Video from Volunteer for knowledge project

Amazing moments, that the participants has been experienced during the project can be seen here:


Volunteering for employment – real knowledge and skills


In the period 9 to 16 August 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria was held a training course under “Volunteering Knowledge” project, funded by the “Erasmus +” program, activity K1 – mobility of youth workers, which hosts 41 youth workers from 10 countries in Europe. The project aims to acquaint the participants and the public with the importance of volunteering as a tool of acquiring new knowledge and skills.


High unemployment among young people in recent years, which is noted in almost all European countries can be the result of numerous financial and cultural characteristics in each country and the European Union as a whole. According to Eurostat statistics from June 2015, 4.724 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed as compared to June 2014, youth unemployment has increased by 386,000 people. In percentages, this statistic is nearly 21%, as the lowest unemployment is noted in Germany (7.1%), Malta (10%), Estonia (10.1%), Austria and Denmark (10.3%) and highest – Greece (53.2 %), Spain (49.2%), Italy (44.2%), Croatia (43.1%). In Bulgaria the youth unemployment is over 20% in the age group up to 25 years. Analysts of the labor market stated, that one of the main difficulties of adaptation of young people is the lack of real knowledge and skills with which to operate in their daily work. Employers require from the young people to start their duties with practical skills rather than theoretical ones. One of the options by which they could accumulate practical skills is the volunteering activities, but only if they are recognized at national and European level. This may give young people greater opportunity for employment. In different EU countries, there are a variety of tools for recognition of knowledge and skills that are acquired through volunteering, which to varying degrees are recognized by employers.


The training course involved representatives of Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and gave the possibility to be presented new ideas how to provide the young people with the necessary knowledge and skills for employment, through volunteering and how to promote volunteerism for acquiring knowledge. The event met youth workers with decision makers from government and non-governmental structures, as well as managers of international companies. In mutual communication with those experts, with practical visits to sports facilities and youth centers, through formal training and familiarization with the methodology of ETS – Education through sport ( as a tool to empower youth, the participants had intensive week in Sofia.
The main objective of the project is to enable young people / youth workers to be empowered with an innovative way to acquire knowledge and skills through volunteering. The target group is focused on volunteering in sport as an innovative approach to involve more young people in the labor market by accumulating real skills and thus to provide them with more opportunities for employment. Transfer of best practices between Western and Eastern Europe, as well as ideas that participants shared during the project will make it possible to find alternative methods to combat youth unemployment by creating opportunities for self-employment and employment through volunteering.


During the event, participants had the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences about informal learning methodology “Education through Sport” and to meet with various specialists. Among the experts were Monika Panayotova – a member of the European Parliament 2013 – 2014 and general manager of “Inno Advisors” – consulting company in the sphere of European funding that share its experience in the field of organization of campaigns for volunteering at European and local level. Theodora Gerdjikova – IT specialist in digital marketing debated with the participants what employers in the companies expect young people to know and can do when starting work and good practices for corporate – social responsibility. Youth workers were able to get familiar with the “Education through Sport” methodology developed by specialists from all over Europe in 2013 which aims to help solving problems in society as a lack of communication, basic human rights and freedoms, limiting deviant behaviors such as aggression and violence, enhancing teamwork and a sense of social belonging.


Several practical visits were organized during the project such as visit of a basketball game, part of the FIBA European Championship U16, during which volunteering were presented by example of the volunteers on the event. The group also visited National Sports Academy “Vasil Levski”, examined the facilities of the Academy and was welcomed by prof. Daniela Dasheva – vice rector for scientific, project and international activities. It was conducted also a visit to the Youth Information Consultative Centre (YICC) – “Opportunities without borders” which familiarize the youth workers with career guidance, voluntary activities and projects implemented jointly with and for young people. Volunteering at national and local level were presented by Martina Krushovska and Martina Kehayova – state experts in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Lubomir Drekov – Mayor of “Lozenets” – Sofia municipality that organizes and promotes volunteer campaigns at local level. Effective communication and teamwork were the main topics of one of the days, taking into account the importance of these two qualities to increase employment of young people. On the last day of the event Konstantin Zankov – BSDA board member and online marketing specialists, presented tools for our performance in social media and how to use them in our daily activities. Shirin Amin – member of ETS community, presented the steps by which you can go from volunteering to employment and self-employment with that she has created sports club “Factory of Champions”. Was provided time for sessions in which the participants in the event had chance to exchange ideas for future joint projects and to share experience in the “Erasmus +” program until the moment.


The team of ” Bulgarian sports development association” and the international trainers – Sorin Buruiana (Denmark/Romania) and Ioana Sandulescu (Romania) are very satisfied with the event and are inspired by the participants’ motivation to learn new things, share best practices and expand “Education through Sport” community with new partners and activities through which to increase the knowledge and skills of young people in Europe.


Hotel “Dream” is ready to welcome VFK participants and help them create #Dreamteam


Business Hotel “Dream” is located in the extensive neighborhood “Mladost – 2″, near Business Park Sofia.

The hotel offers peace and comfort, combined with modern design. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to many local points of interest.
Hotel “Dream” features a total of 35 comfortably furnished double rooms, single rooms and four apartments. Hotel “Dream” has at its disposal one conference hall which is well equipped with modern telecommunication conveniences and offers perfect conditions for conducting conferences, seminars, work meetings and trainings.

The team of the hotel is ready to welcome “Volunteering for knowledge” international group and help them in all possible ways to crate a “dream team” 🙂

VFK Final countdown



A bit more than a week has left until the start of TC “Volunteering for knowledge” that will host 41 youth workers from 10 countries all over Europe.

The TC will bring a new idea of how to provide the young people with the needed knowledge and skills for their employment, will meet the youth workers with decision makers from governmental and non-governmental structures and with managers from the international business. In the mutual communication with those external speakers, combined with the practical visits, non-formal education sessions and the ETS methodology ( as a tool for empowering youth, the youth workers will have amazing working week in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The TC team of Bulgarian sports development association and the international trainers – Sorin Buruiana (Denmark/Romania) and Ioana Sandulescu (Romania) are excited to reach the start day of the TC.

“Volunteering for knowledge”

“Volunteering for knowledge” is a Training Course (TC) that will deal with the importance of volunteering as a tool for acquiring new skills and knowledge.


This TC will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Duration: 6 full working days activities, August 09-16, 2015.

The countries involved in the project are the following:  Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, 4 participants per country – in total 40 participants.

The overall aim of the project is to empower young people/youth workers with the innovative way of acquiring skills and knowledge, using volunteering. The main target group will be focused on volunteering in sports, as an innovative approach to involve more young people to have real working skills and provide them with more employability opportunities. The transfer of good practices between western and eastern European countries, living the good examples during the TC will empower the fight with youth unemployment by creating opportunities for self-employment and employment through volunteering.

This project is focused on teaching youth/social workers/youth leaders/trainers/sport coaches how they can use volunteering as a motivator and way to increase employability in their daily work with young people.

The profile of the ideal candidate:

– Youth /social workers/youth leaders/trainers/sport coaches, active within their organization or society;

– Be motivated to develop their competences in volunteering and sport;

– Already have experience in working with young people, organizing initiatives and projects;

– Be able to act as a multiplier in our local community, ensuring the snowfall effect;

– Be committed to attend for the full duration of the course and participate fully in all activities;

– Be aged 18+ but preferably 25+;

– Competently able to work in English language.

Learning objectives of the TC are:

– To raise knowledge and gain new experiences on volunteering and volunteering in sports as tools of recognition of skills and knowledge;

– Developing the potential for young people to help them access labor market with real skills and knowledge and this way – enlarge the youth employment.

– To clarify the challenges of volunteering in sports regarding to content and methodology, non formal and informal learning process, inter cultural learning and impact on local community;

– To create a network of professionals (youth leaders, social workers and Trainers) who work with unemployed young people and people with fewer opportunities using volunteering as a tool for education and ready to develop new E+ projects raising awareness on personal, social and professional development during the work activity.

The working method proposed by the Trainers will start from a wider point of view, macro areas such as values, education and intercultural dialogue through volunteering and volunteering in sport, to the specific activities such as tools and methods to be held during the daily working life in every young people, NGOs or youth centers when you can make the difference for building a civic society (bottom-up process).

Volunteering is one of the basic shapes of active participation in the society and it has to be implemented in the current situation as an effective tool to gain skills and knowledge that will make the young people more competitive at the labour market. Sport has an educational dimension and plays a social, cultural and recreational role. Combining these two topics, we will raise the ability of the young people involved to find their future realization and develop themselves in order to be active members of the local community.

Therefore the values of volunteering and sports are fundamental in the third sector’s working processes, where this topics can be used in order to prevent the sense of intolerance, social exclusion and marginalization.

The TC will follow the non formal education approach: a combination of different creative and interactive methods will be used by the Trainers team and adapted upon the profile of participants. Some examples of working methods: theoretical inputs, round table, Compass/Salto sessions, individual/group activities, group exercises, work on examples in a small group, case studies, real attempts.

The Trainers will establish a theoretical framework and common reference points for learning and communication in this course, and the course methodology foresees direct involvement of the organisations.


Partner organizations: 

„Bulgarian sports development association” – Bulgaria –

“Tyrtaios” sports club for disabled – Greece –

Remenyt a Gyermekeknek Kozhasznu Egyesulet – Hungary –

European Career Evolution – Ireland –

Mine Vaganti NGO – Italy –

Stowarzyszenie Promocji Zdrowia i Profilaktyki “HOPP” – Poland –

Associação Juvenil da Ilha Terceira – Portugal –

Asociatia de Turism si Ecologie pentru Tineret ZIMBRUL CARPATIN – Romania –

A.D.E.L. – Association for Development, Education and Labour – Slovakia –