The Pitch event in Bulgaria – a success that is hard to measure!

Get ready for a longish read, because we have so much to tell you about the events, which took place between 17-27 June 2023 thanks to the Erasmus+ project The Pitch!

The participants in the event arrived on the 16th and 17th of June. The gathering/starting point was the city of Vidin where they were accommodated at two nearby hotels – Stariayt Grad and Vida.

The agenda on the 17th stared from lunch with some fast cooked meals in Vidin and continued with a meet and greet game in the Konak Museum in Vidin, with the great support and collaboration of the Regional Museum of History – Vidin.

The meet and greet game offered by CuBuFoundation was а fast-dates game where people had
to make as many acquaintances as they could, fix dates for 3, 6 and 9pm with different people and do those dates over 2 minutes each, sharing something interesting about themselves.

After this game, Ivan Karastoyanov from CuBuFoundation presented the Botev in history and nowadays seminar for the purpose of getting people on the same page about the historic grounds of the project – the Hristo Botev thread throughout Pitch.

Still in Konak, the participants in the project were informed about the topic of visual awareness and were assigned the task of evaluating venues inhabited or visited by the Pitch group as far as accessibility is concerned. Participants had to evaluate colors/contrasts, light/glare, clutter, textures, noise, etc.

The morning of June 18th the group moved to the Cross-barracks in Vidin (a part of the Regional Museum of History). The day started with a workshop by Arteveldehogeschool (Jentel and Youssri) on the topic of choosing your guide – a part of the visual awareness subject, including a discussion on various situations relevant to the mobility subject.


The day continued at the Cross-barracks with workshops by Loto Fiorito, which had the objective of getting the team into play mode and bringing the role-play element into the history of Botev’s last days.

There was a break for lunch and after that Loto Fiorito continued the role-playing in the park of the city of Vidin where rebellious Bulgarian characters (the whole team) were given tasks and then captured by Ottoman military. 

The morning of the following June 19th continued with an escaping prisons workshop by Loto Fiorito in the fortress of Baba Vida, which granted us free access for our activities. The participants were divided into two groups. Each had a tour of the magnificent fortress and an escaping prisons experience, which involved solving riddles and overcoming Ottoman guards.

There was a quick lunch in the center of Vidin and later in the afternoon Loto continued with a military training for the Pitch group in the Danube Park.

On the following day – June 20th – the group was transferred to Kozloduy where in the morning we had a Loto Fiorito workshop with activities for three groups, which we were divided into. There were riddles as well as guiding a person without giving directions directly, but using other words – e.g. banana in stead of left and potato in stead of right.

Lunch was at a local River complex restaurant. Afterwards came a visit to the Radetzky ship – a historic object from Botev’s last days – where some further history elements about this part of Botev’s history were given to the group. The participants could also investigate the tactile maps of the river Danube shape as well as the route through the Balkan that the rebels took to their final battle venue. 

The group departed towards Lipnitsa village on June 21st in the morning. We were welcomed by the local hosts – the mayor and the experts of the cultural club. The hosts planned all our meals in the hall of the cultural club. Our first lunch was there. It was immediately followed by the Hiking A to Z & First aid workshops carried out by Arteveldehogeschool (Julien and Britt).

The 22 June started with a hike led by the Lipnitsa hosts, who took the group on the path of Botev and his rebels. After returning to the cultural club the group had lunch.

The afternoon continued with a music workshop led by Monika Metodieva from CuBuFoundation – work with the voice, creating music together, playing sound games.

The evening continued with dinner and setting up tents – an ANVR workshop, which was implemented at the grounds of the hostel. Those who desired slept in the tents, which we secured from the Vocational school “Asen Zlatarov” in Vidin. The camp around the tents included also a wonderful camp fire, which the group managed to set up.

The morning on the 23rd June started with a frappe making workshop by Pirsos team, which created a possibility for all interested team members to make their own frappes under the guidance and with support from the Greek team members.

The day continued with a verbatim theatre workshop led by CuBuFoundation – using story telling for sharing and building confidence in oneself. A demonstration of how theatre can be used for self-development rather than for entertainment of audiences.

Afterwards there was a workshop by ANVR at the grounds of an old school in Lipnitsa – solving riddles again, working in teams and on team building and communications.

ANVR workshop was followed by a walking football workshop and activity led by Pirsos team again. The activity was supported by a sonorous ball and a mask for enthusiasts, interested to test their skills in finding a ball they can only hear.

The group was transferred to Vratsa on June 24. After getting accommodated and having lunch, we had an Italian workshop led by UICI Firenze at the Ethnographic complex in Vratsa – a part of the Regional Historical Museum Vratsa. The workshop included cultural quiz in teams and also recognition of Italian monuments presented in a tactile form on 3D printed images, which the members of the Italian team brought to Bulgaria.

The 25th June started with a workshop on life as a project, carried out by Ivan Karastoyanov from CuBuFoundation. This workshop was really important because it raised the question of what should come first when planning future actions and this triggered a strong discussion on whether it should be WHY or WHAT. Very interesting and informative, as all participants evaluated it.

The next workshop continued with some more role playing and a delivery of theatre of the oppressed workshop by CuBuFoundation again. Highly appreciated and really involving for all the participants as they had the chance to first warm up their drama muscles through some fun exercises and then comment and alter their stories of oppression via theatre. These workshops took place in a hall in the Leva hotel.

The later afternoon continued with a visit and hike around Ledenika cave, which was accompanied by a preliminary risk assessment done by Bulgarian and Belgian team members upon suggestion by the Ledenika tour guide, in order to check whether and how the cave would be accessible by people with v.i.

The 26th June started with a hike to Okolchitsa – to the peak and then on a hiking path – attended by all participants. Highly appreciated.

The afternoon provided another opportunity for a short hike from the center of Vratsa up into the mountain. The late afternoon had us all in the hotel Leva where the team did an evaluation of the past events and activities.

The group left for Sofia on June 27th. Members of the UICI team attended a tandem biking event with visually impaired team members from Sofia and participated in riding around a Sofia park (Borisova garden) together with sighted volunteers.

Team Belgium departed on the same day, while teams Greece, Italy and  Romania left on 28 June.

This will not be the end as such strong friendships cannot be severed easily. We all had impacts on each other and as Polly said “everybody took care of everybody, which is something that hasn’t happened to me before and we did so much beyond the workshop agendas”. A once in a life time experience, which we are tempted to try and repeat! 

Good luck to all partners who are now challenged to propose a similar activity set up in their own countries/regions. 

Stay tuned for more news!

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

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