Study Visit in Bulgaria

The RAISE Youth Center in Breznik hosted Croatian RAISE Youth team from June 23rd to 27th.

The aim was to exchange experiences between the Bulgarian side – represented by the Center for Sustainable Communities Development, the municipal authorities in Breznik and NEETs from Pernik District – and the Croatians represented by the lead project partner GTF-Initiative for Sustainable Growth, the municipal authorities from the town of Gospic and NEETs participating in the project.

Their journey in Pernik District started from the RAISE Youth Center in Breznik, where they were greeted with a homemade bread with honey. This was followed by a presentation of the RYC and the activities of the Bulgarian team within the RAISE Youth project.

Then they visited the Agriva farm, which makes the only kosher white cheese and yellow cheese in the Balkans. The owner told the impressive story of his farm, where the most important thing is not the profit, but the attitude towards the staff and, of course, the animals. The guests from Croatia were taken around the cow farm, impressed by the modern way of caring for the cows, milk production and processing.

Shortly afterwards, they were taken to the hall, where honey is extracted from Agriva’s combs, again from organically reared bees. The honey extraction machine is specially manufactured in Finland by a master beekeeper to make the work as easy as possible and to increase the yield. It is one of only two in the whole country.

The group from Croatia was really impressed by the visit to Agriva and exchanged useful contacts with the owner. The next day, RYC-Breznik had prepared a long and tiring but useful program for them.

It began with a sightseeing tour of Breznik, followed by a visit to the Gigintsi Monastery and then the Zemen Monastery. Before dinner, a special Graovo evening was organized, featuring traditional songs and dances from the region. The guests from Croatia were impressed and joined in to dance and sing. The closeness of our cultures cannot be denied.

After the visit to the holy monasteries, the Croats and the teams of the CSCD and RYC went to the Bread House in Kovachevtsi, where the municipal authorities and the museum management had taken care to present an impressive demonstration of kneaded bread according to old recipes.

On June 26th were the two big events organized by RYC Breznik – the opening of the exhibition “My favorite landmark in Pernik District” and the awarding of the winners of the photo contest. Three people were awarded at the ceremony, which can be seen until July 26 at the church St. George the Victorious in the city.

Immediately after it was the beginning of the first of its kind Western Farmer’s Market, which was attended by 9 local producers from Pernik and Kyustendil. The Croats from RAISE Youth also had their own stand. Hundreds of people passed through the market, which aims to promote local foods and crafts, and bought honey, cheese, cheese, meat, sausage, fruits, vegetables, lemonade, chips, yogurt, pottery, art.

Against the background of all this busy program, a meeting was organized between the chairman of the municipal council in Breznik, Ivan Tinkov, and the deputy mayor of the Croatian town of Gospic – Kristina Prsa, and her colleagues.

The partners from Croatia were very pleasantly surprised by the events and the work of RYC-Breznik and CSCD on the RAISE Youth project and by the demonstrated Bulgarian traditions, cuisine and local crafts and products.