Opening of the RAISE Demo Centre in Bulgaria

Since the beginning of the project, the Bulgarian RAISE Youth team was focusing on Pernik region. One of the first actions that were taken was connecting with the like-minded local authorities and regional opinion leaders. To acquire support  and to start cooperation with local key agents, Bulgarian RAISE Youth team has over the past several months travelled dozens of times to Pernik to present the benefits of the RAISE Youth project in numerous municipalities and to lobby for the location where Bulgarian RAISE Demo centar would be established.

After many meetings with municipal council presidents, mayors and other relevant local actors and after carefully considering other possibilities it was decided that the best location for the new RAISE DEMO Centre is the building of the former High School of Agriculture “Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov” in Breznik municipality.

At the regular meeting of the Breznik Municipal Council, when the decision about establishment of the RAISE Demo Centre was made, the leader of the Bulgarian team Stanimira Hadjimitova said to the local government representatives: “I assure you that it is our duty to give a meaning, a purpose and a goal to our NEETs. We must strive to change their way of thinking, to include them in our working cycle and to help them feel useful and meaningful for this society. That’s the reason why we need a physical centre where NEETs can get together, help each other and discuss problem and ideas. Our three employees who will work in the RAISE Centre must become the engine of our future activities. It is important to have something concrete which will stay here when this project is finished and we leave. These people could set up a cooperative or farms or – who knows – something completely new.”

In the next few months all the necessary repairs and training of three new employees of the Centre will take place after which Bulgarian RAISE Demo Centre will be ready to open its door to all interested NEETs and public.  First trainings that are planned in the Centre are building pilot farms at the school yard of the new Centre. This will allow young people to get trainings on the ‘’learning by doing’’ principle.