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Association “Professional Forum for Education” (Bulgaria)
Association “Professional Forum for Education” is a non-profit organization which has a wide range of activities related to the youth work, education and culture. Partners of ours are many schools and NGOs in Bulgaria.
We have the aim of involving young people in the non-formal educational process, promote intercultural dialogue, youth mobility, volunteering, outdoor and other activities. We aim to foster young people’s will to express their opinion on themes, relevant to the European citizenship, how to solve problems in a non-conflict way and develop a sense of tolerance and understanding of diversity.
These goals are realized by a number of specific activities provided by our organization, such as seminars, courses, conferences, summer and winter trainings and realization of youth activities on local and national level on topics like European citizenship, employment and entrepreneurship, volunteering, Human rights, etc. These activities are designed both for pedagogues who would like to integrate non-formal educational methods in the classroom, and for young people who are motivated to learn more on these subjects and to be an active part of society.
We work with youngsters from different age groups, for whom we organise activities in the frame of "European clubs" at schools that that take place in their free time and have the aim to inform young people about important issues related to Europe, the EU, different countries in Europe and their culture, to encourage them to develop initiatives on European level.
An annual event that we organize is “The Festival of Bulgarian Education” – a place where every young person can find out information about Bulgarian and European education and employment opportunities in an interactive and interesting way, and participate in discussions, seminars and round tables on themes chosen by young people. Different sports, art, musical, fashion workshops, theatre performances and other events organized by young people help them to achieve many competences according to non-formal educational methods.
We organize a number of activities in cooperation with other NGOs in Bulgaria and abroad, with local authorities and schools. One example of these activities is our project “Volunteer’s tram” and the “Volunteering Day 2011”, which was focused on promotion on volunteering and charity.
The development of Youth projects as part of the Erasmus Plus has become a priority for us, and nowadays we consider them to be one of the most important aspects of our work as a NGO. Our members regularly participate in training courses and international seminars in order to develop their competences as youth workers and youth leaders, learn new tools and methods, relevant to non-formal education, and be able to facilitate international Youth projects. We also regularly send participants selected through open calls to different youth exchanges and trainings in which we are partners.
In October 2013 we also successfully organized a youth exchange in Bulgaria on the topic of youth unemployment and active citizenship. Our last Erasmus + project we organized was in November 2014 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, on the topic of consumerism and contemporary art.
In 2015 the organization continued working on the summer, spring and winter trainings for teachers and further developed them; we also organized a city quest for around 150 young people in Sofia, supported by the “Europe Programme” of the Sofia Municipality.
Our organization is open to contacts and partners of any country who are motivated to work in the field of Youth projects and activities.
Our organization has been very active in the frame of the Youth in Action programme in the past years, and also in the new Erasmus + programme. Our members and volunteers have a lot of experience and good practices to share. The topic of the project is strongly related to the field of our work, as we are promoting promoting pro-active behavior among young people, creativity, raising awareness about important social issues, through volunteering campaigns, training courses and international projects (such as “Ideas and Work for Better Future” which was realized by us in 2013 and “Re-Act through Art” which was realized by us in November 2014), and the Festival of Bulgarian Education where young people can find more information about opportunities for education, internships, volunteering and work.
We have experience working with young people and women empowerment, gender equality and active citizenship.
Therefore, we hope that we will be able to contribute to the successful realization of this Project and the dissemination and exploitation of its results.Yuliya Andzhekarska – project coordinator at Association “Professional Forum for Education”. Graduated as a bachelor in International Relations from Sofia University (in 2014). Has experience as a youth worker, manager of Youth in Action and Erasmus+ projects, facilitator and trainer. Has participated in more than 20 activities in the frame of Youth in Action and Erasmus+; she was an EVS volunteer in Morelia, Mexico, in 2014, working with children and young people on different social and environmental projects. Currently she is also working as a project coordinator for the Peer Education Training and Resource Institute in Sofia, which is a research, resource and knowledge hub for the Y-PEER International Youth Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, working with peer education methods on sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. Speaks fluently English, Spanish and Russian.
Maria Velazquez – volunteer at Association “Professional Forum for Education”. She has experience with working with children and young people, using creative and non-formal educational methods and approaches. She has participated in several youth exchanges and training courses in the frame of Youth in Action and Erasmus+; she has also participated in the organization of such projects and has been a facilitator of workshops. Maria was also a long-term EVS volunteer in Valencia, Spain, in 2015. Currently, she works with young people at schools as part of the “Teach for Bulgaria” program. She speaks English and Spanish.
Martin Mitov – volunteer at Association “Professional Forum for Education”. Student of Law at Sofia University. He has participated in the realization of the Youth in Action and Erasmus+ projects of the NGO, as well as in the organization of its local activities for young people and teachers (for promotion of volunteering, active citizenship, non-formal education, gender equality, etc.). He also has experience as a participant and team leader in different Erasmus+ projects.
Person of contact
Project coordinator: Yuliya Andzhekarska