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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Acknowledgements Bhagavat Educational Trust (BET) was founded in 1997 and has evolved over several years. Its ethos is to promote mutual assistance where by one marginalized group assists another marginalized group for the mutual benefit of both groups. BET has operated in several continents including Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe, promoting the concept of mutual assistance in each of these continents. This guide reflects the views only of its authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Partners, part of this project: BHAGAVAT EDUCATIONAL TRUST (Bulgaria) COSVITEC(Italy) MAGENTA (Spain) IZMIT MUNICIPALITY (Turkey) Credits and the small-print Publisher Bhagavat Educational Trust Contact Editors and text: BHAGAVAT EDUCATIONAL TRUST Paul Baron, Chief Executive Stefan Krastev, Bulgaria Operations Coordinator Galina Kabadzhova, Psychologist and Career advisor COSVITEC- Simona Puddu MAGENTA- Esther Gonzรกlez, Chief Executive Izmit Municipality- Omer Kaya, Youth worker coordinator Graphic layout BHAGAVAT EDUCATIONAL TRUST Photos BHAGAVAT EDUCATIONAL TRUST Translation xxxxxx English proofreading BHAGAVAT EDUCATIONAL TRUST Copyright 2013 For non- commercial use only! All rights reserved!

Content 1 2 3

The beginning

Phases, Qualifications & SMEs

Evaluation, Monitoring, Dissemination




Case Studies





Preface This guide has been written as a result of the “Mutual Assistance” TRANSFER OF INNOVATION PROJECT (TOI), funded by ECORYS the UK National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Programme, on behalf of the European Commission, lasted 2 years between October 2011- September 2013. Four partners become part of this exciting opportunity- BET (Bulgaria), COSVITEC (Italy), MAGENTA (Spain) and IZMIT MUNICIPALITY (Turkey). BET wholly concurs with the aspirations of the EU 2020 strategy and believes that our ‘Mutual Assistance’ projects goes some way to assisting this strategy particular with reference to Education, Training and Social Inclusion. ‘Mutual Assistance’ is whereby one marginalised group assists another to the mutual benefit of both groups. This has manifested itself in our current ‘Living and Learning Abroad’ project where by marginalised groups from the UK (typically ex -offenders, former substance abusers, those in or leaving care) would assist orphans in Bulgaria and street children in Turkey. The project is multifaceted, a group of 10 young people visit a new country, broadening their horizons, experiencing new cultures and traditions, learning a new language, attending a careers seminar and gaining a nationally recognised qualification in personal development, with the aim of improving their career prospects. In fact over the last 3 calls on average 80% upon their return progress to employment, education or volunteering. In addition to assisting the young people from UK, we also assist the orphans and street children and their staff. Often the staff has improved moral and the orphans and street children feel less abandoned and more worthy in society. We are a firm believer in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs embracing their enthusiasm while abroad, after witnessing the deprivation the young people from UK, appreciate far more the opportunities they have in the UK, they have far greater self esteem and confidence; referring to the project as a ‘Life Changing Experience’ The aim of the TOI was to transfer our ethos and ‘Modus-operandi’ to our partners in Spain and Italy adapting where necessary to their specific country requirements. The purpose of this guide is to offer a comprehensive view of our project complimented by best practice from our partners; the aim being to impart sufficient knowledge enabling future implementation. We have adopted a Chinese proverb ‘It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ we very much hope that with your support this candle will develop in to beacon, for all of Europe to benefit!

Paul Baron MBE

The beginning


It has made a huge difference on my life. It’s helped me make up my mind on what I want to do in my future. Sean Mccafferts, 23/01/2010


hagavat Educational Trust (BET) was founded in 1997, its ethos being the promo-

tion of mutual assistance; that is, whereby one marginalized group assists another marginalized group for the mutual benefit of both groups. BET has operated in several continents including Asia, Africa, Australia and predominantly Europe. We endeavour to work very closely with other organizations in order to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and to avoid duplicating costs, whilst applying business principles to maximize our scarce resources. Within the Europe 2020 Strategy, Member States agreed to work together to meet targets in the fields of education, employment & social inclusion. Here at BET we seek to adhere to these principles as means of helping deliver higher levels of employment, productivity and social

cohesion amongst project participants. The 2020 ject encourages larger social homes to produce strategy calls for improvements in education & essential items for orphanages such as beds human capital: “In a rapidly changing world, and mattresses, as well as training residents of lifelong learning needs to be a priority–it is these institutions to make and sell crafts such as the key to employment, economic success Christmas cards for retail. and allowing people to participate fully in society” This underpins the guiding principles of our project, allowing opportunities for social & European inclusion to disadvantaged young people, who without BET would have remained disengaged from society & lifelong learning BET fully agrees with the aspirations of the EU 2020 strategy and its objectives for which we feel the project helps address the first 3 - employment, education, social inclusion. We have adopted a Chinese proverb “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness‟ BET believes that for each hosting organization and sending organization that participate in the project a candle is lit, the young people referring to the project as a “Life changing experience”. During 2004 BET became the official partner Initially BET operated in India, instigating pro- to the Prince‟s Trust in Bulgaria, where by BET jects for Street children in Bhopal, making school would host under its mobility project „ Living and desks and benches. Similarly, in Uganda a pro- Learning Abroad‟ marginalized and socially exject was also established for street children to cluded participants from the UK consisting of exproduce educational learning aids such as offenders, former substance abusers and those wooden jigsaws and abacuses for distribution by in or leaving care to name a few. The teams conthe Ugandan Government. In Europe, BET es- sisting of 10 young people and 2 team leaders tablished a Mutual Assistance project in Bulgaria would assist an orphanage in Bulgaria or more named “Help Today, Hope Tomorrow”. This pro- recently street children in Turkey

Our target group from the UK consisted of NEETs The project has received considerable acco(Not in Education, Employment or Training) the lades, more recently BET has attained “Certifirationale behind this is demonstrated in the fol- cate in Mobility” and been awarded this transfer lowing facts:

of innovation project.

 In 2005 20% of young people were considered as being NEET’s.

The results are very promising for the last two

Between 1997 and 2006 there was a 15% increase in unemployment for 16 – 24 year old.

2009 and 2010 of the Young People have en-

The productivity loss to the UK due to youth unemployment is estimated at £10 a day.

It is this project, with your cooperation, input and

The cost to the exchequer is estimated at £20 a week in job seekers allowance.


Every year 70% of school age offenders enter in to the Youth Justice system. There is a 72% chance of reoffending within 2 years of their release.

Since the inception of this project, we have also become the coordinating organization, facilitating such projects between sending and hosting organizations. Several innovations have taken place; in order to assist the NEET‟s enter in to employment, educations and training to name a few: ○ Online resource centers ○ Qualification in Personal Development ○ Careers seminars ○ Sustainable SMEs in the hosting country

completed years 82% and 84% respectively for tered in to Education, Volunteering or Employment after their participation on the project. improvements that we would like to transfer to your country producing a generic guide for future





Between 3 and 5 hundred children live on the street. 

 35000 children live in orphanages. 45,000 children drop out of school due to financial difficulties3

A report by the Bulgarian Helsinki Commission reveals 238 mentally disabled children in state run institutions have died in the past ten years and at least two-thirds of those deaths could have been prevented. Causes of death include starvation, infections as a consequence of poor hygiene, violence and lack of a medical treatment when needed. The Bulgarian government during this time released only £1.25 a day per child on food. The money provided only one diaper a day per child. Because of the high inflation and corruption in the country the orphans living in the government orphanages live a very isolated and underprivileged lifestyle.4

1 The statistical information is for when the project in Bulgaria started- 1997 2 CHILDREN OF BULGARIA (source: a BG site called Hope for Bulgaria ) 3,%20abused%20and%20starved%20to%20death%20in%20bulgarian%20institutions.htm



 The total of 18,495 youths between the ages of 0-18 live in orphanages. Families today are struggling to cope with rapid and startling social change in Turkey.

 About 3,000 families are currently waiting placement of their children in orphanages.

Poverty, economical and social crisis, immigration, terrorism, violence, and mental illness have all contributed to having lots of children being placed in orphanages due to abandonment, child abuse or neglect.

There are approximately 88000 street children the majority being in Istanbul.


4 The statistical information is from 2010 when the project in Turkey started

While on the streets the children are subject to abuse, malnutrition and assault.

The project and its main phases

Phases, Qualifications & SMEs




Research and Partner Matching






Post Project


Research and Partner Matching

This phase can be split into two in light of the tion regarding the necessary paperwork; please activities that take place simultaneously in the find here an example Step 1 7. Evolved through Sending and Hosting country.

previous projects is a large network of partners who do re-occurring team challenges due to the

Sending country

benefits received from the project. From the outset UK partners are made aware of our ethos & modus operandi. The duties, rights

In the sending country it is imperative we enlist and responsibilities of both BET and the UK the appropriate UK partner. We use referrals partner are clearly identified in our UK Partner from existing partners, including such sources Information Pack. Should it be considered that as the Charity Commission, the YMCA network, the UK partner or their prospective young people and organisations that provide supported ac- would not benefit - other areas of cooperation commodation for homeless young people. If the are explored i.e. UK volunteering, etc. potential partner is interested – we would arrange for a representative of ours to visit them, After matching with a suitable UK partner the next where possible it is best to also have the chance important step is recruiting suitable participants to meet with a sample of the young people they through the UK partner. We assist the UK partwork with.

ner with advise, guidance as well as materials such as Presentations and Recruitment Posters

On this visit the suitability of the UK partner is and links as indicated above. Once the UK partassessed; also the UK partner checklist is com- ner is fully aware with the regulations and the pleted by the BET representative undertaking project we ask them to sign an agreement the visit.

The selection of young people is in close cooperation with the UK partners and aided by an

A Letter of Intent and an Organisation Profile application form to determine their suitability; are compiled, and constant contact is kept be- selection days and short interviews are often ortween the UK partner and BET.

ganised. It is important young people feel they have been selected & demonstrate the required

The UK Partner Information Pack is a useful motivation to warrant this selection. document which we advise our partners to read If the project is not suitable for the prospective carefully. We would also provide the sending or- young people they are sign posted onto another ganisations with links to our website and informa- organisation, i.e. UK volunteering, rehabilitation

A further important element is to ensure the pro- actual hosting social institution – this does not spective participants are familiar and fully accept need to be in any specific format, but it is good to the objectives and ethos of the project, they are have it for both parties – the social institution can required to sign an agreement, which clearly iden- show higher authorities that they take care of the tifies BET’s and the participants rights, obligations legal side of things and the interests of their target and duties.

group, from the NGO side this is also beneficial as it documents the right and responsibilities of each

Hosting country

party (Orphanage Agreement). During the visit to the social institution our host partner would also take plenty of pictures and vid-

During the same phase in the hosting country our eos, which would later contribute to the resource host partner (an organisation that works with a centre. Please refer to the link Turkish Step 1 (or number of social institutions in their country – cur- Bulgarian Step 1) rently a large NGO in Bulgaria and a local authority in Turkey) would research a number of social institutions and arrange to visit the ones that have been assessed as appropriate. Choosing the most appropriate social institutions and where to host a future group is a comprehensive process, which involves analyses of a number of factors, including: target group, motivation of staff and director, living conditions, location, infrastructure in the area, distance to accommodation, etc. We have found that the orphanages requiring the most assistance are often rurally located which naturally leads to logistic problems, with reference to locating suitable accommodation that complies with our health and safety requirements and also arranging suitable transportation. All these however can be resolved with appropriate planning. During the visit to the social institutions a number of forms is also completed, including: Orphanage Initial Questionnaire (including details about the institution and the type of activities participants could undertake there. The form is completed for you as an example), Overseas Risk Management Form (Health and Safety), Accommodation Checklist. It has also proven useful to have an agreement signed by the Host Partner and the



This is a crucial element to the overall success of Once we receive the completed Basic Enrolthe project as this stage fully acquaints the par- ment forms this allows us to then agree the ticipants with the project, familiarizing them with dates with the hosting partner and book flights the host country, preventing premature returns and transport to the airport. We book flights usto the UK.

ing a travel agency, as this minimises certain risks as name changes which are often expen-

During this phase to assist with the sending sive. country participants recruitment, we continue to direct the organisations to the following link (tak- Our next step is to consider the reservation ing Turkey as an example) Turkish Step 1 in or- stage, again and in order to minimise adminisder to minimise the steps necessary all the initial tration we have used a link for this please refer information they require are contained in the link to the following Reservation for further details including:

√ Links to our resource centre and the actual project (Videos, pictures etc are uploaded) √ Do you need to fundraise √ Invitations to our facebook groups (so communication can take place at peer to peer level) √ Information packs √ BET policies √ Posters √ Insurance policy Once the organisation have confirmed they are interested if they have not already done so will at this stage complete and send to us the following documents:  Letters of intent  Organisational profile  Basic Enrolment forms

here we include the following:

 A guide explaining all the forms, if they are mandatory and how to send back.  The learning record the participants will need to complete .  Signed agreements (confirming individuals commitment to the program)  Full group details (aiding the completion of their profiles, also indicating such issues as medical conditions)  Further policies such as drug policies.  Details regarding criminal records.  Checklist.

Risk Assessments and CRB checks (where nec- and are encouraged to join our internet peer – essary) are left to the discretion of the UK part- peer forum (Facebook group). The pictures and ner, furthermore the Full Enrolment Forms are videos prepared by the host partner (as indicatcrucial for creating an individual profile of each ed in the links above) about the project and suryoung person in addition to which, the forms in- rounding areas help to fully acquaint the young form us and the host partner about any medi- people and give them a sense of reality; comprecal or health issues pertaining to the participants hensive info packs on each project and hosting and provide information about their socioeco- country are accessible through the internet from nomic background. A further advantage is that our resource centres, which also include video the forms assist the preparation of their CVs, language lessons. also their expressed aspirations and desires can indeed lead to project adjustments including the contents of the careers seminar, introducing topics and activities that could be more suited to the participants. This ensures that each Mobility is tailored towards the needs of each group, en-

Resource Centers

suring that the participants derive the maximum benefit. Finally, the checklist should be received as confirmation of the readiness of the UK partner.

Bulgaria Turkey

Consequently the initial preparation will be adapted to the needs and ability of the group. A minimum of 36 hours with support provided by the accompanying people within the participants‟ own community, including: self assess- It is also during this phase where we strongly ment to identify individual needs and preparing advise the UK partner to organize activities and for the placement experience, encompassing raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship per intercultural games, action planning, research- member of the team, including team leaders ing the host country customs and traditions, lan- (e.g. 10 young people + 2 team leaders = £1200) guage learning, living in the UK & what is Eu- which they will use to purchase the materials for rope? A complete learning exercise - forms the the placements abroad. This not only provides first part of our Learning record in preparation for the budget for materials, but has numerous other the nationally recognised qualification. A visit is benefits including encouraging the young people again arranged by a BET representative to give to plan ahead and be creative, encouraging the talks to the participants and answer queries, also young people to take their participation on the young people taste the cuisine of the host coun- project seriously, nurtures skills such as budgettry, learning in an entertaining way, furthermore, ing, action planning, team building and entreprethey learn from peers who have already visited neurship. The fundraised budget

remains with the team leaders at all times often once agreed is also transferred to the host partas the group are marginalised and with limited ner no later than 10 days prior to the placement. resources, the fundraising is important as it allows the participants to take ownership. More information in our Fundraising Guide.


If deemed necessary the UK partner can also

Please keep in mind that the preparation phase is absolutely crucial for the project. BET recommends that you pay special attention to it. Weak preparation can lead to many problems including unhappy participants, lack of discipline, drinking problems, early returns culminating in an unsuccessful project

organise a residential – a 2 or 3 day seminar involving all participants and team leaders, the aim of which will be to comprehensively prepare the participants and encourage team building. Simultaneously in the hosting country our partner would be communicating with the social institutions that is to host the participants, book accommodation, local travel and make all logistical arrangements for the placement, including study and presentation rooms, excursions, research places for purchase of materials, etc. Welcome packs with essential information and a timetable included would be printed, in readiness to be distributed to participants upon arrival. The host partner also prepares the budget and emails it to BET. In our back office the resource centres and welcome page for this specific group would have been finalised, and work starts on preparing the CV for each participant in conjunction with their full enrolment form, Europass Mobility Documents and Bhagavat Certificates would be generated and printed and in general the Recognition Folder that is awarded at the end of the placement would be ready. Participants would have also been registered online to the EC Mobility Tool; and indeed reminders sent to join the project Facebook group. The budget



As soon as the group arrives in their host country they are picked up from the airport by the Host Partner and taken to the project venue. Accommodation and meal arrangements vary according to the placements time and location, but in the general case participants are accommodated in at least a 3* hotel chosen by the host partner and on which they undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and an accommodation checklist; ensuring that such accommodation adheres to our minimum standards.


Due to the nature of the placement. i.e. “Team Challenge” we felt it was best that the whole group stay in the same hotel, rather than accommodating the participants in different flats around town. This would also not be possible due to the vulnerable nature of our participants and the need for supervision and support by the team leaders. Furthermore we always try and ensure the participants are on the same floor, with a member of BET staff remaining with the group 24/7. To ensure safety the fire escape instructions are provided in the sending countries language, ashtrays, contents of the mini bar and telephones are removed. The team of participants and accompanying people eat together during meal time in order to catch up and socialise. During the project we also provide the participants the opportunity for eating out, which many of them have not

experienced before due to their disadvantaged socioeconomic background. Lunch is normally organised at the social institution itself, allowing two different participants to be in charge of the preparation, purchasing and budgeting contributing to the smooth running of the project, thus reinforcing participants‟ empowerment. Apart from the mandatory logistical elements such as food, accommodation and transport, BET also provides all it‟s participants with a personal allowance (pocket money) which varies according to the country of the placement and the overall placement budget. Allowances are handed over to the team leaders, who would than distribute them to the participants on a daily basis, ensuring a signed copy for receipt is retained.

“It was a big step for me as I am battling with drug addiction but I have to say the people at BET and RV Projects were fantastic in their support of me. I have since moved out from my parents and I am living independently and I have went back to college.� Karen Johnson , participant

The first day of the placement is dedicated to welcome meetings, orientation in the local area, reinforcing the rights and responsibilities, team building and activities exploring the issues of intercultural communication and identity. Language Learning is also an important topic of that first placement day. For further details please refer to the model timetable

of warm, cosy paint would be applied, followed by murals, wall stencils and cartoon pictures. Other jobs have included gardening work, renovation of benches, gazebos and outdoor playgrounds. The interaction with the residents is also a central theme, several sports events or picnics are organized where everybody has fun together. Often we find that the staff of the institutions are enthused by the project and continue to paint morals on the windows to brighten the institutions. A recent development has also been to introduce the concept of SME’s8 (small managed enterprises), where by BET with aid of the UK teams and the cooperation of the Hosting organization establishes workshops such as candle making, these items are produced and the items sold and the funds reinvested in the project. The participants learn new skills orientated towards entrepreneurship, including selling items, costing and pricing etc.

The following day the group makes their first trip to the social institution hosting their placement, after an introduction by the director they would meet the residents (typically – orphaned children in Bulgaria or street children in Turkey) and have a thorough inspection around the place. After consultation with the director, priority areas of work are identified, through a team meeting the actual work to be done by the team during the two weeks is identified. Typically in the past such jobs have included painting and renovating common areas such as corridors, entrances, stairs, playrooms, libraries and dining rooms – after some skimming a fresh lick

BET provides a representative that speaks the host country language accompanying the group 24/7; acting not only as interpreter, but also mentor, social worker and coordinator, this person has a wealth of experience and is totally familiar with the needs of the participants.

Debriefing sessions are held at the end of every day, this allows discussion of events, progress and work distribution, but more importantly it allows participants to raise issues and concerns, preventing little problems growing bigger.


Excursions are organised so participants can learn more about the host country, meet it’s people and enjoy it’s culture – for instance to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rila Monastery in Bulgaria or the magnificent historical Istanbul in Turkey.

hard in an orphanage in

Elin Pelin, Bulgaria

In the middle of the stay the careers seminar is held, where the participants not only learn about job searching, interview techniques and career progression, but also identify their desired next steps after they return home. Typically these have included joining a college or vocational course, finding employment in a certain sector or continuing with overseas or UK based voluntary work (as an opportunity to learn and gain experiences). Alongside the relevant learning record units the young people complete the following questionnaires: Bright future, Career Questionnaire and “Next steps Questionnaire and Feedback” which our experts (a psychologist and a career advisor) utilise to make enquires and schedule appointments for them after returning home.

Towards the end of the second week the work is usually completed and a small celebration is organised for the orphans, who in turn organise From educational perspective we have adopted a little farewell show for the UK participants, this the blended learning approach as it gives paris quite an emotional moment, media and local ticipants an environment to learn more effectiveVIPs are often present. ly. Taking into account the needs of the young people we mix different learning environments Important including face-to-face instruction (one to ones), group activities, work placement & vocational Due to the nature of our target group tasks (learning by doing), peer-to-peer learning we have experienced some problemas well as computer-mediated instruction (onatic situations with participants in the line researches & resource centres) & individual past – alcohol consumption, problemassignments to complete. Time is put aside for atic behaviour, homesickness, etc. qualification work at regular intervals. As most of the participants are NEETs (Not in education, Advice and guidance on how to deal employment or training), we embrace their enwith these can be found in our Dealthusiasm while on placement and this manifests ing with Problems section of the Host itself in the participants completing a comprePartner Information Pack. hensive learning record.

The same evening in the hotel the final evalua-

facts say it all...

tion takes place (this is undertaken using a variety of methods depending upon the group spe-

In order to guarantee proficiency and efficiency BHAGAVAT conducts a research as a means of understanding the impact of the project on participants every year. A question-

cifics and dynamics but also during this evening the mandatory Participant Report that is required to be sent to the National Agency together with the final project report is completed), also during

naire was developed by our national agency

the event the Recognition Folder is awarder to


each participant, containing the certificates and

gain feedback about what participants gained

documents already mentioned, plus the sum-



from their time on the project.


so as to

serve to set out the results of the question-

mary of appointments made for each individual

naires, whilst also offering an analysis on

participant. It is also at this point where partici-

our findings.

In 2012 BET hosted several groups- in Bulgaria and Turkey. Owing to the great results we have every year, BET becomes a CERTIFICATE holder, which not only shows trust and reliability, but also it’s

pants sign the Allowance Sheet. After emotional speeches the farewell feast begins. The next day the groups are taken to the airport

also a recognition of the successful project

and depart home.


and distributed by

section contained a selection of open and closed questions, relating to the participant’s

satisfaction regarding certain aspects of the project, as related above.


provided us

with the following abbreviations, which will be used as a means of evaluation throughout this report.

Participants were asked if they were satisfied:

*To a very small extent (Tvsm) *To a small extent (Tsm) *To a high extent (Thigh) *To a very high extent (Tvhigh) *Totally accomplished (Tot) *Not Applicable (NotApp)

Q9 Overall satisfaction regarding support from host organisations for practical arrangements (PractHostSupp) 50 40



* The chart shows the overall satisfaction received from the host organisation of all young people participated in the project in

2012 .









0 -10


0 1 Tvsm

0 2 Tsm

5 3





T oT



Post Project

In the host country within 10 days of the group Back at BET UK an evaluation meeting is held departing the host partner would fill in the Final to assess the placement and the lessons learnt Statement of Expenditure and email it to BET identifying further improvements; furthermore all UK, who would than authorize payment of a bal- paperwork is scanned to our secure server. ance if needed. All host partners are required to store the original invoices, receipt, tickets and all At relevant interval team leaders are contacted financial documentation relating to the group for to provide updates with regards to participants‟ a minimum period of 5 years (in case of an au- outcomes and status post placement, evaluation dit).

surveys including soft skills are completed, contributing to the final project report.

From the participants perspective – the placements are 2 weeks long. However – the actual duration of the project for an individual is indefinite, the support and advise offered in post placement phase is indefinite and this will continue regardless of future Leonardo funding. An experienced member of staff assist with the post project phase and often becomes their mentor. The follow-up phase focuses on participants:

√ Reflecting on their European placement. √ Gaining accreditation. √ Following up on the next steps identified. √ Attending appointments in the UK and starting employment. √ Volunteering, education, employment or apprenticeship. √ Communicating with participants on regular bases via FACEBOOK √ Contacting them prior to after appointments √ The young people return in their home country as AMBASSADORS- they share their experience and tell others about the project

Facts say it all... The

feedback questionnaire that helps


to evaluate the impact the project has

on young people is sent to participants and completed within thirty days of them

completing their time abroad. It was broken down into several sections relating to different elements of the project:





questions relating to predeparture preparation, language learn-

ing and quality of information received before travelling, etc.

questions about the placement duration, activities participated in and

provision of equipment, etc.

Evaluation; the participant’s overall satisfaction with the project, its relevance to their qualifications etc. - Certification; list of qualifications obtained during placement, including Europass Mobility documents - Learning outcomes; focusing on post-project language skills, professional skills, self-confidence, future employment prospects etc. - Practical arrangements; questions regarding satisfaction with the grant provided, transport arrangements, accommodation, personal safety, etc. -

Q4 I feel more confident

Over 90% of the participants go back to school,


college or university or are more intrested with






their studies.


show motivation and willing-

ness to build a career and stabilise their lives

(data from 2012).

Although the remaining 10% do not progress into

education or employment, the project still ben-

efits and lifting them a tear from being homeless.

This as a result will allow progression at a later date

Q6 I am more interested in my training than before

We as




Maslow`s Hierarchy


needs, believing our projects touch all involved

2 2


are an advocate of





are not in a position in

which we have nothing to work with.

We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.`

Qualifications and career seminar

Our members consistently say that new recruits do not have the skills they need to enter the world of work,” says Richard Lambert, director-general of the employers’ body, the CBI. “Firms are having to spend time and money they can ill afford teaching new starters basic ‘work etiquette’. Peter Kingston, The Guardian, Tuesday,10th February 2009. The idea for the present qualification was born many years ago when Bhagavat Educational Trust realized how much the work skills are important for the participants in the project for building a career and also for making progression in the right direction. The lack of well-developed work skills is the barrier to further progression from poverty not only in UK but all over the world. The target jobs for the young people that Bhagavat Educational trust is recruiting before the project are usually low –paid, low- skilled and insecure jobs just because they couldn’t find the possibility to spend time developing their work skills and therefore gain better paid job. The relatively high concentration of such “job openings” offers very little hope for individual progression. Bhagavat’s strategy was to embrace their enthusiasm while on placement, emulating a true working environment, enlisting on a nationally recognised qualification and the career seminar. The most expedient way of doing this was to include a career seminar in the middle of the project (the beginning of the second week). Often these participants being NEET’s had dropped out of education at an early age so it is crucial we

embrace their enthusiasm while on placement The work skills in every single person can be deand nurture their academic abilities adopting a veloped, practiced and used. Therefore the career seminar and the further qualification can be

blended learning approach.

considered as a huge step in the right direction In the 21st century the natural resource is the not only for the young people but for Europe as people, especially the young people. Bhagavat a whole. Educational Trust believes that their potential is untapped and vast and that helping those peo- Certificates ple to develop the work skills will only unlock this potential. The prize for this will be phenomenal- The career seminar and the qualification are a higher productivity, creation of wealth, social jus- tool the young people can use to find better paid tice. Without increased skills we are hindering position and therefore a tool to further progress the economic growth and declining the competi- from poverty and make positive steps in their tiveness. This is why Bhagavat believes that the lives.


case for action should be compelling and urgent.

The Career Seminar The careers seminar initially was emphasiz- ising. The young people not only helped those ing the possibilities that the young people have in need but also started to realize that finding a back home for employment, education or vol- job is not simply something you do to pay your bills, but also a big step that leads to a career.

unteering in UK or abroad.

The participants are offered the opportunity to The role of the Bhagavat team was to show the be guided by a career advisor and work closely options, to discuss their dreams and desires with a psychologist who assists them in nurturand try to make appointments for every partici- ing their career points. pant for a job, course or for a volunteering program. Soon we realized how much more these After extensive research in the field it was depeople could be helped and along with the op- cided to offer to all participants in the “Living tions for employment we started to discuss with and Learning Abroad program� Entry level 3 them the interview, interview skills and play Diploma in Personal Development and Emmock interviews. The results were very prom- ployability. CLICK ON ME...

Why Diploma in Personal Development and Employability?

Our course includes the following units:

This very specific qualification from City and

○ Self- assessment

Guilds has been developed after extensive re-

○ Working as a team

search and consultation with employers, training

○ Positive attitude and behaviour at

providers, schools and colleges.

work ○ Searching for a job

Many employers want graduates with a positive

○ Applying for a job

attitude and wider employability skills to succeed

○ Preparing for an interview

in the workplace. According to many researches

○ Interview skills

made in this field and according to Bhagavat the

○ Career progression

employability skills should include: general communication skills, team working, and positive attitude these skills and more are gained through this qualification. The aim of the course is to deliver the skills that

will help people progress on their career path. The qualification is quite diverse and appeals to The units build on the skills already taught in a number of different learners, both adults and schools and colleges, and offer the opportunity to 14- to 19-year-olds. Adult learners can include recognise these skills with a formal qualification. job seekers, parents returning to work, graduate

The qualification encompasses work placement, trainees, offender learners, and people who are interview techniques, teamwork and vocational looking for a complete career change. skills, as well as the soft skills that employers look for such as adaptability, eagerness to learn and a can-do attitude.

Why delivery Abroad?

The participants taking this qualification can in- The project requires participants to spend two corporate City and Guilds in to their 2 week chal- weeks abroad, it is the desire of BET to put the lenge, adding a further work-related qualification young people in a fresh new environment, where to their CV and enhancing considerably their ca- they have better chances to develop their skills, reer opportunities.

study and gain confidence without the burden of

negative past associations. While aboard, the trainers and peers. The result of this way of departicipants are working with a Psychologist, livering is phenomenal. The results are actually Career advisor, Project Coordinator, qualified what motivated BET to support this way of learnteachers and trainers, and personal guide- trans- ing and working with the young people; lator who are at their disposal all the time. The experience that BET has in the field exceeds 10 5_The different atmosphere, the different culture years, accordingly over 80% of the participants and the different style of living the young people upon their return enter into employment, training are placed in are motivating them to give a new or volunteering. These facts can only motivate meaning to their lives. They are in a position to Bhagavat Educational Trust to continue sending help those that need help, while being helped, participants abroad and not only that, but also and this is what BET calls Mutual Assistance! enrol them on a course that helps them develop a better future.

6_ After witnessing the deprivation of the orphans or street children, participants appreciate

The learning process abroad we believe is far more the opportunities they have and are far more successful for the young people for more receptive to new ideas. several reasons:

1_The young people are in a new environment; they don’t have any distractions and are helped to focus on the subject studied;

2_The project itself is an activity adapted to the course they are taking, which motivates them to practice what they have learned in real time;

3_They are surrounded by professionals in the field who are helping them nurture their skills and start to build a career in the area they desire;

4_ The participants are put in a non- formal environment, but still academic in nature, where they feel relaxed and supported by their teachers,


Facts say it all... Bhagavat

educational trust is promoting volunteering, education and future em-

ployment opportunities among young people for over


years now. It's our policy

to encourage everyone to pursue a career or find their own path.

Volunteering on a worldwide project abroad provide many benefits for the participants- helps bring learning to life, opens new opportunities for the young people, shows them a different reality, helps them define their career path ... Taking 12 British (10


+ 2 Team Leaders)

volunteers off the beaten

track and letting them see first-hand the issues faced by the orphans in

Bulgaria or

Turkey, give them a real insight into the struggles of daily life in another reality, so much different than the one they live in, encouraged them to put their lives at home into context. They live 2 weeks together in a local hotel, surrounded by local people and BET representatives. They help renovating an orphanage and interact with the orphans; they participate in a career seminar and undertake a qualification in Personal development with the Furness College. street children in

Q1 Overall satisfaction regarding recognition of my Mobility 60 50


The 2 weeks experience does not only have a positive impact on the social institution or the local community,



but also on the group dynamics and on the individuals


30 50

20 21

10 0


0 Tvsm






project with




the beginning to the end of the pro-

fidence, they gained new skills, they developed their


ability to work in a team, and they were shown and

No answer

introduced to more volunteering options and advised

0 No answer

by a career specialist:

allowed the young people

to interact with marginalized groups in a way that no other travelling experience or project can.

Whether they are on a renovating an orphanage project in Bulgaria (as this group did) or participating in a workshop for candle making for an example in Turkey, in both cases working together as a team to improve community facilities, communication skills or simply gain experience spending time with the locals in a social institution, their volunteering experience gave them an insight into a culture that would just not be possible by simply visiting the country as a tourist.


ject we all noticed a big leap in the participant’s con-

Q1 I learned new professional skills +info SME’s 40 35 30 25 20 15




10 5 0 0 Tvsm



Q1 I learne d new profess ional …


Items produced during the 2 weeks project

A further development of the project “Living and mas, appropriate items will need to be made such learning Abroad‟ has been to introduce business as Christmas cards etc. ethics in to the organizations. Capitalizing on ear- BET fully agrees with the aspirations of the EU lier experience gained from running the “Help To- 2020 strategy and its objectives for which we feel day Hope Tomorrow‟ project, SME‟s (Small Man- the project helps address the first 3 - employment, aged Enterprises) are being introduced, and the education, social inclusion idea is for the enterprise to emulate a business.

Once the items are sold, the income will need to

Typical examples of such SME‟s include Candle be reinvested in to the project in order to cover fumaking in the Bulgarian Orphanage Elin Pelin and ture materials and contribute to overheads. also with the Roma community in Izmit Turkey. The young people from the sending organization Each organization will have the opportunity to reand the hosting organization will be encouraged to tail the items on the mutual assistance website. participate in making the candles and encouraged Thought will need also to be given to the organizato participate in the costing and pricing of the items tion and its young people, their resources, abilities after considering all costs both variable and fixed and time availability of the staff. When the „Help overheads.

Today Hope Tomorrow‟ project was run, the young

A further element will be to assist with the market- orphans would take every opportunity to particiing of the items, packaging and presentation will pate in the project, nurturing their artistic abilities, need to be considered along with the most appro- several organizations reported that the project had priate outlets.

a calming effect on the young people; often they

Planning will also need to be given to production

would participate in selling the items themselves

of the items for instance in the run up to Christ- and even set up their own stalls.

Evaluation, Monitoring, Dissemination



All the staff of BET are responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of programme activities. These activities allow us to continually appraise the project, seeking innovative ways of improving and learning early mistakes that are being made and potential problematic areas. The following procedures are used to evaluate project activity:

 Quality Group meetings are held with Bhagavat Educational Trust support staff to monitor the programme. The initial assessment process creates a profile of each participant involved, in conjunction with their Learning record.  We encourage team leaders upon return to the UK at relevant intervals to acquire feedback from the available participants measuring distance travelled and recording positive outcomes; furthermore a random telephone survey of participants is undertaken at relevant intervals after the programme has finished.  Essential element of evaluation is to ensure that information is provided & acted upon in a timely fashion. Daily reports are compiled from the de-briefing, where the day is evaluated & any problems - highlighted. Another key part of the ongoing evaluation are the meetings between BET representative, accompanying people and the host partner, in order to discuss the progress of the project and to identify any potential problems; such meeting is formally held once a week, and informally - as and when required, potential problematic areas are immediately drawn to the attention of the BET management staff.  During the final dinner, an opportunity is given to the participants and accompanying people to present their feelings and impressions about the projects, feedback forms are provided for the recording of this information, contributing to the final placement report.  Continual contact is maintained and feedback gathered with the participants via facebook.

BET continually searches for innovative ways of improving the project and evaluation is a crucial tool in implementing improvements & project adjustments.

To further supplement this - Bhagavat Educational Trust has recently become an accredited sending EVS organisation in UK. This way we would be able to offer direct assistance with this very popular programme to all returning particiValidation of skills is one example where evalu- pants. ation has assisted the project. BET wholly concur with the concept of encouraging participants through recognition of their non-formal learning, In addition BET is also a partner in several Euroculminating in the awarding of the Europass Mo- pean projects, which offer overseas placements bility Certificate. After participants’ evaluation it for the participants, as an example participating was realised that Europass is not that well rec- in an ecological venture in France for up to a ognised on the UK labour market. Consequence year. of this evaluation was to introduce a nationally recognised qualification to further compliment Evaluation also happens in an informal way on a the Europass. continuous basis. Through the establishment of our online forum and through the constant post The qualification is another invaluable evaluation project contact with BET staff. tool ensuring the participants compare not only CLICK ON ME... the host country with the UK, but their dreams, desires, attitude and behaviour prior to and after the placement. Another typical example is the follow up activities for participants. Evaluation showed that approximately 15% of participants choose volunteering abroad as their next step in life, and we have offered comprehensive assistance to such participants through our wide network of partner EVS organizations as part of the post project phase.

Monitoring The progress of each participant is rigorously monitored to ensure the project is delivered effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of each participant.

young people with high support needs for whom it is essential to be accompanied by accompanying people who understand and are sympathetic to their needs – professional, academic, personal and emoIn addition to the dedicated member of tional. BET staff, each participant is allocated a support worker responsible for monitoring As we are aiming at mixed-gender teams, the progress of the participant in the host an essential requirement is to have mixedcountry. This includes: gender accompanying people, thus ensuring the young people do not get into unwanted situations while on their placement in Eastern Europe. Bhagavat Educational Trust does this to ensure that √ Liaising with supervisors of the participants receive the appropriate level work placement of support they need and their progress √ Daily meetings to discuss progress informally could be suitably assessed. √ Formal review meetings once The qualification work is assessed by the a week external verifiers, which ensures inde√ On-going work to complete pendent and objective monitoring. their Individual Learning Record The participants are supervised constantly while on the placement; at no time for instance will a participant or accompanying person be allowed to be on their own with BET also operates an open door policy the vulnerable children in the orphange. whereby our staff are always available to The director and staff of the project, the the participants and team leaders host country staff, the accompanying people and staff from our organization ensure At the end of each placement support this. workers in the host country complete a feedback form. Accompanying people from UK monitor the placement and support the participant. On our projects there has always been accompanying people with the participants we would like to reiterate that BET targets


Dissemination BET disseminates the project at various levels including local, national and international. Examples of local dissemination include: Production and distribution of newsletters, info packs, posters and presentations. A celebration event in the UK held after each successful placement enabling staff and participants to demonstrate the benefits of the programme, share best practice, promote the project and disseminate information to stakeholders. All participants returning from the project receive regular newsletters from BET with information as to their next steps in life. The participants can popularise their experiences and the advantages of participating on this programme via the internet they are able to publish memories and pictures

Dissemination strategies at international level included: Participation in contact seminars, popularising the project  Invitation to present our project as part of the best practice modules in the March 2010 conference in Brussels for combating poverty and social exclusion.  In the host countries, media and local VIPs are often present on a small celebration the host partner organises at the end of the placement  In the host country appearing in National radio, national TV, local newspapers  An essential part of BET policy is to disseminate the project in the host country to appropriate authorities, who can offer advice. i.e. – Ministries of education, Ministry of labour and social policy, British embassy, local municipalities, etc. Presenting at the World Skills Exhibition held in London 2011

An article has been submitted on our project for From past experience and in conjunction with our inclusion in the 15th birthday celebration for our National Agency it is evident the project would National Agency. benefit also from dissemination at national and international levels. Examples include:  The inclusion in a BBC documentary  National awards, including finalist of “Social Enterprise of the Year” for the last 5 years. Furthermore the returning participants became ambassadors of the project amongst other young people in their local communities.

Due to the beneficial nature of the project and that of mutual assistance and empowerment often returning participants including team leaders become ambassadors for the project and encourage other organisations to undertake similar projects, for which we have often been approached to act as consultants.

Further evidence of the quality of the project is the fact that many UK partner organisations do reoccurring team challenges as they have seen the benefit to the participants. Dissemination is also an important element in order to attract new and diverse UK partners to the network, ensuring we continually reach the most disadvantaged in society.



ITALY 1. rESEARCH AND NEEDS ANALYSIS 2. Communication is Key- adapted 3. LOGO COSVITEC 4. Questionnaire (the 37 questions for selecting participants) 5. Leaflet Cosvitec 6. Bulgarian course_Cosvitec- power point presentation 7. An example CV of a young person 8. pREPARATION ACTIVITIES AND CAREER SEMINAR 9. ASSESSMENT OF YOUNG PERSON 10. TARGET GROUP 11. PRESS RELEASE

TURKEY 1. Research on Social services 2. Social services in Turkey 3. Questionnaires for participants 4. Profile of a likely disadvantaged participants 5. Leaflet 6. Communication is key 7. Before/ After test revised

spain 1. RESEARCH AND NEEDS ANALYSIS 2. Questionnaires 3. Communication is the KEY adapted 4. Overview Communication is the KEY 5. Fundraising project 6. Report on preparatory seminar 7. Global report 8. BG lessons 9. TOI Leaflet 10. Magenta intro brochure 11. Preparatory seminar TOI 12. TARGET GROUP 13. Questionnaires professional template 14. PROFILING A YOUNG PERSON 15. Bulgarian for beginners 16. Flexible qualification 17. Evaluation tools 18. Seminar materials




This booklet is written by Bhagavat Educational Trust to give better understanding of the “Living and Learning Abroad” Project. The essence of the project is “Mutual assistance” where by one marginalised group assists another, typically marginalised groups from UK will include, the homeless, former substance abusers, exoffenders or those in or leaving care, while marginalised groups from the host country include orphans in Bulgaria or street children in Turkey. The project requires participants to spend two weeks abroad, it is the desire of BET to put the young people in a fresh new environment, where they have better chances to develop their skills, study and gain confidence without the burden of negative past associations. While aboard, the participants are working with a Psychologist, Career advisor, Project Coordinator, qualified teachers and trainers, and personal guide- translator who are at their disposal all the time. The experience that BET has in the field is over 10 years, over 80% of the participants upon their return enter into employment, training or volunteering. These facts can only motivate Bhagavat Educational Trust to continue sending participants abroad and not only that, but also enrol them on a course that helps them build a better future.

The target group Bhagavat Educational Trust focuses on face many obstacles to obtaining work and to fulfil their lives. Before their participation in the project, the unemployed young people, the ex- offenders and these in or living care often feel abandoned, insecure and hopeless. They have lost their motivation; they often start using drugs or commit crimes. Although Great Britain provides many programs for the people at risk, the young people do not always appreciate these opportunities. All disadvantaged young people and ex- offenders face a range of barriers before they participate in the project, such as: Poor basic skills Low self- esteem Behavioural and health problems. These barriers are also compounded by a lack of recent work experience. The 2 weeks abroad are often described by the young people as “a life changing experience”- they help them increase their self- esteem, focus their attention on people in need, increase their motivation, receive professional help. Accordingly the statistics that Bhagavat keeps on the past projects, evidences on the positive effectiveness of the project are the better motivation of the participants, their willingness to take a step in the right direction or their ambition to pursue a career. Findings include that soft skills can not only improve employee performance and satisfaction but can also prepare technical workers for promotion into supervisory roles. Considering the target group and low level of proficiency participants have prior to the project, the effectiveness of the project is tremendous. Our research shows that the positive effect of the project for the young people is very high. The participants feel more confident, more satisfied with themselves with improved motivation and self- esteem.

Facts*: ○ 100% of the young people are more motivated after the project. ○ 92% of the questioned team leaders think that the team challenge in Bulgaria helped the young people to be more organized and work harder. ○ 100% of the team leaders state that after the project the young people are more sociable and they are trying harder in their career. *In house statistical information 2010- 2011

Important These results can only motivate us to keep improving and now transfer the knowledge for this so effective program for the young people to other countries. We believe that it is our duty to be able to prove the hard facts we are referring to in this guide. Therefore we feel obligated to provide statistical information to our partners. Please find attached to this guide: Case studies of participants  Soft skills review  Satisfaction survey  Quotes from Team leaders and participants

Case Studies



Case Study by Rachel Vincent, 1st price in the written category of the “Broadening Horizons – My Leonardo Experience”competition 2011! I went to Bulgaria in October 2009 for two weeks, through these two weeks we worked in an orphanage. We decorated one off the corridors but before this we met the young children, the kids it seemed only had one emotion and that was aggression, but as the two weeks went on the whole off my group all pulled together and showed them that we were not there to cause trouble or anything like that they soon become polite but very frustrated, as they were talking to us but we could not understand them, it was also frustrating on our part. Through the two weeks we got to learn basic Bulgarian which was very hard for all of us because it seemed that everything that was said was backwards i.e. yes was a shake off the head, and no was the nod off the head. As the two weeks went on decorating got a lot easier as the young kids were helping out they were not getting in the way they were trying to help. Our group integrated very well, we all seemed to know where we fitted without been told and got on with things; this made things a lot easier. As you can imagine, like any group who where spending twenty four seven together got very agitated, very easily, but what was said at the time was took and never carried on. When we were on breaks we played a lot of games with the Bulgarians, they were all very high on football and they were very good so we had a bit off competition, through our basic Bulgarian we were able to communicate with them, which we all very much enjoyed. On the last day off working in Bulgaria the kids done a little show for us and we took cakes and sandwiches and things like that to them. The Girls did dances which was amazing to see the different variations of dancing in different cultures. And the boys played football, whilst the boys were playing football, a couple off the girls in our group showed the Bulgarian girls songs like if your happy and you know it clap your hands and they picked it up really fast and wanted to sing it over and over again which was very nice for us to see cause we felt we had taught them something it was a big achievement a bigger one that doing the hall cause we had actually taught them some things. When it was time to say by it was very emotional, all of us had tears in our eyes not so much the boys but you could see they were sad to. The kids came to our bus stop with us and waved us off. Before I went to Bulgaria my career prospect was not that high nobody seemed to be hiring me. As I had no past job experience, when we were in Bulgaria we had like an employment seminar which I benefited from greatly and it proved it cause as soon as I got home I got a job. Adding the trip to Bulgaria and what I did helped me get the job I have, as soon as I mentioned what I had done I could see the smile in the employers eyes and she probed for more information, and I still think to this day that is why I got the job. Although I was happy to be home I was missing seeing all the faces on the Bulgarians, I found myself telling everyone I knew how lucky we are, I found myself telling people off for whinging about what they didn‟t have when we have a hell of a lot more than those poor kids in Bulgaria, that has dwindled down a lot now, but there is not a day that goes by that I don‟t remember what I do have and when I am feeling slightly un-grateful I think off those little kids who have hardly anything in a different country . Although they are only three hours away on aeroplane it is such a different country to ours and it is still going through its changes if I was given the opportunity again I would bite my right hand off to do it.

Bulgaria Case Study by Shane Dawson Chantry YMCA Group 21/06/2010 to 05/07/2010 Vratsa

My life was going no where be for i went to bulgaria just doin the same stuff everyday then i got the oppertunity to do some thing to change the way i lived so i went to bulgaria with ymca youth group. i did not no what to exspect but i went ,when we got to bulgaria it was compleatly different to england the buildings were run down and there was people rooting throug bins,stray dogs every were i could not belive it was like this but then we arrived in vistra it was a nice place when we got to the orphanage it was a shock to see all the kids with notheing and it made me realize that in england i take things for granted like food money and having a family just the small things really i didnt evan care about the things i had back home because i had them but i soon started to think different when i saw the kids for the first time it nearly brought me to tears i didnt imagan i would have felt that way but the experiance changed the way i fink about things and people from bulgaria i got intouch with an organisation called evs (every thing is possible) and now i am makeing a change in my life i am in italy at the moment doing volantering and hopefuly in january i am going to jamacia to build a school just to try give someone the oppertunity that i have taken for granted all my life i want to try and make a difference to someones life evan if it just a little bit but i would never have done this in the past i always thought of my shelf so thanks to the team at bhagavat they have changed the way i think and act and i hope to return to bulgaria to see how the kids are and hopefuly make a difference to someone elses life like they have to mine thanks for the oppertunity and hope to do some more work with you in the future

Brodeaning Horizons – My Leonardo Experience Case study by Susan Backhouse, 3rd price in the written category of the “Broadening Horizons My Leonardo Experience”competition! My name is Susan backhouse i went on the living and working abroad programme with the Blackburn YMCA last year where we went to Bulgaria two a little town called Razlog. This was the most amazing thing i ever got to do in my life. before we went me and a couple of my friends went in more depth and researched about the country and tried to learn a lot more about the background of the country and the way it is run. When we out in Bulgaria we got to see a total different way of living to what we do in the UK. The new skills i developed while on the programme on the programme was that i got a change to learn a different language which was really good i still know some of the phrases now. i got a chance to get some experience on my qulaficail i did when i left school as i am fully qualafical painter and decorator and what‟s what we did when we was out there. i got a chance to learn how to work as a team better and i got a chance to learn some leadership skill which i really enjoyed and did really well at which lead do know what i wanted to do which is run my own business which i am awaiting starting my next course with the prince's trust programme. My Personal development has developed by i have become more confident was different people and their different ways of thinking i have learn how to take different people opinions when working as a group. As well as that i learn how lucky are in this country compared to others. This experience affected my future career and life choices because i before i went on this programme last year i was only interested in getting drunk and take drugs and all looking where the next party is at but now i don‟t really drink and i don‟t take drugs i waiting at a course on the prince‟s trust programme to start my own business. I have already told others there should do it because i is a once in alive last opportunity which will chance your life for best.

Bulgaria Case Study by Steven Wilkes 12 to 26 January 2009 Pernik Participant of BET LLA project hosted in the town of Pernik, Bulgaria from 12 to 26 January 2009 During my two weeks in Bulgaria, I experienced a different culture, food and living. When we arrived it was -10 and the ground was covered in snow. We met the translators off the plane who where called Vyara and Andy also with them was the main organizer of our trip Stefan. On our first night we took the coach to a little restaurant on the out skirt’s of Sofia, on our table when we arrived was a lovely looking salad which we found out was the traditional Bulgaria salad called shopsta which had tomato’s, cucumber , black olives, onion and white cheese in it . We also had a dish which was called Kiufte which was beef meatballs which was more in the shape of a burger . We arrived at the hotel in Pernik it was located on Krakra Square in the middle of the town centre. We got acquainted with the hotel and our translators and had a coffee in the hotel lobby with them until we all went bed ready for a big day in the morning. We all woke up and had breakfast around 8 o’clock. It was a bit of a challenge but in the end I think we all got what we wanted in the end. At 9 o’clock we got the tram from the town centre to the orphanage which was about 15 minutes away. When we arrived there we could see some of the kids we would be helping out and also we could see the challenge all of us had to do, we entered the orphanage which is also used as a school for kids that arrive in the morning and leave around 4.30. When we got in we were not surprised by what we saw the wall’s were uninviting and flakey we could see that this was going to be difficult that we would succeed in our task , we all got together and we set a plan going to do , we decided to make the walls brighter using reds, yellow’s wanted to replace the lino which was completely battered.

a state and the paint was but we all felt confident of action of what we were blue’s and purples we also

The next day I was quite ill with a throat infection which put me out for the week, which I was quite disappointed about because I wanted to do my bit but I was so ill I was not able to , but I did hear that they got started with stripping the wall and gave the walls a coat of white paint so the top coat would go on easier , I also heard that they had snowball fight with the orphans and got completely battered but I guess they get a lot of practice as there is nothing to do there accept to make your own fun . On Saturday We all met up down stairs where Stefan and Andy had prepared a presentation for us. we all sat down an Andy gave us a talk on the Options we would have when our project in Bulgaria, some of them included doing more overseas volunteering which

grabbed my attention also there was language courses, armed forces, and appretiships we all had a think and he asked us what we would like to do and he made a list so he could arrange for us for to get in touch with people who could make these options a reality. We got together into groups of two and we got up and said what we wanted to do so everyone in the group would know what we wanted to achieve and why. After that went on an excursion to the outskirts Pernik there was a festival of masquerade games where a lot of the locals dress up and wear mask’s which are believed to scare off all the bad demons and spirits. We all were treated to an amazing show it was very noisy also as a lot of them had bells attached to them while there where dancing around to the beat of the drums, when it got dark we were all treated to a fire show where there was a small bonfire which was surrounded by people also there was a big firework show which was amazing and we all took photo’s to remind us of the amazing day. After we left the show which I was sure would go on for a few more hours at least, we went up to the mountain to this very posh restaurant which had this lady singing Bulgarian songs which I did not understand at all . Our first week was coming to an end but we all enjoyed it and we were all looking forward to the week ahead. Monday arrived and we all started our day we could see what difference we had mad already the walls where brighter and you could see the effect we where having on the kids, as well as refurbishing the orphanage we also spent time with the kids there was a language barrier but we all felt a connection with them , it was quite fun we met sum great kids and if was a lot of fun teaching them English and they also were trying to teach us Bulgarian even if sum of the words were quite rude. But my favorite was Carl teaching them to say “Holy moly donut shop” they could not stop saying that for the whole time we where there. Our project was coming along nicely and the walls were painted so we decided that we were going to do some murals from cartoons like Winnie the pooh and lion kind, so we borrowed a projector so we could project the images onto the wall so we could trace the outline of the characters which I did myself and was very proud of even thought it was traced it still looked pretty impressive . We also had a delivery of the lino we would be putting down you could tell the difference in quality from the English stuff but part of the task was working with what we could get our hands on. Anyway we did well with what we had we got on our own little project’s Ricky, Pete, John and myself got on with painting the mural’s Andy Parr got on with his favorite job which was glossing the door’s but beware if you got your fingers on it then he would go nuts, and everyone else just helped us out . We also had to one by one go to see Andy so he could ask us for information that he would use to put together our CV and information pack. After that was all done we had the floor to lay but I was confident as I used to be a carpet fitter so I was in charge of that, we decided that we were going to leave 2 inches of lino up the wall, because the glue was not top grade and if would probably go bad if the water from the staff moping the floor got to it so we managed to do that with minimal problem’s. We could see after floor had been laid that we had done an amazing a professional job and it look amazing compare to the state it was in before and I think the whole group was proud of themselves of what we achieved. It came up to the last day at the orphanage; we would just do the final touches to the place and tidy up our mess. After that we where invited to upstairs to the children’s television room where all the children had got together to give us a send off. A few of them got up and recited famous Bulgarian poems and the director of the orphanage said thank you to all of us for a excellent work and the time we put in she said she was very impressed with our work . After that the children came up to us and gave us pictures that had draw for us , it was a very emotional time because we got so attached to the children and we knew we had to say good bye we gave them our presents that we brought from England and a load of sweets for them to share, it was amazing to see the effect we had on them you could see that they where so happy and it was a great feeling to know that .

It is one of the proudest things iv'e ever done and I would recommend it to anyone. But the time had come to say goodbye , it was hard but all good things come to an end but this as opened a door for a me and has helped me make a few decisions that could change my life , funny how an experience like that can change your view on things and make you want to be a better person . On the final Saturday we went to the capital city of Bulgaria which is Sofia, we went there on the train which took us around an hour to get there. Andy our interpreter took us on a guided tour of the place and we all got to see some beautiful building including the parliament buildings and very old church. After all that we had something to eat a restaurant, we all went off in our own little groups and discovered the city. What I did not realize is how big the place is me, Carl and Ricky was looking everywhere where we could buy a drum and bass cd packs so we could have a little so venir of Bulgarian drum and bass. We must have got lost about 5 times, but I was surprised how many people spoke English. The city is such a nice place and has a lot of different variety of shops and they have something for everyone , the main high street is the 22nd most expensive in the world but off it you can find some good bargains they are not short of shops that sell the odd fake watch or jewelry. But over all I enjoyed being in Sofia it a great capital city full of culture and amazing buildings. On the Sunday it was a free day but most of us decided to get ready and start reluctantly packing our bags and making sure we had all our documents. Later at around 7 O’clock we all met up in the hotel restaurant where we had a goodbye meal and so Andy and Stefan could give us a talk. He explained that he was very proud of our work and team ethic and that were a very good group he also had told that us that he had prepared us a folder we could use as a future reference , and he continued to hand them each to us one by one , the pack contained our euro pass cv, a green certificate which explained our achievement in Bulgaria, a postcard from pernik , a little wooden tube which contained this traditional perfume and a cd with all of the information just in case there was any thing we needed to change and there were also photos of us to remind us of our trip to Bulgaria. Our last day we got up a 6 o’clock in the morning already packed and ready to go, some of us happy to go some of us sad to leave including myself. We caught the coach up to Sofia airport at 8 o’clock which took us an hour from there we boarded the aero plane and said good bye to Bulgaria. The whole point of our 2 week journey to Bulgaria was to give our help and friendship to children less fort nate than us , and also to help ourselves develop as people and we all achieved that some of us in different ways but everyone came back a better person and a proud person , proud that we could say that we took our time to go to a different country and help people less fortunate than us , and seeing the children’s faces after we finished our job is an image that will stay with me for ever. I will use that as inspiration to motivate me for targets I have set myself and goals I want to achieve. Hopefully I have the chance to do this again and give my help and support to people who need it, and I have applied to do more volunteer work in Europe possibly for a year in the very near future.



“I think the certificates were very good and all people on the trip are very proud of them. I also found the possibility of further work abroad interesting. I hope to put the certificate to good use in the future” Darren Hill, 20/04/2009 to 02/05/2009 Bulgaria.

“The group is now making positive steps in developing their lives; some are attending college; others are in work, either temporally or in permanent positions. This can only be described as miraculous.” Terrence Bradley, Team leader.

“This experience has changed my life I am now working as an outdoor instructor with young people and the confidence I got from this project certainly helped me.” Simon Wright, 08/03/2010 to 22/03/2010, Bulgaria.

“On returning home I was able to gain job interviews and at those interviews was more confident. I was able to sell my abilities of team work and motivation througt talking about the project. I now work full time a my local supermarket.” John Pasthletwaite 12/10/2008 to 26/10/2008, Bulgaria.

“This was one of the best things I had experienced in my life as it gave me a better outlook on life and gave me real satisfaction helping others. It was a very powerful experience and leaded to further volunteer placements in the same year- 10 weeks in Nepal and 4 weeks in Italy and all this was down to the 2 weeks I had in Bulgaria. It was fantastic experience.” John Norman Abbott 12/01/2009 to 26/01/2009

“It was a big step for me as I am battling with drug

addiction but I have to say the people at BET and RV Projects were fantastic in their support of me. I have since moved out from my parents and I am living independently and I have went back to college.” Karen Johnson , participant

”I was really rewarding seeing a project like the one that we did take shape, and then seeing the appreciation that the kids and the teachers had for what we had done was amazing. Bulgaria was the first country I had ever been to abroad and that trip has definitely made me want to see more of the world” Nick Clough, 04/09/2008 to 17/09/2008, Team challenge in Bulgaria.

How good was the project for me? “This experience really built my confidence and helped me to appreciate working especially to help other people. This will help me with my work life because it gave me a real drive to work hard and succeed. For the same reason it will also help my personal life” Billy Kilpatrick, 04/09/2008 to 17/09/2008

“I now work with people with learning difficulties and this project helped me realize that was what I wanted to do” Kathryn Towle, 12.08.2010 “I will never forget my time in Bulgaria, it will always be a part of my life I will be proud of it.” John Pulford, 12/10/2008 to 26/10/2008

“Its allowed me to experience a different way of life and learn new skills. It will be a lasting memory that will help me when applying for jobs or other opportunities. Its opened my eyes for the better” Mark Gregory, 9/9/2010

“It has made a huge difference on my life. It’s helped me make up my mind on what I want to do in my future.” Sean Mccafferts, 23/01/2010

How I spend my time in Bulgaria, what I learnt? “I am so happy with all my certification that I gained. I was rather surprised of how many certificates that were given to me. Am so thrilled of all of them and seen that people have saw that hard work that me and the group have done. Am so grateful for my certificates.” Jodie Gardiner 09/09/2010

“I feel it was good to gain the certification as most volunteer places don’t recognize what you do and it made me proud of what I have achieved from doing this project” Sarah- Louise Kennedy 9/9/2010

“I really enjoyed the experience it gave me the confidence to apply for work away from where I live which is quite remote. I now work and live at an outdoor centre in the Lake District” Tony Swales, 11.08.2010

“I have learnt a lot of Bulgarian language. It has boosted my confidence. Learnt to work better as part of a team and individually on my own initiative. I have learnt about different cultures and ways of life. All of the above and more will help me a lot while seeking employment. I also understand more about …” Jason Brown, 04/09/2008 to 17/09/2008, Bulgaria

“The Certification I received have been an essential part of my CV and enabled me to access future training, personal development and employment since the project. They are also a reminder of the work I did and all I accomplished” Rebecca Britton 20/06/2009 to 04/07/2009

“I feel I learnt how to work as a team and was able to meet and interact with some amazing people espetially the children at the orphanage. I feel very honoured to have had this opportunity and will take away a greatest knowledge and understanding of volunteer work and project” Leanne Crow 9/9/2010

“I gained a lot of things from this project- confidence in my own abilities to work away from home, since returning to the UK I have had employment which has involved staying away from home” David Coleman, 13.08.2010



Cosvitec- description FUTURE IS YOUR MIND Cosvitec University and Enterprise is a “società consortile a responsabilità limitata”; it was born as a Consortium in 2001, through the evolution of the Territorial Interest Group (GIT) Agrimed, promoted and made up in collaboration with MIUR and University of Naples “Federico II”. The University participates to the Socrates/Erasmus exchange programme and has signed five hundred and six agreements with more than three hundred universities and colleges throughout Europe. These agreements have so far, allowed nearly 3,500 students to attend courses abroad. These courses were mainly in Engineering and Technology, Language and Philological Science as well as Medicine. At the same time the Federico II University has received approximately 1,600 foreign students from all over the world. Our collaboration with University, Research Centers, High-Tech Companies and SMEs has the specific aim to offer technological transfer services to sustain innovation, but also to develop and manage Reasearch an High Education projects at national and international level. Cosvitec is improving the quality of life by promoting technology transfer and scientific cooperation. TRAINING Over the years, COSVITEC has helped to enhance its presence in the area, creating a Network of Associations of Employers, public bodies, companies and schools, serving as a reference point for universities, business, governments, students and professionals. The consortium operates successfully in the following areas: •Higher Education and Master •Scientific and technological •Technology consulting and management •International cooperation for the transfer of science and technology •Chemical-physical and microbiological Cosvitec is involved in the Regional Project “PAS”- funded by European Commission. The specific aim of this project is to organize vocational training courses for dropout young students in order to increase their level of employability. Our programme is developed by a team of expert teachers and psychologists and it is focused on professional, technical and soft skills required by the labour market. USEFUL LINKS


Set up in 2007, Magenta Projects has two distinct areas of expertise; working with companies to develop and deliver corporate responsibility and philanthropy programmes; and with charities and not-for-profits, maximizing revenues and creating social impact. Magenta’s focus is to encourage companies, individuals and communities to work, together and separately, to deliver tangible business results and positive social change. Magenta Projects offers a combination of skills and experience; creativity and flair balanced by pragmatism and attention to detail. We do strategy, thinking and implementation, drawing on our collective expertise. About Magenta From developing capital campaigns, to creating CR strategies for a FTSE 100 company, Magenta has worked hard to deliver excellence for all our clients, large and small. All our work has come through personal referrals. Magenta is able to call upon on the expertise of a wide range of experts. Magenta is set up with a view to offering clients a cost-effective and efficient operation using her networks of contacts and associates built up over 13 years in fundraising and charity management, and another 12 years in corporate communications. Operating a virtual office they tailor the team to the task at hand. Their network includes fundraisers, CSR experts, researchers and strategists; social media and digital experts; web, brand and communications gurus.

The things Magenta does: Social impact; Managing risk; Enhancing reputation. For Charities and not-for-profits Magenta’s services include: Fundraising audit and strategy development Volunteer leadership fundraising Designing charity partnerships Corporate partnerships strategy and planning Capital and revenue campaign strategy Organisational review, training and development Social impact audit and benchmarking

T.C. İZMİT BELEDİYESİ IZMITMUNICIPALITY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND EU UNIT Izmit Municipality undertakes all local services effectively, efficiently and in harmony within its boundaries with its 980 municipality personnel. As a centre City municipality, it has several functions and responsibilities in substructure, superstructure, health and environment. Izmit Municipality prepares many projects related education, culture, sports for women, youth, disabled and disadvantaged people, children as a target group to ensure realization of all kinds developmental implementation. Izmit Municipality is the first municipality in its region, hosting and sending volunteers under European Volunteer Service Program and develops projects related to Youth Program. Izmit Municipality representatives also participated many international EU projects all around Europe and invited over 50 organizations to Izmit in several projects. In all over Turkey, Izmit Municipality is one of 2 municipalities that is local relay of Eurodesk Turkey. As International Relations and EU Unit, we are organizing several conferences and trainings for young people to let them know about European opportunities. Last year more than 2.000 young people benefited from these activities. Izmit Belediyesi Dış İlişkiler ve AB Birimi Eurodesk Türkiye Yerel Temas Noktası Izmit Municipality International Relations and EU Unit Eurodesk Turkey Local Relay Omeraga mah. Abdurrahman Yuksel Cad. Belsa Plaza No:9 Izmit 41300 Kocaeli TURKEY Tel: +90 262 318 00 00 / 1454 Fax: +90 262 318 00 36 URL:


Bhagavat Educational Trust – Bulgaria is the Eastern European fully endorses Bhagavat UK’s ethos and ‘Modus-operandi’. Management, resources Africa, Eastern Europe

and expertise are provided by and


Since 2007 Bhagavat Bulgaria

headquarters for

Bhagavat UK

Bhagavat Educational Trust – UK. Bhagavat Bulgaria

who has a wealth of experience in running similar projects in

EVS (European Voluntary Service) organisation and has the potential to host We have more recently hosted hundreds of participants “Living and Learning Abroad” projects (since 2008).

is an accredited

participants and provide positive work and training activities for them. companying people in the framework of our

Bhagavat Bulgaria


foreign and ac-

(as previously mentioned the network was “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. works with an extensive network of social institutions across the country

established during the earlier


main aim of the placement in

Personal - soft skills

Bulgaria (as

indeed in


is to develop the participants in


main domains:

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. and entrepreneurship are


Through the establishment of Social Enterprises in the hosting countries business skills

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 activitie 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

participate in artistic works, handmade crafts



we encourage the participants to

other vocational activities including painting on silk/scarf, pottery


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

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

important element of the project is also the careers seminar

searching, the

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 charge of the whole project for a day. We

believe it is the combination of all these that make the placement a real


for life and work” experience, boosting their

self-confidence and esteem, equipping them for the challenges they will face on their return. contact details:


Phone: (+359 2) 8577188


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