We are happy to share with you the work and experinece of our volunteer- Tobias!
my name is Tobias Schäpers and I come from Düsseldorf, Germany. I am 19 years old and graduated from high school in summer 2020. After that I actually wanted to start a little trip around the world, which unfortunately could not take place due to Covid-19. So I decided to do a voluntary service here in Chepelare before I want to start my studies.
In Germany I've been a volunteer coach of a youth soccer team since I was 14, babysitter and work in a local youth center, where I also occasionally offered my own ball sports and fitness courses.
My motivation to participate in this project came from the fact that I have a lot of fun working with children and really wanted to see how different youth work is in different parts of the world. Another important aspect has been the geographic location of Chepelare. Chepelare is located in the middle of the Rhodope Mountains and has beautiful nature in and around the village. This means I can spend a lot of time in nature and soon on the ski slopes too!
I hope that this project will teach me how to ski properly, as I've only been on the snowboard for years. I also hope to learn more about Bulgarian culture and traditions, as well as to make progress in the language. For me it was also very important that I work with children here because I can draw direct comparisons to my experiences in Germany.
I've been here in Chepelare for 2 months now and so far I can only report positive things! I get on very well with my work colleagues and the language barrier is not a real obstacle either. Because only one of my colleagues speaks English, it is all the more important for me to improve my Bulgarian skills.
Due to Covid-19, the youth center was closed for about a month. Which in itself was a shame at first. However, we made good use of the time and looked at the rural surroundings, as well as prepared the youth center for Christmas and produced many online lessons for the children in the village.
I am very grateful that I can be here and that I have already had so many beautiful and exciting experiences!
Project number: 2020-2-BG01-ESC13-079437
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