Open call for Youth Exchange "Balkaniti"

  • Name of the project: ”BALKANITI”

  • Date of Project: 02.08.2022. – 11.08.2022.

  • Sending Organization: ”BRAVO”

  • Place: Stara Planina, Serbia

  • Participants age: 18 – 25

  • The number of participants: 7

  • Working language: English

  • Deadline for applying: 20.06.2022.

This project is financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus Plus Program. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. By Erasmus+ rules organizers will cover travel costs, accommodation and food.


The exchange is conceived as an interactive meeting that includes:


  1. This youth exchange is unique because the entire life and work take place in the open, under the clear (starry) sky. The exchange is not only for those who like a good adventure (although they are more than welcome) but also for young people who like to intertwine their hands, use different creative expression methods, and all those interested in living in the past and now in rural areas.
  2. Duble-yarn knitting is a forgotten cultural treasure of Eurasia. Today, that skill is retained only in rural areas. The area of Knjaževac and Stara Planina continues to nurture this craft, and we will have the opportunity to learn it first-hand – from a knitting teacher.
  3. The topics of exchange are inclusion and interculturality. If you expect us to pretend to be smart and have constructive debates all day … You are wrong! We plan to go from the ethnological museum to the actual city fair in Knjaževac. We insist on experimental learning in this exchange. If you are still unsure what it means … come and see for yourself.
  4. The artist must be healthy! For us to be healthy on the exchange, in addition to art workshops, prepare for an exciting ascent to Babin Zub (1758m).
  5. Who wins and who loses? You’ve probably heard of great concepts like globalization and capitalism. We are surrounded by them, and they completely determine our life today. We will try to find out how much the inhabitants of the town of Kalna on Stara Planina gained and how much they lost through the analysis of personal experiences and a conversation with the local population.
  6. The idea is that each participant in the exchange brings with them a piece of harder fabric (denim, twill), to which, with the help of a mentor and the painting technique he chooses, he will convey the idea of his identity. At the end of the exchange, we combine all the pieces of fabric into a single “textile identity map”.


Stara Planina belongs to the system of Balkan mountains that stretch from the Black Sea in the east to Vrška Čuka in the west. This mountain was once called the Balkans, and the whole peninsula was named after it. Today, Stara Planina is a protected natural asset of the Republic of Serbia, which occupies about 114,000 hectares, with 1,200 different plants, of which as many as 115 are endemic. The youth exchange will be held in Vrtovac in the Kalavat eco-camp.


August 1st – The arrival of the group from Serbia – around 11h The arrival of groups from BiH, Croatia, N. Macedonia – until 18h


From 2nd to 11th August – The concept of youth exchange includes workshops on interculturality and inclusion, work with teachers of knitting and spinning, practical work on making home textiles, a tour of the local museum in Knjaževac, and going to a fair in Kalna and research in the local community.


August 12th – The departure of the participants after breakfast in coordination with a travel schedule


  1. Age limit – 15-25 years
  2. The participant must be from Bosna and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia or Serbia.
  3. The participant should be vaccinated. (not required criteria)

If the participant has not been vaccinated and a PCR or antigen test is necessary to travel to Serbia, the association “Dečiji centar” bears testing costs.


Participants will be accommodated in tents for one person (each participant will sleep in a separate tent). Dečiji centar will provide a sufficient number of tents, bags and sleeping pads The water in the accommodation is safe to drink, so the participants are only required to bring a water bottle that they could use during the whole youth exchange. The food will be adapted to the needs of the participants. There is a semi-open space “chill zone” and workspace in the camp. Participants wear personal hygiene items and towels. There will be a washing machine and iron at our disposal.


The travel, accommodation and meals for the youth exchange will be fully covered. Due to the small number of regular bus lines to Vrtovac, Dečiji centar will take over the organisation of part of the trip:

  1. For participants from BiH and Croatia – bus transport will be organised on the route Belgrade – Vrovac – Belgrade. Details of the trip, such as arriving in Belgrade, will be agreed upon after forming the groups.

  2. For participants from Northern Macedonia – bus transport will be organised on the route Vranje / Nis – Vrtovac – Vranje / Nis. Details of the route, such as arrival to Vranje / Nis, will be agreed upon after forming the groups.

All participants will be reimbursed for the costs of arrival and return from the exchange on the exchange itself. Participants are obliged to send all relevant documentation related to their trip to Dečiji centar.


Association will ensure all participants in the youth exchange with international travel insurance, which covers treatment costs in case of coronavirus infection. Due to the safety of all participants, a doctor will be with us on the exchange. It is advisable to bring shoes with a stable/hard sole.


Currency exchange: The currency in Serbia is the dinar (RSD). As the cash machine is not located near the camp, we recommend changing your money before arrival. (1 € ≈ 118RSD). Although it is possible to pay with all cards in Serbia, keep in mind that the exchange is placed in a small village, so it is recommended to have cash.


Weather: The average highest daily temperature for August on Stara Planina is 29 ° C, while the lowest is around 15 ° C. It is necessary to bring summer clothes for the day, warm clothes for the evening, and adequate footwear. The UV index in August is around 5, so the use of sunscreen is recommended.


  1. Adequate clothing and footwear for warm days and cold nights
  2. Adequate clothing and footwear for hiking
  3. Towels
  4. A water bottle that you will use throughout the exchange
  5. Mosquito repellent
  6. Cream with a protective factor
  7. Hat
  8. PIECE OF FABRIC (denim, twill)


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