Youth International Centre – Burgas visited the Youth Center of the Council of Europe, located in Budapest, Hungary. The visit took place together with Youth Centre-Pernik, who were the organizers, the Vratsa Youth Centre, as well as representatives of the Program Operator of the project – Maria Valova and Maria Teodorova.
The purpose of the visit was to gain experience and good practices from the Youth Center of the Council of Europe itself and to learn more about the focus of their work.
During our two-day visit, we discussed what the Council of Europe’s strategic priorities are in the youth sector, how a centre like theirs is managed and how it is furnished, so that it is functional and practical. In the dialogue we touched on the training of employees, and that an employee in a successful organization, regardless of their position, must recognize the values of the organization. The Head of the European Youth Foundation, Gordana Berhan, also told us about the difficulties during the Covid pandemic and how they overcame them.
The European Youth Centre focuses mainly on organizing and leading various types of activities related to Human Rights. For 2021, over 6,000 visitors have passed through the centre, taking part in over 90 events on the following topics: human rights, civil activity, tolerance, gender equality, etc.
We also saw clearly how important it is for the space in a youth centre to be functional, interactive and colourful in order to serve the needs of the activities held there. Here are some good examples of this:
- mobile furniture: everything is mobile – from the tables, through the whiteboards, to the walls;
- magnetic interactive wall for opinions, ideas, contacts and notes;
- colourful furniture;
- digital dashboard with the most important up-to-date information;
- musical corner with instruments – to unwind and relax.
And in the basement there is a gym, sauna and disco. Why is this important? So that the participants do not miss anything during youth exchanges, and have the opportunity to get closer and socialize in a safe and fun place – the youth centre.
Thank you for the opportunity to visit this highly successful European Youth Center, we also thank our hosts for being so hospitable and for sharing their experience with us.
Project No. BGLD-2.001-0002 “Establishment of International Youth Center – Burgas” is implemented under the “Local Development, Poverty Reduction, and Enhanced Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups” Program, funded by the 2014–2021 European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA FM) and managed by the External European Programs Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science.