Bulgaria
European Union

Volunteers

"Being a volunteer means that you care!"

Anyone who wants to become a volunteer or has an idea how to be useful to society, we are available! Welcome! There will always be someone to listen and share your views about the world. And you will always have supporters for your cause!

Center for Volunteer Club to NGO was created back in 2003 when then president Mr. Rumen Novakov invited in Targovishte Renetta Veneva from the National Alliance for Volunteer Work, Plovdiv - an organization emblematic of voluntary cause in Bulgaria. It did not take much time for the members of the Board of the club to believe in this cause – and not only to believe, but to work with the full force of its implementation in the district. Lubomira Nikolova – the first coordinator of the Centre was supported by the Vice President – Emilia Balukova and Secretary – Nevena Madjarova . We defended the first project that was born as an idea during a public forum in Targovishte - "For there is tomorrow" where were trained , motivated and enabled over 25 young men and women , some of which became the basis for the future development of volunteering – Irina, Marina, Emo ... Then we were joined by volunteer of peace Corps - Ann Roberts. From her we learned to protect and organize our records, to structure, prepare well and execute perfectly every initiative, to speak better English, and much more. And when we had to go in the role of trainers in the Summer camp in multiethnic Yastrebino, we already believed in ourselves! We became more daring in our dreams , and more organized in our daily lives. But ... the first wave of volunteers flew away – to student emotions in big cities ... and we had to start again attracting young people, training, gaining experience and confidence ... 3-4 years - again and again ... until - now! No one can say precisely how many young people have been involved in our numerous voluntary initiatives, but it certainly has more than 300! Much the same happened with the coordinators of the center – whether it passes, or not, a year or two , and they either flew or change their job, or get a little child! So took turns Valya Radeva, Miroslava Madjarova, Sonia Balukova, Denitza Kirilova, Emanuela Emilova, Diana Yakimova, and Servet Mustafova , who also flew away! All they left is a piece of themselves in the volunteering cause, and in one way or another they continue to support it! Since the autumn of 2013 Coordinator of the Centre is the youngest member of our team - Cvetelina Ganeva.

The areas in which initiatives which are held annually, are associated with active citizenship, eco-actions, anti-AIDS campaigns, trainings on various topics in the field of volunteering, including work in a multicultural environment. Annually we conduct basic and advanced training led by the amazing NAVA trainers. Sometimes, we get in the role of trainers: in the Opaka, in Shumen, in Momino – we managed to not only conduct training, but also create local centers which are working till today. We implemented several projects that promote volunteering through cause and supported the implementation of voluntary initiatives in many other places – Bayachevo, Vardun, Strazha, Draganovets, etc. After the project entitled "Being a volunteer means that you care!" funded by FPBB this became our motto!

It is impossible to tell about all the interesting initiatives that are taking place. We will share a few that have become iconic, or have caused great satisfaction! For example, the initiative that takes place every year, "Valentine’s day"! Preparation begins several days before the action. We allocate the activities and responsibilities. Each year we have a love potion in the form of soft drinks. Volunteers decorate the bottles with different names such as "Love Magic", "Drink for lovers", "Forget me not", "Always in love", "Magic against separation". We distribute condoms and brochures with information about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Volunteers offer couples to be photographed with a big heart made ​​specifically for "St. Valentine’s day". This is a model that is traditionally used on 14.02 by volunteers to seal the love of lovers. The photos are uploaded on the Facebook page of the Club. We share them in the group of the volunteers, the group of Targo /Electronic Media/, group and community centers. Each volunteer also shares photos on their wall.

At the end of 2012 we had a great campaign, "Gift from the heart" supported by the Bulgarian Center for NGO law. Through it, the volunteers managed to collect within five consecutive days food worth around 1800 lev. They delighted the children of poor families at risk. Besides food, the children received toys and clothes provided by Austrian families. The campaign was joined by the pastry shop "Goldfish" and church board to church "The Assumption". For the first time our initiative was joined by the chain of stores "CBA" and "Kaufland", without whose support our noble cause would not have been such a success! The shops were welcoming hosts and their teams supported our volunteers . Young people were kindly encouraged by the support the management of "CBA". Besides the provided place to work on, "Kaufland" made a ​​personal donation. Special gratitude to "Bulgarian Donors Forum", without which we would not make contact with the store. And we were not surprised by the high distinction that this initiative received on the traditional annual awards organized by Tulip Foundation and NAVA on December 5, 2013 - it was honored among the top three good local initiatives.

What caused much excitement was our first flash mob - on the Day of the Volunteer, December 5th, we decided to find a form that is non-traditional for our city, but also for ourselves. We heard about the flash mob, and we decided to use this form. We carefully painted the letters of the word "volunteer", divided them - the letters and messages for each of them. We needed a megaphone – to hear us all. We were helped by our friends from the police. We were excited, because we did not know how our citizens would react. But we started ... but one of the volunteers could not make it... and of course, Nevena grabbed the megaphone! The initiative was so successful that repeated it again! So it was the day of solidarity with people with Down syndrome: we put on striped socks, played ball games with such children, explained to people wondering why we do it... And so it happened again, and once again we were satisfied! And as always after action, we gathered at the club to share our feelings /as Dr. Dimitrova taught us/ and energized for new actions.

We also want to tell about the summer reading room, which we are very proud of. This is an initiative, which is carried out by volunteers. In the outdoors, citizens have the opportunity to honor their favorite book or magazine. Every summer volunteers put books, magazines and newspapers out, together with employees of the City Library "Peter Stapov " to the square of the dramatic theater. In 2012 we expanded the idea thanks to the community centers of Targovishte Municipality. The idea continues to be replicated in many other places, and in 2013 "Summer reading room" had been carried out in over 30 villages of Targovishte.

We stop here! To move in time with the next initiatives that our new volunteers will implement in 2014. Next successes, too! Because: TO BE A VOLUNTEER MEANS THAT YOU CARE !