Raising awareness on migration in Bulgaria

In order to develop a counter-narrative for fighting racism against migrants and break stereotypes about people seeking refuge, CVS-Bulgaria has started organizing in Sofia raising-awareness events on the topic of migration, focussing on the situation along the Balkan Route.  

Photo taken in  the event oganised by CVS- Bulgaria (2016)

”Idomeni: pictures, stories and riots from Europe's biggest refugee camp”
The first event took place on the 17th of May and was dedicated to Idomeni, a refugee camp located at the Greek-Macedonian border. Marta and Daniele, two EVS volunteers from The Refugee Project, an initiative launched by CVS-Bulgaria in 2010, shared their personal experiences in the refugee camp.  As the name of the event suggests–, the two volunteers presented pictures of the camp and discussed with the audience the miserable conditions in which migrants were forced to live. By telling some personal stories of the people living in the camp, the two volunteers tried to deconstruct the growing dehumanization of people seeking refuge, widely used as a method of manipulation by most media and politicians. Part of the event was also dedicated to document – through some pictures taken by the volunteers – the migrants’ protest that took place in Idomeni on the 10th of April. During this protest, the disproportionate use of force by the Macedonian police led to 300 migrants, including children, being wounded. 

Photo take in the even organised by CVS-Bulgaria and Greenpeace, Bulgaria (2016)

”The refugees’ route: from Lesbos to Idomeni”
The second event was organised by CVS-Bulgaria jointly with Greenpeace Bulgaria on the 14th of June. The event was very successful and attended by more than forty participants. It started with a presentation made by Yordan, a Greenpeace Bulgaria’s activist who shared his experience in Lesbos, where Greenpeace and Doctors without Borders (MSF) were jointly carrying out rescue operations at sea. Javiera, a volunteer of The Refugee Project, spoke about her volunteering experience in Idomeni, during which she also witnessed the involuntary eviction of people seeking refuge from the camp. Finally, Daniele tried to shed some light on the broad topic of migration, trying to give an international overview of the phenomenon. He concluded with a focus on Bulgaria and a short role-playing game.

A crucial part of both events were the open discussions that took place at the end, which gave the participants the opportunity to reflect on the topic together with the activists and volunteers and to ask questions to which they could not find answers in the mainstream media.

To read more about actions and events with the topic of migration, look under the Building Bridges section of our website. 


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