Brief description of the organization
Association FOR YOU is an NGO working for the public benefit. It is located in Varna, Bulgaria. The purpose of the association is to increase intercultural understanding and tolerance among young people from different backgrounds and origins and that is why its efforts are focused on youth initiatives.
To do so, the association aims at creating an international dialogue between youngsters from different parts of the planet, which in turn will contribute either to positive transformations, personal or for society as a whole. Accordingly, the team has strong experience with different kinds of international, national and local youth projects. The team members also organize diverse activities involving youngsters in a disadvantaged situation, ranging from leisure activities to master classes, and including workshops and seminars.
The Association FOR YOU scope of work includes:
- Volunteering: it is both sending and receiving volunteers under the European Solidarity Corps scheme
- Internships: the organization provides traineeships and internships for students enrolled in higher education and recent graduates
- Local projects: the organization cooperates with local organisations on cultural and sports initiatives contributing to expanding Varna’s development in this regard
- Disadvantaged people: the team endeavours to improve living conditions and involvement in the society of young people in disadvantaged life circumstances
The values of the Association FOR YOU can be summed up in a few sentences: They believe in equal rights to everyone no matter the background nor any kind of social, financial or ethnic difference, including the right to education and decent work, equal opportunities and the right to participate fully in society.
Problem addressed by the good practice
The Association FOR YOU organizes international dinners at the beginning of every international youth project the team hosts. In this way, they create a friendly and non-formal atmosphere to welcome their volunteers, provide them with a space to present their culture and be acquainted with the staff and young people the association works with.
The target group is foreign and local young people.
Summary of the good practice
International dinner is a very commonly used technique, which is included in the program of almost any international project. The main idea is to encourage the participants to prepare and share with the others a traditional meal or a drink from their home country or region, sometimes telling a story/tradition connected with the process of its preparation or the occasions it gets prepared (e.g. particular holidays or celebrations).
The main resources needed are food products, cooking facilities (stove, oven) and big tables where the food can be prepared and served. The participants are informed well in advance, so most of them bring some of the ingredients from their home countries, so the meals are more authentic.
As mentioned above, it is a wide-known technique, used widely (at almost any international youth project/ event/ activity).
For the association, it is very important to make its volunteers and interns feel welcome since the very beginning, so this activity is a great way to show the team members’ appreciation and interest to the culture which each of them represents.
The international dinners can be in different formats depending on the participants. The process of cooking together is also very attractive because it can be organized as a short cooking class of foreign cuisine.
More about the “International Dinner” activity can be found on the Association FOR YOU website.