Between 14-21 July 2019 in Karlovo, Bulgaria took place "Never Again!” Youth Exchange, a project co-financed by European Commission through Erasmus+ programme that gathered 30 young people and their leaders from Poland, Romania, Serbia, Greece, North Macedonia and Bulgaria.
The main goal of thе project was to enhance the knowledge of the 30 participants on the topic of the Holocaust, foster tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, prevention of human rights violations and all forms of antihumane, xenophobic and extreme-radical actions.
During Day 1 of the project "Never Again" the participants got to know each other, shared their expectations, fears and contributions, had some team-building activities, learned about the "Holocaust in the Balkans" project, interesting facts about Bulgaria and enjoyed the magic of the traditional Bulgarian dances thanks to the performance of the members of the "Rose Valley "Ensamble...all that done in front of the big portrait of the Bulgarian National Hero -Vasil Levski who was the first to speak about equality, freedom and brotherhood among all nations and Europeans.
During Day 2 we learned a lot about:
- the Holocaust in the partnering countries;
-the biggest concentration camps;
-Jewish symbols and culture;
-the traditional cuisine, music and dances during the Intercultural evening;
-world geography in interactive team building games;
and we stepped into the shoes of the Jewish people during the Holocaust- we tried to understand what they SAW, HEARD, FELT, THOUGHT and WANTED in that dreadful period
Day 3 of the exchange "Never Again!"took the participants to the Jewish Cultural Centre in Plovdiv where they learned about the Jewish community in Plovdiv, visited the Zion Synagogue and the monument dedicated to all those who have contributed to saving the Bulgarian Jews. Then we visited the "Plovdiv 2019"headquarters to find out more about the artistic projects in Plovdiv and "the European initiative "Ëuropean capital of Culture".
The evening the 30 participants from Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, Romania, Greece and Poland enjoyed the magical performance of the National Folk Ensemble "Bulgare"
Day 4- 18th July 2019, in the morning the participants sang "Happy Birthday" to Veni- one of the Bulgarian participants in the project six languages.Then they had some name revison game and a team building one running off afterwards to a special "Mission in the town" activity when they found out what local people know about the Holocaust and the Jewish people and their culture; learned some famous quotes from Vasil Levski, wrote a poem and a song about Karlovo.
In the afternoon they visited the local hiostorical sites -Vasil Levski House Museum, Vasil Levski Square, the Old Town and participated in the town's festivities dedicated to the 182nd Anniversary of Vasil Levski's birth.
During Day 5 of the exchange the participants learned about the different world religions through interactive activities. First learning the main symbols and key facts about different religions in groups, then playing with the games created by the KA2 project "Tools for Interreligious Dialogue"of the Serbian paretnering organisation NGO "Iuventa".
They also had Human Rights Education -checking which Human Rights from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were violated and denied to the Jewish people during the Holocaust.
They also had a discussion and forum theatre about religious temples and rights to express different religions and beliefs through a game from the Compass HRE Manual.
Through presentatiopns, films and Kahoot quizzes they learned about the culture and lifestyle of Greece, Romania and Serbia.
In the last day of the youth exchange "Never Again" the participants learned about Erasmus+ opportunities, the Youthpass certificate and planned follow-up projects and innitiatives attracting all key stakeholders. They carried out final project evaluation through different methods and received their Youthpass certificates as a recognition of their learning process.