Youth activities


One of the main target groups of our activity are youth. Young people are some of the main participants in the voluntary activities for preservation of Bulgaria’s nature.
Changing the attitude, providing environmental education, raising public awareness, and instilling respect for the values of volunteering is the best “investment” in the conservation of Bulgaria’s nature.

In this regard, Green Balkans has been implementing the following activities:

Educational programs and working with educational institutions
We aim at diversifying the curriculum and enhancing students’ education, general knowledge, and attitude towards nature conservation. Therefore, we organize numerous presentations in schools, kindergartens, and universities, as well as photo exhibitions, quizzes, and competitions.

Field activities
Almost every month Green Balkans organizes various activities (conservation working holidays, guarding of nests of rare bird species, and expeditions), involving young people both from Bulgaria and abroad.
The purpose of the youth programs is not only giving meaning to their free time, but also implementing practical activities having tangible effects on rare species and habitats (Pygmy cormorant, Imperial eagle, Black vulture, Sandwich tern, etc.).
Being directly involved in activities for preservation of Bulgaria’s nature, these young people have the unique chance to touch the beauty of nature and acquire valuable knowledge and skills, which cannot be learnt in the classroom.
In addition, young people make lots of new friends, experience exciting moments, and acquire teamwork skills that can be mastered only when working in the wild!

Other voluntary activities
In addition to their involvement in field activities, many young people take part in our daily activities using their abilities and skills – foreign languages, computer literacy, design and other creative skills. Thus, they not only give us their invaluable support, but also learn lots of new things and further develop their skills.

Working with foreign volunteers
Many foreign volunteers take part in our activities for the conservation of Bulgaria’s nature. They are involved in the activities we implement together with BTCV in the area of the Pomorie Lake, international conservation working holidays and educational projects, as well as in the caretaking of animals at the Wildlife Rescue Center in Stara Zagora. Thus, they get themselves acquainted with the beauty of Bulgaria’s nature, learn about the Bulgarian lifestyle and culture, make lots of new friends, and contribute directly to the preservation of the unique natural heritage.

Improving the statutory base and the development of strategies and documents
Together with the Bulgarian Center for Not-For-Profit Law, Bulgarian Red Cross, CARITAS, and other NGOs, Green Balkans was involved in the working groups for the development of a Volunteering Bill.
In 2005, Green Balkans was accredited for its work with volunteers by the Conservation Volunteers Alliance, covering all criteria of the Benchmark category concerning the introduction of policies and practices for volunteer management.

Results
- Educational initiatives in more than 50 settlements, involving some 30,000 students and young people.
- Youth conservation activities amounting to more than 15,000 man-days, having a direct effect on the conservation of Bulgaria’s nature.
- More than 250 young people actively involved in direct wildlife conservation activities every year.
- Informational materials intended for young people and youth environmental education.
- Benchmark accreditation by the Conservation Volunteers Alliance related to Green Balkans’ work with volunteers in the field of nature conservation.
- Inclusion of the Rescue Center in INN (International Volunteer Service) and accreditation by EVS (European Volunteering Service) as a host organization. So far 34 volunteers from more than 12 countries have been volunteers at the Wildlife Rescue Center.

How and where can I get involved?
- Field activities – expeditions, afforestation actions, biodiversity studies, bird ringing campaigns, monitoring programs, designation of new protected areas, etc! You can find further information if you click on ACTIVITIES.
- Other voluntary activities – you can get involved in other activities related to our daily work using and further developing your language, design, or computer skills.
- Informational and education campaigns – in schools, kindergartens, universities; dissemination of informational materials, etc.
- Activity of the Wildlife Rescue Center in Stara Zagora – participation in the caretaking of patients.