The Infinite Opportunities Association is partner in project VIOLET: Let Violence Go! funded by the DAPHNE III programme of DG Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission in December 2010. VIOLET's main operational objective is to create a supportive environment where children and youth with sensory impairements can get help to realize, personally comprehend and learn to protect themselves from the risks and violence exisiting in their everyday life. That means they will be empowered with skills and knowledge how to combat and avoid the most common tools for social exclusion and tormenting: aggression, isolation, and neglect always ending up in violent acts.
Project VIOLET: Let Violence Go plans to address these problems directly by organizing a field work, needs analysis.
Based on the findings of the analysis to develop and adapt accordingly special course curriulum dealing with issues such as
- basic legal knowledge,
- art therapy and psychodrama,
- soft skills
- communication breakdown
for the needs of the target group - sensory impaired children and youth.
The current partnership has been established as a result of another DAPHNE II funded project on awareness raising, named VILSIP - www.vilsip.eu - coordinated by the RNC. During an international conference held in Sofia in December 2009 as part of VILSIP, experts from the partnership organizations, i.e. the Association of Parents of Children with Impaired Hearing, IOA and the Royal National College for the Blind met for the first time and identified common grounds for mutual coopeartion.
In 2014 Infinite Opportunities Association implemented its first short-term voluntary project "Toler@nce Caravan" within the framework of the "European Voluntary Service" and "Youth in Action" Programme of the European Commission. It was targeted towards young people willing to participate into a series of local promotional campaigns organized in connection with the on-line Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg developed by Infinite Opportunities Association.
The main objectives of the “Toler@nce Caravan”:
· promote active citizenship of young people in general and their European citizenship in particular;
· develops solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular social cohesion in the European Union;
· foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries.
"Toler@nce Caravan" was be implemented with the help of 12 volunteers from Hungary, Georgia, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden and Cyprus.
The main task for volunteers were:
· plan, organize and participate in local tolerance campaigns;
· promote events on-line;
· contact interested parties and seek for collaboration from local NGOs;
· raise the awareness of young people regarding the topic of Hate-speech;
· make connection between the on-line and off-line aspects of the fight against hate speech;
· help the team with ideas and materials for the on-line tolerance platform developed by the association.
The project activities were implemented in Sofia and different cities in the country, which are part of the informational campaign of the team. All volunteers travelled together with the team of the association to different cities in order to participate in the local campaigns organized with the support of the regional partners of Infinite Opportunities Association.
For ensuring the educational process of volunteers, Infinite Opportunities Association is using the methods of non-formal education through which the participants will boost up their knowledge and competences for the organization and implementation of informational campaigns related to the topics of tolerance, non-discrimination and mutual understanding.
Participants did not only gain interpersonal skills and communication in a multicultural environment, but also they acquired knowledge about the organization of youth campaigns for the protection of basic human rights.
This short-term project was realized in the period 01.04.2014 – 31.05.2014 with the financial support of the "Youth in Action" Programme of the European Commission administered in Bulgaria by the National Centre “European Youth Programmes and Initiatives".The total grant received for the realization of the project from the “Youth in Action” programme is 18 313 Euro.
"This project is funded by the" Youth in Action "Programme of the European Commission in Bulgaria administered National Centre" European Youth Programmes and Initiatives ". The contents of this Project do not reflect the position of the European Community program "Youth in Action" or NCEYPI. "
Only a few months after its establishment, the Infinite Opportunities Association has already won its first project. The project "Social Service in the Disability Sector - Studying Polish Best Practices and Their Implementation in Bulgaria" aims at creating possibilities for specialization, exchange and study of best practices for experts working with young people with special educational needs through an internship in the spring of 2011 with the Polish association SPON. The project has been approved and funded within the Lifelong Learning programme of the European Commission, under sectoral programme Leonardo da Vinci, action Mobility of People on the Labour Market operated in Bulgaria by the Human Resources Development Centre.
The mobility itself would last two weeks and will be held in the spring of 2011 in the cities of Gdansk and Sopot, Poland. Within the project, five professionals from Bulgaria will be acquainted with Polish best practices when working with young people with special educational needs through the acquisition of practical experience in a relevant environment, namely - a day care center for children with special educational needs. By participating in this mobility the specialists will also be able to observe the operating model of community mobile services, as well as to examine the procedures, organization and effectiveness of such activities in a related nonprofit organization.
The host partner - SPON association – is a nonprofit organization established in 1991 in Poland, with about 1000 members, more than a half of them with disabilities. SPON is committed to long-term work in areas such as psychological and medical rehabilitation, therapeutic and counseling activities, and social integration of children with special educational needs.
The main objective of the project "Youth centre for information and consultation- Infinite Opportunities" is to contribute to the development of civil and social skills of young people aged between 15 and 29 years on the territory of Sofia Municipality, including remote areas of northwestern arc about Bankia, Vladaya, and Bozhurishte and Novi Iskar. The project places particular emphasis on young people from vulnerable groups, including minority with disabilities and special educational needs, consulting them together with their representative organizations, such as ARDUS and Ardennes.
The general objectives of the project "Youth centre for information and consultation- Infinite Opportunities" are:
Engaging and motivating young people to participate in the life of their local communities by facilitating access to information as well as expanding opportunities for training, voluntary work and participation in youth initiatives;
Supporting the initiatives and activities of various youth communities in the territory of Sofia Municipality and its neighbourhoods; their adherence to European values and standards for youth work through consulting, training and support for the implementation of youth initiatives and projects;
Providing suitable and affordable service for young people from vulnerable groups, including young people with sensory disabilities, epilepsy who often experience discrimination because of their health and their limited opportunities for classical communication;
The project aims at developing the capabilities of youth workers and the expansion of the NGO network on the territory of Sofia Municipality mainly through engaging youth and encouraging the exchange of experiences and good practices.
The project has the following priorities at the NPM 2011-2015, namely:
Promotion of personal development and economic activity of young people and improving access to information and quality services:
Encouraging young people to participation in activities in their communities .
Prevention of social exclusion of young people from disadvantaged groups.
Development of intercultural and international dialogue among young people.
For more information, please visit our website: http://mikc.infopass.eu/
The "Infinite Opportunities Association" has started the project "Green Community", funded by the Grundtvig program "Lifelong Learning" of the European Commission. The project will have 2 years' duration and will be implemented in partnership with the "Training and Rehabilitation Center" inc. Buzau, Romania and resource center for youth at risk "Mary Seacole" in the town of Luton, UK.
The project is aimed at adult learners and its main purpose is to enrich their knowledge related to sustainable development and ecological balance, teach how to reduce the negative impact for nature.
The main project activities will include:
- Introduction of targeted climate change and environmental issues in the 21st century;
- Conducting discussions related to sustainable development and energy efficiency;
- Presentation of ways and methods to reduce personal carbon waste and reduce the adverse impact on our environment;
- Workshops to involve locals into the project activities
- Lectures related to the benefits of recycling.
This project is realized with the financial support of the "Grundvig Life Long Learning" Programme of the European Commission, administered in Bulgaria by the National Centre "European Youth Programmes and Initiatives". The contents of this publication does not reflect the position of the European Community,The Youth in Action Programme or NCEYPI.
In the beginning of 2014 Infinite Opportunities Association in partnership with National Centre European Youth Programmes and Initiatives is implementating a new project “Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg”. Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg is an initiative which reflects the fundamental democratic values of a modern society and advocates for communication based on principles of non-discrimination and cultural diversity in cyberspace.
The main objective of the project is the decreasing of racism, xenophobia, hate speech and intolerance in society. Equal treatment of representatives of gender, people with different ethnic affiliation, sexual orientation or religious beliefs is integral to the main purpose of this project and reflects fully model the social aspect of sustainable development. Following the main goal the project is beginning with the creation of an online platform in order to raise awareness about the problem. ( www.ontolerance.eu )
The main type of activity are:
- Limitation of racism, xenophobia, hate speech and intolerance in society
- Education and Training
Additional types of activities:
- Providing information and raising awareness
The main target group of the project Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg are young people aged from 15 to 29 years. The platform itself is consistent with the rules ensuring accessibility and high level of interactivity. The elements of the platform will have their own mobile version for access from smartphones and tablets and will offer a real interaction with the team of the association via Twitter and Facebook.
With the help of Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg, we want to reach young people by encouraging intercultural communication, tolerance and volunteering.
The total project costs are equal to67 752,74 euro. The contribution of the IOA is 11,16 % (7560 Euro), while the grant by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria within the Financial Mechanism to the European Economic Area is 60 192,74 euro.
The duration of the project “Toler@nce Pl@tform.bg” is 18 months.
This project was created with financial support of the program to support NGOs in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The sole responsibility for the content of the project and website is the responsibility of the association "Infinite Opportunities Association" and under no circumstances it can be considered that this page presents the official position of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Programme to support NGOs in Bulgaria .
The Wokshop "Freedom of speech VS Hate speech - Where to Draw the Line?" was a capacity building activity for young people, online activists and youth workers from Bulgaria. Aims to address the rise of such threathening hostility in Bulgarian on-line realities - an area that is rather vague and even negligently overseen by media and authorities while civil society is making its first steps - and raise awareness about the damaging impact hate speech has on young people and the way they perceive the world.
Main objectives of the workshop:
- To underline the main differences between freedom of expression and hate-speech online;
- To explore the different practices of hate speech online and to analyze some crucial phenomena in local social relations boosting its use online;
- To build up participants' competences to identify and deal with encounters of extreme hatespeech usage online as well as their organizational capacity to react to hate speech practices in internet;
- To trigger the process of developing a start-up info kit on tolerance and empathy for young people in web realities.
If you are willing to become a partner of "INFINITE OPPORTUNITIES" Association in the follow-up activities focused on the fight against hate speech online, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Say No to Hate Speech: Youth Activism for Human Rights and Tolerance was our European Voluntary Service (EVS) project within the European Commission's program Erasmus+. The project aimed at protecting Human Rights and European values online. Through it, we engaged a total of 13 volunteers, 3 long-term and 10 short-term, from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and Lithuania.
The project worked in three main areas: online youth work, development of information and campaign interactive materials and presentations, and discussions with students and young people that increased their attention to the harms of hate speech on the Internet. The team of IOA reached remote and small towna in the country where, together with our international group of volunteers, it held various workshops for young people on the topic of tolerant online communication and engaged the general public at various summer festivals.
The volunteer training process was based on non-formal education methods through which we worked to increase their knowledge and skills, as well as those of young people who attended the various presentations and workshops to prevent and deal with the negative effects of using hateful messages online. The activities of the group of volunteers took place in Sofia and the small towns around the capital such as Pirdop, Mirkovo and Kostenets. The volunteers also participated in festivals in Vidin, Varna, Burgas, and in Stara Zagora and Dobrich they worked with children from vulnerable backgrounds on the issues of tolerance and the impact of hate speech online. During the half of the 2018/2019 academic year alone, we covered over 4,800 students in presentations at schools in the capital and the small towns and cities around.
This project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Commission's program Erasmus+, administered in Bulgaria by the Human Resource Development Center. The contents of this publication do not reflect the position of the European Community, the Erasmus+ program or the HRDC.
In September 2013 Infinite Opportunities Association started the implementation of its first project under the NGO Programme in Bulgaria within the financial mechanism of The European Economic Area (www.ngogrants.bg) – "Youth CAUSE – Network for Quality, Sustainability, Knowledge and Respect of the youth work in Bulgaria". Partners in the project, which is financed by the Norwegian program for support NGOs, are Thirst of life Association and BG "Be active" , former WOW Sport Association.
The main goals of the project are:
- Promotion of capacity building activities of the participating NGOs and friendly working environment for the non – governmental sector;
- Improving of the financial and organizational sustainability of the non - governmental organizations;
- Stimulation of the self – regulation of the non - governmental sector.
- Establishment of an informational Webpage (www.kauza.net)
The main activities during the project are including:
- Building partnerships and networks for youth information and support;
- Capacity building and providing information;
- Trainingcourses for Youth Initiatives
- Awareness raising.
The total project budget is 13 448, 18 euro, while the money value granted by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria within the Financial Mechanism to the European Economic Area is 12 073, 18 euro. Its duration is 12 months and the main target groups include 15 volunteers and 9 NGOs.
"YOUTH cause - network quality, sustainability, knowledge and authority youth work in Bulgaria" funded under the program to support NGOs in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 g.Tsyalata responsibility for the content of the document worn by the "Possibilities without Borders" and under no circumstances it can be assumed that this document reflect the views of the Financial mechanism of the European economic Area and the Operator of the Programme to support NGOs in Bulgaria. "" This project is implemented with financial support of the "Youth in action" Programme of the European Commission in Bulgaria administered National Centre "European youth Programmes and Initiatives." content current and building / newspaper / brochure / not reflect the position of the European Community program "youth in Action" or NCEYPI. "
One of our latest Erasmus+ projects that finished in 2021 is Advocacy for Gender Equality and Active Citizenship (AGE&AC). It's a Capacity Building in the field of Youth project that ran for 22 months - from December 2019 to September 2021.
Within the AGE&AC project we also created our own Handbook on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Young Girls - a report including a history review on the topic of gender and a detailed analisys on different gender policies in each country. Furthermore, the consortiom developed a Training of Trainers Curriculum for Gender Equality and Active Citizenship as a tool for youth workers to use in their session with youngsters on the topic. Besides the know-how transfer between the partners, we implemented different Local Action Plans in each country, varying from online and offline trainings, to meetings and school visits, to campaigns and street actions.
We delivered a blended Training for Youth Workers in Cyprus in July 2021 where we had participants from Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus and Bulgaria meeting face-to-face and those from the United Kingdom worked with the team online. The youth workers in this mobility acquired knowledge and skills on training youngsters on topics such as Benevolent Sexism, Gender Stereotypes, and Gender-based violence. Moreover, we implemented a Youth Exchange in Kyrgyzstan in August 2021 for a total of 60 participants who learned about the gender inequalities in our modern-day society. At the end of the 10-day adventure on the Issyk-kul shore the young people left with a deeper understanding on why stereotypes exist and why it is important to empower women and girls.
Promoting gender equality is EU‘s core activity: equality between women and men is a fundamental EU value, an EU objective and a driver for economic growth. Where there is an imbalance of equality, as in cases of underempowered young women, we have joined efforts to adress the shortfall. The project addressed gender inequality through youth work as we believe youth work needs to be considered the non-formal education provider, supporting a "learning to participate" attitude of young citizens to contribute to their understanding of the democratic system, promote their critical thinking and make available the necessary tools to get engaged in decision and policy making.
The following 4 partners cooperated together to develop a model of best practices: IOA, Bulgaria; Mary Seacole Housing Association, United Kingdom; Instituto Erevnon Promitheas, Cyprus; and Public Association Youth Movement "I love Kyrgyztan", Kyrgyztan. Every partner contributed to the development and implementation of the AGE & AC project with their own strenghts: training, research, management, facilities, etc.
Project Grant agreement number: 608695/2019. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.