowledge and know-how, but I think the better for me will be to help to the others.

Also, I will have the opportunity to know Bulgaria, its culture, its language and meet new people.

 

7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?

Paula: Most people I talked to so far had a very positive attitude. I think the project is a great way to spread a very important message and reach a lot of people.

Miriam: All Bulgarian people I met, are open minded and apply for a more tolerant Europe. I did not experienced it yet, but some people told me, that Bulgaria has some serious problems with discrimination. For me, talking to young people, who are not that fixed in their attitudes and positions yet, is a sensible way to make people aware of the problems with discrimination, Europe still has. Most of them are active in social media. That is why human-rights-organizations have to take a look on these platforms, too.

Judit:I do not know much about the attitude of people in Bulgaria because just arrived, but it seems that children participate quite well. My very good attitude, I have really wanted to bring new things to the project and work hard, although not easy for me this great change.

Abel: I’ve not participated in many activities yet, but I think the people are motivated to participate in the program activities.

 

8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?

Paula: Tolerance is a topic that affects everyone in their everyday lives and everyone should take the time to learn more about it and to improve their attitude towards other people.

Miriam: To check all the platforms like Facebook and the homepage. You also can come to the office or call the staff and ask for information. Who wants, can join one of the street activities.

Judit: It is important to collaborate because the world must become a better place for everyone .I also think that we could find ourselves in a difficult situation and we would like to help us.

Abel: Tolerance is one of the values should be more respected. Tolerance is respect for diversity of opinion, social, ethnic, cultural and religious. It is necessary because tolerance tends to avoid conflicts, "The spirit of tolerance is the art of being happy in the company of others."

 

9. If you had to describe #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE>project with one word, what would it be?

Paula: Important

Miriam: Progress

Judit:Change.

Abel: Development

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The team of MIKC-Infinite Opportunities Association consults pupils within the “Career Days” which shall help students with their future orientation. We have already started with two parallel presentations to students in the 11th grade in 74 school "Goce Delchev". Students tested their knowledge in a fun and innovative way with quizzes and games aimed at the identification and understanding of different professions. We talked about the specifics of PHP programmers, designers, brokers, cashiers and other positions.
 
Take a look at photos from the event on our Facebook page HERE
 
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Social inclusion. And how do you connect yourself?

Every day on the TV, on the web or on the streets, in the bus we see advertisements or promotion of campaigns about social inclusion. Constantly we talk about active citizenship and social inclusion as part of our daily life, but anyway, nothing really changes.

And you? Today, the question is how you behave. The offered training course will help you, to become more tolerant. Even when you are just walking through your own block, your behavior is relevant: People who are visibly different or part of a minority group deserve the same treatment and respect. Salute instead of overlooking them.
Do you really know, what social inclusion is about? Are you able to orient yourself in the world around you? Do you know why social networks are called social? How many of your Facebook friends are actually your friends? Do you know when was the last time when you did a research study about something?

To get connected – not just for using Facebook or the newest computer game – is important. We have to understand, that, we are not on a lonely island, but have an ocean of possibilities and opportunities to behave in a kind way towards others. Work on yourself and join our training course from the 23rd to the 25th of October 2015 in Vitosha.

Where? – Vitosha, хижа Звездица
When? – from 23rd to 25th October 2015

Send us your filled registration form until 15pm on the 20th of October at office@infopass.eu with the subject ‘Social inclusion. How do you connect yourself?"  You can get your registration form from HERE

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On the 1st – 4th of May the IOA participated in the project Green Community Mobility in Luton, United Kingdom. We didn't see the new princess but we took part of #MarySeacoleFunDay – an event organized by Мary Seacole Housing Association. Our contribution was a workshop for making toys from second-hand materials. Also we played different games related to global warming and environmental pollution. People from all ages put their wishes for pure nature on our so-called "Rope of the messages."

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Experts from MIKC were involved in the last two days of this year's festival Beglika. Again, in an innovative and fun way we presented our Youth center for information and consultation, we talked with many people, managed to exchange information, we gave and received many smiles and positive emotions. We walked our big heart "No hate" through meadows of Beglika and we took a hug from everybody. We believe that visitors to the festival evaluate our presence there as useful and interesting. Thanks the organizers of the fest Beglika for the invitation to participate!

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IOA team celebrated Earth Day with our MIKC consultants and the local "Green Community" audience. We made toys and jewelry from recycled materials with children from the neighborhood. They had lots of fun designing necklaces out of soda caps while we were discussing with their parents the idea for creating community gardens together. We played bowling with plastic bottles, marine chess with cans of soft and dominoes from old magazines.

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We had to say "goodbye" to our lovely short-term volunteers from Spain after only two months in IOA. We hope that they spend a wonderful time here, we wish them all the best from so on - a lot of success in their live and of course - tolerance. 

We hope to see you soon! Adiós!

Alexis, Luiza and Elena brought to Bulgaria nice weather and positive vibrations. They shared their thoughts, beliefs and expectations in the interview below. Read what they want to say and get inspired.

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1. Where are you from?

Alexis: I'm from Guspini, is a small town in Sardina (Italy)

Luiza: Hi everybody =) I'm Luisa from the beautiful island right in middle of the Mediterranean sea.... Sicily, of course! I grew up in Catania, a suny place just at the feet of Etna volcano.

Elena: I am from Lithuania, one of the three Baltic states. It is very green and beautiful country, which you must definitely visit in summer, especially Nida -  a resort town located on the Curonian Spit between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea.

 2. Tell us about yourself?

Alexis: I'm an healtcare assistant, i work in a psychiatric center. In my free time I like to study foreign languages, and when I can, I like to travel around the world.

Luiza: I graduated from Catholic University of Milan, department of law, with a master's thesis concerning the balancing between the freedom of expression and online hate speech, through ECHR and international case law.

As a legal researcher of the No Hate Speech Campaign's Council of Europe and as observer of Elsa International to the United Nations 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council: I wrote detailed and comprehensive legal reports about hate speech in the media, cybercrime, racism, xenophobia and related intolerances.

I have a keen interest in human rights, and I am strongly determined to pursue an international career in human rights advocacy.

 Elena: I graduated from a law school couple of years ago and since then I am a legal practitioner. It takes most of my time. After work I like doing some workouts at the gym or just go jogging. In my opinion sport is the best way to relieve the stress. You must definitely try it!

 3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what you did?

Alexis: No, it is the first time I do volunteer work.

Luiza: I volunteered at Unicef Acireale, as fundraiser and I served the Kiwanis International's values as a chairman, press agent and counselor.

 Elena: EVS is my first voluntary service abroad.

 4. What’s the reason for you to make this decision and came here in Bulgaria?

Alexis: A year ago I decided to learn the Bulgarian language because I think that Bulgaria is beautiful and I would like to live and work here. When I saw the ad "#0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE" I thought "this job is made for me".

Luiza: I am really interested in this international project, I like working in a multicultural environment, contributing to the development of mutual understanding, trust and tolerance.

I took part of the international campaign “ young people against hate speech in the internet” initiated by the Council of Europe.

 Elena: Recently I have attended a seminar for legal practitioners on the topic “EU Gender Equality Law in Trier, Germany. During the seminar which was attended by the legal practitioners from different EU countries I realised that the protection of human rights and tolerance is still an issue all over the world. I believe my knowledge and experience may help to raise the tolerance of young Bulgarian people.

 5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?

Alexis: ? "Wow, I could stay here all my life". Absolutely yes! Of course i want to come back here.

Luiza: ...just arrived from Italy and I have not yet had enough time to see Sofia and the rest of the country but I love travelling.... and I will do it very soon! ;)

 Elena: I am very impressed by the landscape of Bulgaria andfriendliness of the people. I am a bit afraid of a lot of wild dogs outside, but I believe people can hurt more than animals.

 6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?

Alexis: Certainly learn about a new place, a new culture, new people, a new language. Work in this project is very important for me because i'm transgender and i know what are discrimination and hate.

Luiza: Trough this opportunity, I could improve my competences, putting into practice knowledge acquired during my studies.

I could boost my cv in order to attend a master's program in human rights, abroad.

 Elena: I will a have a possibility to gain international experience, improve my language skills in the multicultural team and develop my communication skills. I am very curious to learn more about human rights and tolerance campaigns, which is a significantly new experience for me.

 7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?

Alexis: I think the attitude of people in bulgaria is negative about the project. I think positive.

Luiza: I am quite sure that we work at IOA because we believe in this project and its topics, and we will do our best to improve it! Stay tuned and follow our activities! ;)

 Elena: You can call me naive, but I believe such campaigns may raise a tolerance of young people. People here, in IOA, are doing really hard work and it MUST benefit one day

 8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?

Alexis: The world is beautiful because it is different, it would be boring if we were all the same.

Luiza: Let try to identify yourself with discriminated people...and act, react, impact!

 Elena: Be open-minded, curious and be not afraid to try new opportunities.

9. If you had to describe #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE>project with one word, what would it be?

Alexis: Equality.

Luiza: ....Sharing!

 Elena: Challenge

                 

Our urban garden is already fact! We can proudly say that we produce tomatoes. Although the number of the tomatoes is still insignificant, we have to admit that they have been raised with care and love. Urban gardening is something new for Sofia or at least new for IOA. The main idea of this activity is to create better social and ecological environment for cities and citizens. We tried to transfer gardening from small villages to the big city with innovative way for producing bio food. As you can see from the photos for now we are doing pretty good :)

Urban gardening is part of Green Community project.

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1. Where are you from?

I'm from Valencia, a coastal city in eastern Spain. Very sunny and colorful.

2. Tell us about yourself?

I am Patricia, I'm 28 years old and I'm a psychologist. In my free time I like to read, watch movies and tv shows and of course going out with my friends and meeting new people, places... I love to sing and dance as well (don't tell anyone but I always wanted to be an actress).

3. Have you dealt with volunteering before and what you did?

Yes, I've worked with disabled children doing therapy with horses and nature. I also I've been volunteer with people with dementia (Alzheimer's and Lewy's Body) with cognitive training exercices and also doing therapy with their main caregivers helping them to understand the disease.

4. What’s the reason for you to make this decision and came here in Bulgaria?

I love to know new places and Bulgaria seems to be a perfect destination; I really wanted to meet a different culture, people and language.

5. What is your first impression of Bulgaria and would you come back again?

My first impression was that this is not very different than my country at the first moment. Then I realized (after a few days) that there are many different things different to learn about this great country. And I haven't got enough time to see Sofia and other places but at the moment (I love the weather), of course I would love to come back again, or even never leave!

6. By participating in our project, what will be the benefits for you?

I really want to learn the bulgarian language, I know it's a hard one, but at least I want to learn enough to have a conversation. The project it's not only interesting, it's really really important and there are many things to learn from children and my colleagues.

7. What do you think is the attitude of people in Bulgaria about the project? What is your attitude?

I think that the attitude is very positive, are often very active. And with those who doesn't want to pay more attention there are many things we could do to attract their attention. My attitud is very possitive I think, I really want to participate in the presentation and in all the project things that we do. By the moment I had the chance to explain a little bit to children about what is the ciberbullying.

8. What advice would you give those around you to get involved in the campaign?

Uhmmmm if you want to change something you have to be an active person, visit the website, join us on Facebook and of course, been tolerant makes you part of the campaign already.

9. If you had to describe #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE project with one word, what would it be?

Self-criticism