Urgent: Call for participants for training for non-formal education

GAIA is urgently looking for 1 participant, resident of Kosovo, who doesn’t need visa for Italy to participate in training course “NFE – opportunity for inclusion and acceptance of immigrants and asylum seekers” 21-29th October.
Unfortunately, the participants, who were selected for the training in Italy cannot get visa on time, so there is no time for new ones to apply for visa. More information you can find below, if you are interested please fill in the application form (here) and write an email to gaia.kosovo@gmail.com

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Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Croatia 18-29 October – call for participants

GAIA Kosovo and ZMAG Croatia (Green Network of Activist Groups) are inviting you to apply for PDC course which will take place in Croatia, in Recycled Estate from 18th till 29th of October. This PDC is part of 3peas – Permaculture as a path to peace project supported by Erasmus+ program of the EU and is open only for members of the organizations who are partners in this project.

Organization Number of participants Max travel reimbursment (EUR)
SCI Italy 2 180
SCI Catalunya 2 275
PVN Albania 2 275
CID Macedonia 2 275
VCV Serbia 2 180
VUK Croatia 1 180
CVS Bulgaria 2 275
Bugday Turkey 1 275
SCI Hellas 1 275
SCI France 2 275
SCI Germany 1 275
Utilapu Hungary 2 180
Nešto Više Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 180
GAIA Kosovo 2 275

Participation fee for this PDC will be 60 € for program countries and 40 € for Western Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

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Call for EVS volunteers in Switzerland

SCI Switzerland is looking for 12 long term EVS volunteers for 6 different projects in 2018-2019 (see exact dates in the description of each project).

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EVS stands for European Voluntary Service. It is a program which allows young people between 17 and 30, to volunteer up to 1 year abroad. Within EVS the travel expenses, accommodation, food, local transportation, health insurance, language lessons and monthly allowance are covered and financed by the European Commission. More information about EVS you can find here.

Read carefully the projects and in case you feel like one of them is for you, apply through sending your CV and motivation letter to placement.gaiakosovo@gmail.com. In case you are interested in more than one of the project, keep in mind that the motivation letter should be specific for each project. Deadlines for applying:

  • October 5th 2017 for A5 and A6.
  • October 31st 2017 for A1, A2, A3 and A4

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BREfest celebrated Sharr Mountain nature and culture

From 11th to 13th of August more than 150 people joined BREfest, a festival of music and nature organized by GAIA (SCI Kosovo) at Brezovica, Kosovo. Local people and guests from around Kosovo and neighboring countries gathered in the ski center of Brezovica for this nature celebration.

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BREfest – live music and fire in Brezovica ski resort, Sharr mountain, Kosovo; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

The idea behind BREfest was to highlight the beauty of Sharr Mountain, to raise awareness of environmental topics and to provide space for people who love the mountain to meet and to share their vision for the future.

The message of the festival “Sharr is more than snow“ emphasised the unique, natural and cultural values of the mountain, besides the attractive skiing slopes in winter.

Before the festival, volunteers from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Serbia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, together with local volunteers, prepared the place and the activities, and also organized a clean-up action in the mountain. Extinction of a Trash mountain in Sharr mountain is a short video telling the story of the clean-up action.

A few days before the event, the participants of “Tour of Freedom“ also joined the group, bringing stories and experiences from their bike travel through Kosovo. The travelling workcamp crossed Kosovo from North to South within three weeks. The volunteer got to know local communities and the environmental and social challenges they are facing. They got involved and inspired actions to act on those issues. The Bike Tour volunteers told their stories through impressive exhibition of pictures and words and via engaging human library on the first day of BREfest.

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Opening of the exhibition of Tour of Freedom travelling workcamp; BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

During the three days of the festival, the program was diverse with different activities, on topics including environment, migration and future challenges to the region. There were several workshops, such as Recycle Art, DIY (Do it Yourself), printing and sewing. In order to start each day with positive energy, BREfesters discovered the art of Capoeira Angola – a mixture of game, dance, martial art and music with roots from Brazil and Africa.

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DIY workshops during BREfest 2017, Kosovo; phto credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

Every evening movies regarding the daily festival topic were screened.  To explore the mountain, activities such as guided tours, a herbal tresure hunt and a poetry session in nature were organized.

There was also a space to discuss topics such as migration, zero waste and environmental challenges in Kosovo. Participants of “Route to Connect“ field study trip, shared their take on the current refugee situation, through an exibition and discussion. This linked the history of Sharr mountain, a transborder region with a history of migration throughout the past centuries, to the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the Balkans and beyond.

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Route to connect exhibition, BREfest 2017; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

A group of 30 children and youth from Imaginatorium, an alternative educational center in Gracanica, also joined BREfest on Saturday, taking part in the different activities like arts, walking tours and games. For most of the kids it was the first time to explore the wild and unspoiled nature of the mountain and to be surrounded by so many volunteers from all around the world.

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Children from Imaginatorium in BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Polina Raynova

Jimmy Mustafa Band, a Roma band, Trio Bibera, a jazz group, and Rootsman, a reggae band from Macedonia,  joined the festival for the musical evenings. This mixture of genders and ethicities was an example of how music can connect people.

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Jimmy Mustafa Band performing; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

BREfest was intended to promote a different approach to appreciating nature, by provoking the participants to consider their own impact on the environment. Food was vegan, free of charge and cooked by volunteers.

„Share and exchange“ was another festival principle which was implemented by encouraging sharing tranport to the ski resort, and also exchanging skills, homemade products, food and experiences between people.

After the success of BREfest 2017, the team is already thinking about organizing it again in 2018. And we hope to meet again with anyone who wants to join us to celebrate the nature and culture of Sharr mountain!

Raquel Amaral, Portugal, an EVS volunteer in short-term EVS „All colours of Sharr mountain“, part of „Thinking like a mountain…“ project supported by Eramsus+ programme of the EU.

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BREfest – Sharr is more than snow…

11th until 13th of August, Brezovica

Welcome to the BREfest – a small-scale, sustainable, educational and creative festivity in Brezovica ski resort (map here) organized for the first time. It is about celebrating and appreciating the richness of Sharr mountain, building connections among people and reconnecting to nature.

The gathering will provide space and inspiration for exchange, discussions, music, challenges and joy. The program includes diverse activities for children, youngsters, elders and families. Gathered around the topics of sustainable living, transitive migration and wilderness:

  • Workshops on Capoeira Angola, cooking vegan, recycleArt, photography, Do It Yourself etc;
  • Guided educational tours about medical herbs, wildlife and reconnection;
  • Theoretical discussions on sustainable living, sustainable communities, nature preservation and human migrations;
  • Space for Exchange for sharing of home made products, skills and stuff you do not need anymore;
  • Presentations of local traditions, from dances and food to crafts and arts;
  • Evening program will be filled in with screenings of documentary movies and nature friendly music program.

GENERAL TIMETABLE

8:00 – 10:00 – Greetings to the mornings – sports & spiritual activities

10:00 – 17:00 – Workshops, guided tours, children activities,

17:00 – 19:00 – Exhibition & discussions

20:00 – 21:30 – Movies about environment & nature

21:30 – 00:00 – Music

MUSIC PROGRAM

Friday evening >>> Jimmy Mustafa band – Young Roma band from Plemetina

Saturday evening >>> Trio Bibera Jazz from Prishtina

Sunday evening >>> World volunteers music session – surprise!

MORE INFORMATION about the daily program here 😀

MORE INFORMATION about accommodation, food & transport here

Volunteers force for BREfest co-funded by ERASMUS+ program