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“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.”

Sherry Anderson

Infinite Opportunities Association organizes a training with subject:”Volunteering” in the frame of the project Youth centre for information and consultation – Infinite opportunities association.

Do you want to learn more about volunteering? Do you want to learn about new possibilities that volunteers can offer you?

What are the benefits of being a volunteer and what are the responsibilities?

Being a volunteer means not only to work for free, but also means to participate actively in forming the modern society in which volunteering is not something extraordinary

Volunteering gives the possibility to act, to participate, to be active - to see change and to part of it.

If you want to know more, join us!

The training is suitable for young people aged 15- 29 years who are proactive and willing to participate and to be directly involved in initiating and organizing different kinds of activities. The event will be held on 3rd to 4th April at bul. Al. Stamboliyski 239, 2nd floor, office 6.

To reserve a place in the training, send us your full name, age and which school / university you are attending to e-mail: office@infopass.eu or call phone: +359877828249

  Registration deadline: 2/04/2015 /including/.

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Infinitie Opportunities Association hosted a workshop on the project "Green Community" 04-08/03/2015. Our colleagues from CRRES (Romania) and MSHA (UK) presented their local eco projects. The initiative forwaste separation in a local community in Buzau (Romania) triggered a large echo in the media and made CRRES become local stars. This NGO also works with disabled children, for example on the production of elegant handbags made from recycled packaging. Part of the initiative of the British organization MSHA is the creation of a sustainable garden in one of their homes.

 

The IOA team presented them our street workshops for making toys from recycle materials in the “Borisova gradina” park and "St. Peter and Paul"park in Sofia. We also provided information on the possibilities of using geothermal energy and invited them to explore the production of organic dairy products in Bulgaria. Finally, special thanks to Harmonicaorganicfoods for kind of household and delicious variations of lactobacillus bulgaricum!

 

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The Infinite Opportunities Association members in Bulgarian delegation for the No Hate Speech Movement Forum in Gabala, Azerbaijan 1-5 Oct. During the Conference the delegations from 40 countries, were campaigns are functioning, have networked, exchanged their experiences and drafted the further steps for the development of the national campaigns. The Tolerance Platform.bg  project was also presented to colleagues from all around Europe and has received overwhelming attention.

               At the same time the Toler@nce Pl@tform visited three different cities – Sofia, VelikoTarnovo and Gorna Oriyhovica. How is this possible? Spreading our message across Bulgaria is made possible with the support of our team of multipliers.  We would like to introduce to you Julieta, Radostina, Sasho, Boyan and Simona who are young ambassadors of human rights. Their audience were students from 119 high school “Akad. MihailArnaudov” in Sofia, young people from a Youth centre in VelikoTarnovo and members of the association “Youth tolerance” in Gorna Oriyhovica. 

The regional campaign of the Tolerance Platform started with a blast - so expect us soon in your city!

 

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On the evening of the 29th of September, in Betahaus, Sofia, around 60 people gathered for the official Tolerance Platform launch to public. An interactive encyclopedia for human rights attracted attention not only by young people who work in the sphere of human rights, and antidiscrimination but was also attended by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. Kalin Kamenov, Desislava Tencheva/project coordinator, NGO grants/, and many more people working with or representing groups of migrants, people with disabilities, LGBT, Roma, or others, for whom tolerance topic is every day topic.
We thank you for coming and participating in our “Tolerado”simulation and Living library.

This was only the beginning, there are more things to be done ahead of us!

Because we care..

For more pictures, check out our gallery, facebook  and dont forget to visit www.ontolerance.eu

The team of IOA present Youth center for information and consultation to students from hight school “Petar Beron” in Kostinbrod. To students from 10th and 8th grade we presented our “human library” and that is how by funny and interesting way we consulted young people about choosing a university, opportunities for volunteer projects abroad, career counseling and conducting practice/internships.

Special thanks to the expert in sign language Silvana Pavlova, who supports our designer Sasho with consultations for the opportunities in participation of young people in our free zone.

It was pleasure for us to be with you and hope to see you again!

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On the 9th of September, by the central playground of the Borisova Gradina the team of the IOA was teaching kids and adults how to separate garbage, produce toys and cool wallets from recycled materials, also distributed informational leaflets about the Green Community project, recycling and carbon dioxide emission. We hope that we not only have had fun but also have encouraged little ones and their parents to think about environmental choices they are making.

For more pictures, check out our facebook page

 

Youth exchange in Erasmus + Programme took place in Afyon, Turkey in the period 16-23 of February 2015. People from five different countries gathered together to learn more about geothermal energy and European citizenship. For one week participants from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Poland and Turkey have lived together exchanging ideas, opinions, cultures, languages etc. IOA send five young people to represent Bulgaria and to learn new things.

Some of the activities of the project were to visit the company that collected the geothermal water used in residential heating and visit the company uses geothermal energy in the greenhouse. The group also visited the local Sugar factory and learned more about the process of how beetroots become sugar.  "Youth Exchange-Let Me Introduce Myself" was very useful experience for every participant thanks to the trainer of the course Ozkan Uzelli.

It was pleasure for us to take part – see you next time! 

P.S. We are in the Turkish medias now:

http://www.afyon.bel.tr/tr/haber/1/4157/avrupali-gencler-jeotermal-enerji-icin-ilimizde.aspx

http://afjet.com.tr/haber~191

http://www.kurtulusgazetesi.com.tr/gonullu-turizm-elcimiz-ahmet-onder/

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On Tuesday, the 9.9.2014 the team of Infinite Opportuntities Association is welcoming everybody to our "Green Mini Carnival" at Borisova Gradina. The event will be held from 14-17:00 clock, near the playground in the middle of the park. 
You will find plenty of interactive ACTIVITIES to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle, as well as many other SURPRISES.
Don’t miss the chance to participate in our WORKSHOP: 
“PAPER BAG WALLETS” and "HOW TO CREATE TOYS from PLASTIC BOTTLES"
Don't hesitate to bring your friends, parents, family and animals!

 

Our office became more international with the new volunteers Anna and Virginija. Look below their interview and find out why they have choosen the #0NL1NE #T0LER@NCE project and why they have decided to stay with us for a year.

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1. Where are you from?

Anna: I am from Berlin which is usually allocated to Germany.

Verginija: I am from Lithuania, little but very beautiful country near the Baltic Sea. Really don’t know why Bulgarians mix it with Latvia so often J

2. Tell us about yourself?

Anna: - I am Anna and I will be 20 years old in a few days. In my free time I like to meet my friends, travel, read and to draw. I am also interested in music and vegetarian cooking. After my time with IOA I will presumably start studying Political Science in Berlin.

Verginija: All my life is related with information and texts. I knew I want to be a journalist since my childhood. So I graduated journalism and semiotics. After that I worked as public relations representative in a library. We started an EVS project there. One of the volunteers was a Bulgarian guy. Now he is my husband and the reason why I started liking Bulgaria so much…

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

Anna: EVS is my first long-term voluntary service. I have been on other youth-encounters which dealt with ecological issues or the learning of a language.

Verginija: Oh yes. I was a volunteer in a few NGOs in Zarasai, my native town in Lithuania. Some of them were related to Youth information and politics. My first and favorite organization was called “You are not alone” and the main activity was publishing a youth newspaper. Publishing means that we were looking for interesting themes, doing interviews with young people, writing articles and doing it continuously, every month. This organization celebrated 15 years last year. I was the editor-in-chief for 5 years there.

The second parallel organization was an association “Round Table”. It united all the other youth NGOs in my native town. My role there was to coordinate these organizations, inspire young people to be active and do something good. I got a lot of useful skills there, like project management, strategic planning, youth politics, youth information, etc.

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

Anna: Current developments show that there are still widespread resentments and prejudices to be addressed within Europe, e.g. concerning less economically strong countries and people. Through taking part in a voluntary service abroad I would like to help to promote solidarity, understanding and commitment which are indispensble for living together. I have finished my A-levels in summer and now want my gap year between school and university to be an active and useful time.

Verginija: My family is half Bulgarian and most probably I will stay here after the project. Me and my husband were looking for the best option for both of us and this is a very nice coincidence that such an interesting project is held in Sofia J

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

Anna:Very welcoming people, impressive houses, many hungry dogs, momentary too much snow, currently still indecipherable language and many interesting information. I have never been to Bulgaria before, thus I am very curious to keep on discovering its people, language, politics and history.

Verginija: This is my third time in Bulgaria, actually. It means that I really like this country, especially its whether and landscape.

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

Anna: Besides having the possibility to be involved in social work and societal processes I also wantto gain new language skills, improved comunication competences and insight into the work of a NGO. I am also very much looking forward to exchange with other young people from all over Europe and to discover Bulgaria through travelling.

Verginija:The main benefit already is a natural and delicate acclimatization to this country. I hear and learn Bulgarian language, have a regular agenda every day, feel useful at the office, meet new people.

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

Anna:As far as I can say the attitudes depend on the age (and other factors) but are pretty positive and curious in general. I was positively surprised by having met some very active and motivated young Bulgarians during my first days.

Verginija: I am not naive and don’t think it will change the world. Our task is to provoke people to think about the main topic and at least TRY to change something. We won’t change adults’ behavior but we can make a big impact on the young generation.

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

Anna:Visit the webpages, talk to the team, there are many interesting possibilities to get involved, e.g. as multipliers or in trainings abroad.

Verginija: I think it is a little bit too early for giving advices. Hmm, it’s better to be active than passive, this could be my advice.

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

Anna: (to) convey

Verginija: Peace.

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Our two new Interns from Hong Kong and Italy finished their first week in our office, therefore it's time to introduce them a little bit more.  Although they already succesfully participated in our event in Borisova Park for the International Youth Day, they will mainly help us in the project "Green Community"  within the next 4 weeks. 

                                                                                      Here we go, 5 questions, 5 answers:

     On the eve of Valentine’s day the unique exhibition "Toler@nce zone" opens to guests from all over the world at Sofia airport, Terminal 2.The location is emblematic for exchanges across borders and welcoming different cultures IOA once again sends a message of tolerance, love and appreciation of diversity - this time through a photo exhibition. The unique installation consists of 88 photos each one taken from our volunteers from whole over Europe, with the aim of spreading the essential concept of tolerance: LOVE!

   Working on various projects of IOA our EVS volunteers from Germany, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Ukraine, Cyprus, Sweden, Georgia, Poland, Romania and Hungary, crossed the country from Valchedram to Kardzhali, trough Blagoevgrad and Ezerche. They made presentations in different schools and universities and organized street actions. Their faithful friend on all these tours was a big heart – symbol of the campaign “No Hate Speech Movement” of the Council of Europe.

    Celebrate the month of love by visiting our exhibition at the Sofia Airport Terminal 2 from February 6 to March 6, 2015 or just share the event so every traveler passing by will have the change to be infected with LOVE! Ida, Indre, Michele, Iuliia, Emeshe, Bahar, Tinatin, George and many other young people gave a face to our exhibition for a more tolerant society that promotes intercultural communication, the richness of diversity and the pursuit of goodness.

    The "Toler@nce zone" exhibition is implemented with the support of Sofia Airport. Projects that are carried out by volunteers and staff of Infinite Opportunities Association are financed by various sources, including the NGO Programme – Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism and the "Youth in Action" Programme of the European Commission.

 

Tolerance platform: http://www.ontolerance.eu/

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From this week on IOA is official partner of the new project made by AIESEC Sofia “Global NGO” .

From next Friday on, we will host 2 Interns for the time of 6 weeks.  They will help us in our environmental project Green Community with designs, research and workshops. We are looking forward meeting you guys!!

 

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Do you know how to choose properly your studies after high school?

Do you know how to get abroad as a worker or a volunteer?

Do you know how to present yourself at a job interview?

Are you an artist? Do you know how to develop your art?

The idea of the Youth center for information and consultation is to provide young people between 15 and 29 year old any kind of information related to personal and professional development - for example, how to write your CV and cover letter. We are offering free mentorship for your university application, consultation and information about culture events, contests, training courses, etc.  The main purpose of the project is to contribute civil and social competencies development of young people from the Sofia Municipality territory.

Check out the Facebook page by clicking HERE!

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On the sunny Saturday morning and early noon the IOA organized recycling workshop for the people of the neighborhood at the st. Peter and Pavel park. Thank you for everyone who stopped by and learned to have fun with recyclable materials.

For more pictures Check out Facebook page.

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Maria Marinova - Alkalay from the "Infinite Opportunities Association", Ventzislav Kirov from Bulgarian Family planning and sexual health associationand our EVS volunteer from Lithuania Indre Lechtimiakytewere guests of the TV show "Още нещо" on TV7. They have been invited to talk about the comprehensive health education at schools and why we need it.

The main problems and consequences of these problems regarding the absence of comprehensive health education in schools were tackled during the discussion. Some of these issues are bad personal hygiene, young maternity age and abortion, diseases such as anorexia and bulimia among young girls and many others. There is no dialogue between students and teachers. The involvement of parents and the communication within families regarding this topic could also be improved.

"Health and sexual education must be structured according to age, topics and way of teaching" – said Ventzislav Kirkov.

The campaign for comprehensive health education at all Bulgarian schools is being implemented under the framework of the program „Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS” funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Bulgarian campaign for the comprehensive health education at all Bulgarian schools is being supported by a lot of NGOs and health experts. Ministry of health is also playing an important role in the development of this project. 

The IOA visited one more city spreading the idea of love, tolerance and antidiscrimination. We are saying a huge thank you for everyone who stopped by for a small chat, longer conversation, or just took a picture. Moreover, thank you, our amazing volunteers from German Language School Sofia!

For all the pictures, check out our Facebook page

   

Тhe training course for youth is over. During the period from the 26th of November to the 30th of November, 30 young people from across the country gathered in Sofia to learn about tolerance, stereotypes, discrimination, human rights and other important topics.

There were various games and workshops, organized by the lecturers. Young people had the opportunity to present their ideas which support the fight against hate speech. Some of them created a video to express their support to the campaign for health education in school.

Photos from the event you can see here.

FUNCITY festival this year will be held from 07th to 13th July. Itrs program in 2014 is the largest offered by the festival to date. It includes more than 330 events, divided into five main sectors - music, sports, dance, visual arts and workshops.

The Infinite Opportunities Association is going to the Funcity tomorrow! Find us and our symbol – No Hate heart in the workshops area, between Morsko Casino and Rakovina stage. We will be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 17 and 20 h. Let's talk a bit more about the hate speech, discrimination and let’s play some games!

For more information - http://www.funcity.bg/en/funcity-2014

If you are interested in topics such as protection of human rights and the respect of diversity, if you want to develop presentation skills and achieve more experience in project- working, and you also love to travel, than you're the person we're looking for!

The team of "Infinite Opportunities Association" organizes a training for young people aged 15-29 to create a team of multipliers that in January-June 2015 will spread the idea of "Toler@nce Pl@tform" (www.ontolerance.eu) on national level. They will conduct presentations, organize events and meetings with young people in various cities throughout the country.
For more information, go to the call for participants and send us a completed application form before 11.06.2014.

Open call for Participants (Bulgarian)

Application form (Bulgarian)

On the 22nd - 26th of June the IOA participated in the project Green Community Mobility in Romania. The second meeting with partner organizations from the UK and Romania was meant to measure the progress of implementation of the Green Community project in each of the countries and share the good practices. The IOA gathered some amazing ideas there that are to be implemented in Bulgaria shortly. Check Gallery for more pictures.