“Bridge-Inter-Cultures” is a 5-day youth forum of tolerance and intercultural dialogue.
Eastern European Forum for Dialogue – BRIDGES in partnership with the Foundation “Plovdiv 2019” for the fifth year (excluding 2020) implements an initiative that aims to work with children of Bulgaria belonging to different religious communities and cultures. This is not just an initiative, but a cause.
This cause is called “Bridge-Inter-Cultures” and we hope that once again civil organizations, local authorities, volunteers and media will stand behind it. Living together for five days (27-31.07.2021) in the International Youth Center in Plovdiv, 16 teenagers from different religious background will build bridges of tolerance and mutual understanding. Will observe acceptance and respect between spiritual traditions, generations and cultures, will learn how to work in a team and will develop their creativity and understanding of the basic principles driving humanity. The conclusions from cohabitation is that in dialogue you keep your identity and faith, and at the same time you are enriched by the culture of your friend.
The main Camp’s theme, edition 2021 is Ecology of the Soul
Within five days, young people will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of different religions and learn more from them about the religion and faith. In the Armenian complex, the participants will get acquainted with the activities of the Armenian organization “Parekordzagan” and the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church “Surp Kevork”. With visits to the Orthodox Church “St.St. Constantine and Elena ”and the Catholic Cathedral, the participants will touch two of the Christian denominations. During their visit to the Dzhumaya Mosque, a workshop on the dangers of addiction will be held with the young people with a representative of the organization Yeshilay Bulgaria. A visit to the Zion Synagogue and a meeting with Jewish youth leaders will broaden the horizons of each of the participants in a direction hitherto unknown, through a meeting with Jewish culture and traditions.
Through various joint activities, young people will have the pleasure to discover what they have in common despite their differences. The creative workshop “Mosaic of Faith” and the workshops on ecology and emotional intelligence will contribute to enriching the knowledge of young people on current topics related to our responsibility to ourselves and the world in which we live. Sports are also present in the program. A football tournament will be held at the “Botev” Stadium in Plovdiv, which is traditionally an integral part of the project. With professional players from the youth team of the host club, everyone will have the opportunity to look at their friends in a new way, as partners in a team game that has conquered the world. Due to the impossibility to hold this year’s international edition of the camp, we plan a ZOOM meeting with siste intercultural youth camp, organized by our URI partners from The Hague, Netherlands and youth leaders from the URI network from Cape Town, South Africa and Ankara, Turkey.
Youth representatives of different religious communities from Bulgaria, who typically do not gather in one place, will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge about the other and the different through participation in intercultural activities, creative workshops, trainings and discussions, convincing themselves of their closeness. In addition, they will acquire skills for teamwork and teamwork through classes with professional sports clubs in the city. Promoting tolerance will strengthen personal responsibility in the fight against prejudice and hate speech. As a result of the project activities, the capacity will be built and increased not only of the participants in the project, but also of many cultural specialists and representatives of the local government and the various communities that will partner in the project.