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„… A truly enlightening experience!"

26 January 2022

"... A truly enlightening experience!"

165 students, 61 civic organizations, over 50 meetings and events, more than 800 thousand reached souls and one main goal – to attract young people into life with a cause of civil society organizations.

And this year, the students weren't quiet. We civic organizations are always inspired by meeting young and enthusiastic people whose hearts and minds work to change our world for the better.

Over the past two years, thanks to the adventure (project) Civic Hubs in universities: activation of civic energy in support of civic organizations, we have met a new generation of inspirers for whom civic participation is a matter of personal conviction and duty. Young people who strongly believe that change is achieved through constant search, discussion, debate, and even experimentation of new ideas and approaches to public systems. That's why we didn't go easy on them - we included them in a series of adventures with numerous civic organizations in order to test the extent to which their aspirations for professional development can be met with the vast field of causes and meaningful topics in the civic sector.

"Growing my view of the non-profit sector; the practical aspects of a deeply divided society that achieves more together. The fight for rights and equality, for others and their needs. A truly enlightening experience!" –  one of the students described his meetings with the civic organizations in the project.

We weren't surprised - we knew it made sense to us to do so. This was confirmed by the organizations that took part in the joint initiatives with the youth. We know that one can easily lose hope if they work for a cause and find no support, understanding, or a person to appreciate their efforts and encourage them. The most valuable thing for organizations was that our students were exactly those people — the inspirations, the encouragers — those who encouraged organizations that the future of work with a cause was in good hands, and that there would always be people to devote themselves to the themes that move the world for the better.

"I am surprised to see so many young people in one place, at an NGO event," was the reaction of a colleague from the sector when he came to House Fest.

We are also extremely grateful to our media partners from Offnews and now, with whose help we have not stopped telling the inspiring stories of organizations from all over the country in the new section of our site - The Stories. It does not surprise us that one of the strongest and most impactful ways to represent organizations is through the short video episodes in the #КачвайСе series - viewed over nearly 360,000 times on social media.This way, we have provided new audiences for organizations and their causes. Some of the most fascinating conversations of the year we had within the Civil Hitchhiker's Club – a shared online and offline space where students ask topics, invite different civic activists, mix representatives of different sectors and so the discussions reflect the different points of view of everyone who recognizes themselves as a "civil hitchhiker" or, in other words, a person with an opinion looking for the best solutions to the questions,  important for the public good.

We can't even think of a more inspiring environment to work in. Our interaction with the students who came out of their comfort zone and immersed themselves in the world of value-added work quietly reminded us of something that sometimes one easily forgets – it makes sense. Students who did not know any civic organization at the beginning of the project became ambassadors of civic activity, of causes of specific organizations and attracted their friends and colleagues to the initiative. We're working for that change. It inspires us!

"I realize how important each organization is, what results are achieved thanks to their activities and what their contribution is to our society." – Nadezhda, law student at Plovdiv university.

The activities are implemented within the framework of the project "Civic Hubs in Universities: Activation of Civil Energy in support of civil organizations" (ACF/61) of the Bulgarian Center for Non-for-profit Law, funded by the Active Citizens Bulgaria Fund under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014 - 2021