YMDRAB - Bulgaria brought together young Muslims and Christians in their project "Stronger together: youth collaboration for interreligious solidarity"
13 young people from Municipality of Botevgrad and 13 young people from Municipality of Ardino participated together in the project “Stronger together: youth collaboration for interreligious solidarity”. The project was implemented by MIJARC's member movement, YMDRAB Bulgaria. The main project activity took place between 3rd and 10th July in Kranevo village and aimed at gathering an equal number of Christian and Muslim youth in a neutral place to motivate and prepare them to work for the prevention and peaceful transformation of interreligious conflicts in the Bulgarian rural areas.
Using various non-formal education techniques such as role plays, simulations, working groups, open discussions, presentation, the participants exchanged opinions and experience about the problems in their local communities and existing prejudices and stereotypes towards other religions. The youngsters had the possibility to share about their religious beliefs and customs. The group visited an orthodox church, a mosque, a synagogue and Armenian Church which was very enriching for everyone. The work of institutions was also discussed focusing on the local, national and international level. The most debated topic was the flow of refugees in Bulgaria and the work of the National Agency for Refugees. Information about Council of Europe and the work of the Youth Department in the field of interreligious dialogue was also presented outlining the No Hate Speech Campaign.
As a result of the project, the participants created a common Declaration, which outlines their opinion in regard to the interreligious tolerance in Bulgaria. In this declaration they identified the most important in their opinion existing problems and proposed actions for overcoming the situation. The actions were concretely addressed towards local and national institutions as well as towards youth NGOs and the Bulgarian youth as a whole.
Besides the busy agenda, the participants found time for entertainment – there were various thematic evenings and fun activities on the beach. After the end of the project they shared that they have immensely increased their knowledge about the other religion as well as about their own. Everyone clearly stated that in future he/she will share the learning outcomes and will actively work for creating interreligious tolerance in Bulgaria. The preparation of many follow-up activities will kick off soon to ensure that our project creates impact on local community level as well.
This project is implemented with the support of the Council of Europe by the European Youth Foundation
Following a long recruitment and selection process, the European Team decided that ALEXANDRA Solomon, from Romania, should become MIJARC's Europe next European Secretary. Alexandra received the news with great enthusiasm and had the courage to leave her home country and come to Bruxelles to start a new professional and also personal adventure. We wish her the best of luck and we hope this job will bring her satisfaction and everything else she expected!
WELCOME TO MIJARC EUROPE, ALEXANDRA!
“Receiving the news that I will join MIJARC Team from the position of European Secretary was a memorable moment, as it was that instance in which I knew that not only will I have the chance to work with and for youth, but also to work along lovely and friendly people. Professionally, being the new European Secretary offers me the opportunity of employing the accumulated experience in working with youth, as well as, to develop additional skills and aptitudes.My aim, for the time that I will be in charge of this position, is to stand up to the level set by the former European Secretaries. The trust which has been granted to me in the moment of my naming represents the opportunity to achieve the expectations of the team and overcome them.
Having the background experiences of being engaged in activities directed towards youth, especially during my EVS in Georgia and the researches focused on youth at the Peace Action Training and Research Institute in Romania, I believe that the role of European Secretary fits me perfectly. Furthermore, I see this role as both a challenge and an opportunity to contribute, by the means of my activities, to a desirable change at the rural youth level.
Finally, it is with great joy that I would like to announce my commitment to the MIJARC Europe team, to the mission and values which it stands for. “
Alexandra Solomon, European Secretary
Our member movement, YMDRAB - Bulgaria, is developing a new and very interesting project called “Stronger together: youth collaboration for interreligious solidarity”, with the help of the European Youth Foundation (CoE).
In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the continuous interreligious tensions in the Middle East and the burdens of the Bulgarian history, YMDRAB is organizing a youth project focused on the prevention and peaceful transformation of interreligious conflicts in the Bulgarian rural areas.
Led by the sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of the Bulgarian rural youth (irrespective of religion), YMDRAB in cooperation with institutions and supported by like-minded organisations applied and received funding from the European Youth Foundation (CoE) for the project “Stronger together: youth collaboration for interreligious solidarity”. Its main aim is the prevention and peaceful transformation of interreligious conflicts between young people living in the Bulgarian rural areas.
The main project activity is a one week collaboration event taking place between 3rd July and 10th July in the village of Kranevo, Bulgaria. The event will bring together 26 rural youngsters from the municipalities of Botevgrad (mainly Christian) and Ardino (mainly Muslim), young people that have fewer opportunities for volunteering and lack of access to non-formal education. During the event the participants will have the chance to reflect on the stereotypes and prejudice that lead to interreligious conflicts. Furthermore, the program will allow developing awareness and understanding of the concepts of human and social rights as well as the underlying personal responsibilities. Eventually, the participants will also be able to reflect and identify set of actions that could contribute to the prevention and peaceful transformation of interreligious conflicts in their local communities. In the end of the event, a position paper will be developed outlining the results of the project, which will be then used as an advocacy tool by YMDRAB. In parallel to that, action groups will be established in the local communities of the participants, which will act as a moving force for the implementation of an effective follow-up.
We hope that together with the support from the European Youth Foundation we will be able to implement this project and contribute for the prevention and peaceful transformation of interreligious conflicts in the Bulgarian rural areas.
The YMDRAB Team
We are pleased to inform you that MIJARC World is launching the call for local projects to be supported by the Solidarity Fund of MIJARC in 2015.
This money is collected by rural youth groups and sent to the Solidarity Fund bank account. The fund is annually distributed among the different continents, MIJARC World and the Emergency Fund (aimed at supporting member organisations of MIJARC that really had big difficulties or suffered from catastrophes, to clearly improve their situation).
Please, keep in mind that the deadline is the 30th of June 2015. You can find in attachment the official call and the application form.
May you have any further questions on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Ana Silva (email@example.com).
Following the resignation of our current European Secretary, Brenda Aerts, MIJARC Europe is now looking for a new secretary for its office in Brussels.