Name of the organization: Active Bulgarian Society
Brief description of the organization
Active Bulgarian Society is a youth organization founded in 2015, which aims to improve young people’s potential and surrounding environment with fresh and positive ideas. The team is united around their passion to take the initiative and involve young people in social life, through European mobility and training programs. Together with a focus on networking and determination for future development, Active Bulgarian Society applies an innovative approach to develop youngsters’ skills and competences through deep involvement in the activities of the organization.
Problem addressed by the good practice
The good practice aims to engage the local community and invite them to various discussions with international volunteers and other young people coming from other countries.
The Chat Club is open for everyone. However, it primarily aims to be a meeting place for local young people and their peers from abroad.
Summary of the good practice
The first Chat Club was created as a private project by the volunteers Zofia Kręc and Zlatica Petríková Kavrakova as a way to connect and stimulate discussion with the people of Blagoevgrad. The first event, titled Chat Club vol.1 – Stop and Chat! was held on the 16 March 2017 and attracted around 30 attendees with the promise of fun activities and games. During the first two years of the initiatives, the ABS team has organized more than a hundred iterations. A wide range of topics has been discussed from foreign traditions and custom to arts, sports and politics. The club is for people who are willing to have fun, create new friendships and meet new people, share ideas and experiences, spend actively their free time, learn more about the world that surrounds us, improve their English, go beyond their comfort zone and break stereotypes. Chat Clubs are always open to all participants and completely free of charge. In March 2020, the chat club had to be launched online because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The Chat Club is an informal way for exchange of knowledge, ideas and opinions. It is a good practice for meeting the local community with international volunteers and other young people who decided to spend some time (to study/work/leisure) in the city of Blagoevgrad.
The initiative was started by foreign volunteers, part of the Active Bulgarian Society. Hence, other organizations who decide to implement it shall engage their foreign volunteers/trainees/staff members as participants, speakers and discussion facilitators.