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Малката Европа
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

I this project three EVS volunteers were employed to participate in the organization of the family sports and active lifestyle festival Famillathlon which took part in 17 May 2015 in South park, Sofia, Bulgaria. The volunteers came from Poland (Ewa Nawojka - 22 y.o.), France (Claire - 28 y.o.) and Spain (Pablo - 24 y.o.). The project aimed to contribute to increase the knowledge of children and youth of Sofia about the European culture and history, and the opportunities that EU offers for personal development through increasing the awareness and popularity of sports and educational game "Little Europe", part on Famillathlon. It is a game of orientation where using a special map, the participant is rushing to collect stamps from checkpoints scattered around the park. Each checkpoint represents a certain capital city from the EU. The volunteers used their creativity to greatly enhance the game, designing and producing visual representations of the European capitals and organizing games and quizzes for each of them that provided learning experience. The EVS volunteers also participated in the process of recruiting and training the other (over 60) volunteers for the day of the event, who would service the checkpoints and conduct the games and quizzes. The game proved to be a huge success, even stealing the focus from Famillathlon's main area and activities. Thanks to the volunteers' work the children were completely absorbed by the games, while their accompanying adults would study the artistic representations. Both turned out to be of great interest to youngsters and teenagers. Additionally, for the first time the many volunteers servicing the game were completely satisfied and involved in the process and were sad to see the event finish. During their work the volunteers were allowed great artistic freedom and were given space to exercise their planning and organization skills while still managing to meet the deadlines and fulfill the tasks. They worked side by side with some of Sofia's most creative young artists in the "Factory for city art", which helped them become aware and master many new manual and digital creative skills. The participants would also contribute to the project by putting to use their existing areas of expertise. Thus, several promotional and documentary films for Famillathlon, LIttle Europe game and their work as EVS volunteers were created, and various social events were organized where they promoted EVS and Famillathlon among the youth in Sofia. They also deigned the Famillathlon and EVS promotional materials that were used. The volunteers also conducted their own personal projects in the area of film-making, social solidarity, social events, languages, etc. The project greatly contributed to increase the popularity and quality of Famillathlon and Little Europe game by implementing some of the organizations' vision for the development of the festival and even adding extra value to it. The materials produced and the games and quizzes exercised will be reused and further developed in the coming editions of the festival and other public events of the organization. The project generally fulfilled its objectives by increasing Famillathlon's and organization's popularity (more Facebook page likes, bigger media coverage, more participants), broadening its target group by reaching more youth, providing better learning experience for EU history and culture, and EU's mobility opportunities. The Little Europe game had little over 1000 active participants, with at least that much more people accompanying them. Each participant was involved in the game for at least two hours. An unexpected impact was that many friends and family members of the EVS volunteers traveled to Bulgaria, which they would never consider before, broadened their cultural horizon and overcame some of their prejudices towards Bulgaria and Eastern Europe.

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