Seminar: Seminar Mountain spirit – Volunteering for Nature Conservation

Location: Blagoevgrad region, Bulgaria

Dates: 24-30 May 2019

Participating countries: 27

Organizer: Vlahi Nature School (Youth NGO)

Deadline to apply: 21 April 2019

Date Of Selection:  26 April  2019

Apply here: Application Form.

Inquiries about this training: Miroslava Popova    @


Participation fee:

No participation fee

Accommodation and food:

The Seminar will happen in the region of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

Accommodation and food are covered. The participants will be sharing rooms. Expect basic facilities.

Food will be seasonal and domestic as much as possible.

Travel reimbursement:

Travel costs will be covered within the Erasmus+ limits of distance band (100-499 km = 180 euro, 500-1999 km = 275 euro, 2000-2999 km = 360 euro).

Be aware that we encourage environmental friendly means of transport (bus, train, etc.) therefore traveling by plane will be reimbursed only up to 80 % (unless really necessary).

Participants are expected to buy their own tickets and will be reimbursed once they sent the original tickets. The travel reimbursement could take up to a few months.

Do not buy your tickets before you get a confirmation by the organizers!

Seminar Mountain spirit – Volunteering for Nature Conservation:

Download here: Call for participants_Seminar_MountainSpirit_Bulgaria.pdf

Download the PDF file .

Seminar aimed to get together volunteer coordinators, ex and future volunteers and organizations working in nature protection to work on improving volunteer management and involvement of international volunteers in nature conservation activities.

Velebit Association Kuterevo and Vlahi Nature School are organizing the Seminar Mountain spirit – Volunteering for Nature Conservation.  The seminar is within the Erasmus+ project Mountain spirit – Strategic EVS for Nature Conservation and aims at providing space for volunteers, volunteer coordinators and organizations hosting international volunteers to meet and work together for encouraging and improving the quality of volunteer work for nature conservation.

Main topics include:

  • Nature conservation and volunteering – examples, needs, challenges, future cooperation possibilities
  • Volunteer management – coordination and mentoring, needs of volunteers and organizations, conflicts, program developing, etc.
  • European Solidarity CorpsErasmus+ and other possibilities for cooperation
  • Mountain spirit project – exchanges 2018 and feedback, possibilities for the future.

The specific objectives of the Seminar are to:

  • create a space for exchange between coordinators and volunteers
  • build the capacity of organizations for working with volunteers on nature protection topics
  • encourage volunteers to initiate volunteer projects and become coordinators
  • present possibilities for developing in the field of volunteering and nature protection – European Solidarity Corps, LIFE+, national programs, etc.
  • provide space for feedback and evaluation of the first year of Mountain spirit exchanges
  • contribute to creating an informal network of organizations working with international volunteers in nature protection topics

Within the Seminar we will be discussing and working on the following subjects:

  • The role, needs, motivation and expectations of international volunteers for nature protection activities
  • Development of international volunteer programs – resources, needs, training, challenges
  • Successful stories, bad practices and recommendations on how to improve volunteer management within an organization
  • How to support each other, to exchange volunteers and coordinators
  • The new philosophy and opportunities which the European Solidarity Corps provide especially with the focus on nature protection (volunteer project, volunteer teams, solidarity projects)
  • Mountain spirit – Strategic EVS for Nature Conservation – presentation of 2018 activities and achievements, challenges, recommendation, next steps
  • Volunteering activities for nature conservation – realities (Balkan region, Central and Western European countries), needs, challenges, possibilities
  • Service Civil International and nature protection
  • Erasmus+ and other programs

We are looking for 27 participants (age: 18+) from Erasmus+ program countries and partner countries from the Western Balkans (eligible ONLY for EU countries, Macedonia, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia). The participants should be representatives of youth or nature protection organizations, ex or future EVS/ESC volunteers in similar projects, who have interest, motivation and energy to work on the topic, who want to improve existing and to develop new volunteering activities for nature conservation.

Profile of suitable organizations:

  • Nature protection organizations who would like to explore the oppotunities to include international volunteers in their work
  • Nature protection organizations interested to exchange experience and share knowledge
  • Organizations already working with international volunteers in nature protection activities who would like to improve the process of volunteer management and to create new links
  • Mountain spirit project partner organizations
  • Members and partners of Service Civil International

Suitable participants could be:

  • Volunteer coordinators
  • Young people who took part in one or more of the volunteer exchanges within Mountain spirit in 2018
  • Ex or future EVS/ESC volunteers in nature protection project who would like to develop in the field
  • Activists and volunteers with some experience in the field of nature protection, voluntary and youth work
  • Active members of the organizations with long-term project ideas involving volunteers

If you are interested to apply, fill in the following form until April 21st.