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Bulgarian Partner

Bulgarian Partner

 

Bhagavat Educational Trust – Bulgaria is the Eastern European headquarters for Bhagavat Educational Trust – UK. Bhagavat Bulgaria fully endorses Bhagavat UK’s ethos and ‘Modus-operandi’.

Management, resources and expertise are provided by Bhagavat UK who has a wealth of experience in running similar projects in India, Africa, Eastern Europe and UK.

Bulgarian Publications

 For 5 years Bhagavat Bulgaria has been
the official partner for Bulgaria of the Prince`s Trust and during the last 2 years of the partnership alone we have hosted over 100 young disadvantaged participants from the UK, coordinating their short term projects (3-4 weeks) in the social institutions we work with. All the participants came from problematic backgrounds - broken families, early school leavers, ex-offenders, substance misuses and those in or leaving care. They usually came in groups of 8-10 and activities during their projects typically included intercultural games with the disabled children and teenagers– including sport and other games, songs, dances, painting cartoon images on the walls and windows in the homes. 

 

Since 2007 Bhagavat Bulgaria is an accredited EVS (European Voluntary Service) organisation and has the potential to host foreign participants and provide positive work and training activities for them.

Bhagavat Bulgaria has more recently hosted hundreds of participants and accompanying people in the framework of our "Living and Learning Abroad" projects (since 2008); clearly demonstrating Bhagavat Bulgaria’s capacity to host such projects.

Bhagavat Bulgaria works with an extensive network of social institutions across the country (as previously mentioned the network was established during the earlier “Help Today Hope Tomorrow” project), where the placements of the Leonardo Mobility participants are being hosted. Institutions include orphanages, social homes for disabled children, half-way homes and sheltered accommodations for youth at risk, day centres for children with learning disabilities, etc.

 

The placements of all Leonardo Mobility participants emulate a true working environment and involve work in favour of a local marginalized group, which uses the services of such institution.

The main aim of the placement in Bulgaria (as indeed in Turkey) is to develop the participants in 3 main domains:

 

  • Personal
    - soft skills and social abilities, through team work and benefiting a
    marginalized group in the hosting country, but also through the cultural
    experience of living and learning abroad. Through the establishment of Social
    Enterprises in the hosting countries business skills and entrepreneurship are
    nurtured.

 

  • Academic
    - through the recognized qualifications they can complete as an added value
    while on placement, which awards credits and is very often the first step on
    the academic ladder for most of the participants. The qualification is very
    practical and orientated towards employability and life skills. It is important
    to realize that the qualification is actually based on the placement activities
    – i.e. it requires the young people to record their experiences while in
    Bulgaria, but also what they learned during preparation activities, etc.

 

  • Vоnational-
    tasks and work in the social institution to be undertaken by the group of
    participants are identified prior to the group arriving, taking into account
    their individual needs and abilities and conveyed to the Accompanying People.
    Should the accompanying people not have the relevant experience in the specific
    vocational field - a skilled person is identified in the host country to teach
    the participants the necessary skills.

 

Most of the orphanages already have vocational workshops, implemented through previous projects - we encourage the participants to participate in artistic works, handmade crafts & other vocational activities including painting on silk/scarf, pottery &jewelry.

 

The training content also is aimed at benefiting the host country marginalised group – should the orphanage for instance require tiling – the participants are trained accordingly, then encouraged to undertake a “course project” – for instance tile a corridor, demonstrating their new skill. Other typical projects have included painting and decorating, plastering, gardening and landscaping, masonry and carpentry, laying floors, producing playground equipment, etc.

 

An important element of the project is also the careers seminar – where the young people explore topics such as career progression, job searching, CV writing and how to be successful on a job interview, presentation skills; but also work on their desired next steps after the placement, which are regularly being followed up in post project phase.

 

The above is complimented by cultural visit and excursions to interesting and unique places (i.e. the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Rila Monastery in Bulgaria), language training and orientation exercises, budgeting and managing own and other people’s funds, being in charge of the whole project for a day.

 

We believe it is the combination of all these that make the placement a real “preparation for life and work” experience, boosting their self-confidence and esteem, equipping them for the challenges they will face on their return.