Training course “CHANGEMAKER – 2.0”

Training course “CHANGEMAKER – 2.0”

Between March 23 and April 1, in Holoko, Hungary, the training course of the Egyesek Youth Association, with the working title – Changemaker 2.0, was conducted. The international project is part of the Erasmus + program, which supports activities in the field of school education, higher education and adult education as well as the youth sector. 33 participants from 9 different countries – Greece, Estonia, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Lithuania – participated in the active training. The Open Space Foundation sent two Bulgarians – Irina Lutskanova and Atanas Yonkov, who took an active part in the project.

The training was designed to prepare young people for their work as youth leaders, mentors, volunteers and working with different social groups. The training program was built so that the progress came from the group’s step-by-step approach. After the preliminary training in the first part of the training, the participants experienced activities outside, which reinforced everything learned and challenged them to be good and responsible leaders. Changemaker 2.0. is a project that brings a lot of value and meaning and changes the attitudes of people to active leadership.

Here’s what one of our participants shared on their personal blog:

“I never imagined it was so hard to ask for a piece of bread!


We live in a time of complete freedom, limited in a narrow frame. We live in a world of abundance, displayed in a window. It’s hard to find yourself in this world, but easy to get lost. I often look around and ask myself – where are the people, where is the humanity, is there life or just darkness? And then a small light usually lights up – a kind word from a good man, a bright smile, a helping hand. And everything comes in place …

I came back from a life-shattering project in Hungary. Ten of the most meaningful days in my life. The project started with leadership training and grew into a real adventure. We had to survive three days in the province of Hungary without money, telephones, passports and food. I never imagined in my life that the prospect of sleeping on a bench at the station would be look good for me.

I never imagined it was so hard to ask for a piece of bread. During these three days, me and the our in our team have overcome a bunch of fears – the fear of being rejected, of having shelter and food, the fear of having nothing.

But the biggest fear that most of us have developed since early childhood is the fear of asking for help from another human being. When you have nothing and you are at the bottom, all the fears grow into a single desire – to save yourself. On the way, I remembered all the inspirational stories of people who started from misery and reached the highest levels in their personal development. They walked alongside their fears, loved and accepted, because each step forward led them further from where they did not want to be.

In these days of survival, I realized how important it is to answer the question: “How would you like to spend your life – in misery away from people or in comfort?” If you decide that you want to be part of the social system and benefit from the benefits of civilization, you have to have a coin. What is your currency when you have no money? It is the labor, the positive energy, the gratitude.

In these days and nights we did not remain without shelter, food and water. We met very good people with whom we do not even speak one language, but we use the universal language of humanity! Against the goodness of sheltering us in our homes and giving us bread, we gave our labor and helped with our energy.

The faces of these good people will remain forever in the box of memories of my life because they have returned my faith to the supportive nature of man.

Our way in this world is short and we often lose meaning and motivation. When we are in a difficult moment, it is invaluable to stop and look at reality, to get a clear picture of where we are and whether we like it. After consulting with our value system and beliefs, we define our goals and concrete steps and act. If after this action we are not in the right place, then we repeat the cycle.

That’s how our way went through the difficult situation of survival and at the end of the road we were victorious – with many wonderful memories, tears of happiness in the eyes and new magic friends.

And somewhere along the way I met the person I want to be. Assembled by the smiling and supportive of the good people I met. And I already know that goodness is in deeds, not in the cries of complacency.

Goodness is in humanity and support, not in the shiny parody of vanity.

It is good in our everyday efforts to make the world we live in more humane!”


Compliments for the organizers of the training and especially for the program’s author – Afonso Bértolo