Elizabeth Balint & Cris Doby will meet potential candidates for the U.S. Exchange in Romania and Hungary

Elizabeth Balint, GLC Project Manager and Cris Doby, U.S. Mentor and Project Advisor will be in Europe to meet with potential candidates of the U.S. exchange before the final selection. Applicants who submitted their paperwork in Hungary, Romania  by the November 15, 2014 deadline will have an opportunity to meet with them.

Meeting dates: November 28 or 29 in Hungary and December 2 or 3 in Bucharest. Please connect with the country directors for more information about the final date, time and location.

The selection of the Spring 2015 U.S. trip participants will be finalized before December 20, 2014 and we will start the J-1 visa process immediately.

Check here to apply for the Fellowship Exchange Program in U.S.

Open competition for participation in U.S. Fellowship Exchange Program

THE APPLICATION IS CLOSED – stay tuned for next year opportunities!

WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. – Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development in collaboration with C.E.G.A. Foundation in Bulgaria, CCF in Hungary, CeRe in Romania, and CKO in Slovakia announce an Open Competition for Participation in: “SUSTAINING CIVIC PARTICIPATION IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES” an exchange program for Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and United States of America. The exchange program is financed by the U.S. State Department.We invite professionals from any region of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to apply for participation in a 42-day fellowship in the U.S.A. We encourage submissions by professionals who are actively involved in programs related to citizen participation and advocacy (NGO/civil society development), civic education organizations, citizen advocacy groups, community activists and/or community organizers who work with minority groups. The overall goal of the program is to provide a professional development opportunity for mid-level emerging leaders; create a forum for American and foreign participants to collaborate and share ideas and strategies; and build a global network of professionals able to work effectively in an interconnected environment


  • develop enhanced leadership and professional skills and effect positive change in their workplaces and communities;
  • build mutual understanding, and create lasting and sustainable partnerships. EU fellows will learn U.S. practices in sustaining civic participation and advocacy with minority communities (including African-American, Latino, Native American, Roma, Disabled, and Homeless) in civil society and democracy;
  • explore diverse community organizing methods for citizens solving problems in their own communities;
  • learn skills in community leadership development and gain hands-on experience at civil society organizations in the U.S.
  • During their 4-week internship placement at national, state or local organizations across the U.S., European participants will observe the role of their U.S. counterparts and gain in-depth knowledge and experience in community organizing as well as adaptable/other approaches that they can implement after their return.

Deadline 15th February 2015

Please read the Announcement before filling the application form.

Please fill in the following documents: Application / Pre-departure Action Plan

NOTE: We do understand that the space is limited. Continue to fill in as much as you can and send your full application on time. At second stage we will require more information by e-mail, where you can add additional information, that you couldn’t submit in your PDF application. Bear in mind that in order to work on the PDF you should firstly downloaded it. If you need Adobe PDF Reader or an updated version, you can download it at:   http://get.adobe.com/reader/. 

The U.S. Mentor Dave Beckwith visiting Romania and Hungary

The last U.S. mentor David Beckwith, U.S. Project Advisor on this grant will travel to Europe between August 18-September 12, 2014. He welcomed and trained every European participants during their visits in NW Ohio in the Spring or Fall 2013 delegation. He will work with the European alumni in providing workshops, assist with consulting and mentoring. He will also gain cultural experience in Europe. He will visit Romania and Hungary and will review all the accomplishments and discuss plans for post-grant activities with our country directors and alumni, not only from these countries but also from Slovakia who will meet with him in Budapest. As this grant ends in September 2014, we will start a new grant on “Sustaining Civic Participation
in Minority Communities in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia” and during
his visit during the introductory community organizing training he will announce this new program and will have an opportunity to talk with some interested people who are involved in minority communities. This will be very helpful, because his experience can be used during the selection process later.

The book “Taking Action & Changing Lives in Minority Communities” was presented in Bulgaria

During July the country partner from Bulgaria has organized and participated in few events where they’ve presented the “Taking Action & Changing Lives in Minority Communities” publication.

20 representatives from local youth-oriented organizations get familiar with the publication, more specifically on the campaign component as they had two days training on how to develop and implement campaigns at local level. Going through the steps of developing a campaign such as: identifying the problem, analyzing the situation and based on that developing aims and objective, identifying the target groups, messages of the campaign, methods and evaluation, the group explored the methods used in the publication from each country.

Another occasion the publication was present is during the annual summer camps organized by Arete Youth Foundation, where Miglena Yordanova an alumni had presented her case to a group of 42 youths from different part of Bulgaria. She officially received the publication and had chance during the 7 days of the camp to engage the youth with the community organizing through the book.

The U.S. Mentors in Bulgaria

Justn Turrell (Minesota) , Emira Palacios (Wichita), Zach Chesnoff (St. Luis) and Neil Sealy (Little Rock)just started their mentoring visit in Bulgaria. After fruitful experience in Romania, Budapest and Slovakia the 4 U.S. mentors gathered in Bulgaria to visit their mentees as part of the Fellowship Exchange Program, financed by the U.S. State Department.

The first day of their visit they have got to know C.E.G.A. Foundation’s activities and met the alumni who were enrolled in the program since 2012.

The second day in Bulgaria, the mentors went to Vratsa, northwest part of Bulgaria to meet Kalina Hristova – one of the Bulgarian alumni, taking part in the last Exchange visit.

She invited the group in the Resource Centre she is working in and surprised as with a workshop where 35 children with special needs, 15 resource teachers and 3 local TV channels were waiting us to start making the so called “martenica”. This is a traditional souvenir that each Bulgarian is wearing on 1st of March for health prosperity.

After the workshop, Kalina shared with the mentors what she achieved so far in organizing and her major challenges. The mentors got to know in details her work and gave her few ideas on furthering the activities she is doing.

In the afternoon we visited the local museum to learn about the Thracian Treasure found in those lands around the Vratsa town. It was an hour of deep history about a tribe lived 4 000 B.C.

At the end of the day, the visit finished with a claiming the nearest hill, which discovered a beautiful view of the land in Vratsa.

Stay with us for more, next visit is Plovdiv.