BREfest! Sharr is more than snow

Festival in Brezovica ski resort brings people together to celebrate Sharr Mountain nature and culture

From 11th to 13th August local people, guests from around Kosovo and neighboring countries are gathering in ski center Brezovica for music and nature festival BREfest. The event is free of charge, voluntarily organized and based on guests’ participation in activities. It aims to bringing attention to the beauty of Sharr Mountain, to raise awareness on environmental topics and to provide space for people who love the mountain; to share their vision for its future. The message of the festival is “Sharr is more than snow” emphasizing the unique, natural and cultural values of the mountain besides the attractive skiing slopes.

The program during the day will offer diverse activities for children, youngsters, elders and families. The evening will be a celebration of nature friendly music and cinema. Jimmy Mustafa band is opening the festival musical progamme on Friday. The band consists of 4 young and talented Roma musicians who create music based on Roma tradition and contemporary sounds and genres. On Saturday the mountain will be vibrating in a jazz wave thanks to the rich sound of Trio Biber. The last day will be all about exchanging music and culture between locals and volunteers from around the world.

Throughout the 3-day-event, multiple workshops such as capoeira, vegan cusine, RecycleArt, DIY (do it yourself) activities will take place. Guests will have the possibility to learn about medicinal herbs, wildlife and the mountain through guided educational tours. Everyday of the festival has its own topic which will be presented by an exhibition and discussion. The first day is dedicated to the environmental realities and the alternatives for a just world. Saturday is all about migration of people throughout centuries and continents creating a link between the historical cross-border region of Sharr mountain with current migration issues. Last day is dedicated to the nature and culture of Sharr – sharing positive stories, challenging threats, exchanging and creating a vision. More about the programme, accommodation, transport you can find out here.

BREfest is promoting a different approach of appreciating nature by making us think about our own impact on the environment. The organizers from GAIA are inviting guests to bring their own cup (and camping food equipment if possible) in order to avoid the use of plastic and to reduce the amount of waste. Share and exchange is another festival principal which is valid for sharing transport to the ski resort but also for exchanging skills, home-made products and stuff between people.

The organization of the festival is supported by:

  • 25 International and local volunteers from 13 countries
  • 20 international participants of the Tour of Freedom, which are traveling by bikes from the north of Kosovo to Brezovica
  • Roma children from Imaginatorium – alternative educational center in Gracanica
  • And everybody else who is interested


GAIA Kosovo,,
Phone number: +386 49 386 709; +386 49 819 573



Partnership building activity – Youth for nature, volunteering and inclusion


from 26th of November till 5th of December 2016
“Youth for nature, volunteering and inclusion”

GAIA Kosovo is organizing a networking activity for partnership building between organizations, volunteers, youth workers and activists, focused on voluntary and youth projects in nature protection. The partnership building activity (PBA) will take place in Banja e Pejes, situated close to the town of Peja, in western part of Kosovo and surrounded with the beautiful and wild Rugova Mountains.

The meeting will focus on 3 main topics:

  • nature conservation in theory and practice
  • strategic planning in youth and voluntary programs in nature conservation
  • project cycle management in nature conservation

The aims of the PBA are:

  • To create space for developing new and strengthening existing strategic partnerships for nature protection projects through youth and voluntary work
  • To give opportunity to the participants to share good and bad practices in their work on the topics
  • To give an overview and details on the possibilities of the Erasmus+ programme
  • To serve as a place for setting up future projects and initiatives between the participants.

During this training course, we will learn, experience and discuss some of the following topics:

  • SCI & nature conservation / climate for peace program
  • different youth & volunteering programs in nature conservation
  • opportunities and role of youth organization for working in nature conservation
  • good and bad practises in nature conservation strategies
  • stakeholders in nature conservation
  • defining needs in nature conservation and initiating programs/projects
  • social inclusion and nature conservation
  • project cycle management in nature conservation
  • developing pilot programs (i.e.NP Sharr)
  • Erasmus+ and other programmes

We are looking for 28 participants from 19 different countries, interested in the topic, willing to create strategic partnerships and long-term projects for nature conservation, and interested in reconnection with people and nature. Advantage will be given to activists, volunteers and staff of SCI branches and partners of the project.

Suitable participants could be:

  • Project coordinators
  • Decision makers in the organizations
  • Activists and volunteers with some experience in the field of nature protection, voluntary and youth work
  • People aware of the strategic plan of their organization
  • Active members of the organizations with long-term project ideas

Velebit association Kuterevo, as a partner organization, is looking for 2 participants to join this activity.

The application form can be found here and should be sent no later than 30th of October!
Selection of participants will be done in the next few days.

Practical aspects
Accommodation and food will be covered through the project. Food will be vegan with vegetarian option, seasonal and domestic as much as possible.

Travel costs will be covered 100 % for participants who come by land, and 60 % to participants who travel by plane (unless really necessary), but we still strongly advise travelling by planet-friendly means of transport.

This partnership building activity is the closing event of the project “Youth for nature, volunteering and inclusion”.

The project included the following activities:

  1. Training Course: Quality volunteering projects for nature conservation in rural areas in Peja, Kosovo 25th of June till 4th of July 2016
  2. Youth Exchange (YE), which will take place in Brezovica, National Park Sharr, situated on the south of Kosovo; partner organizations (VCV Serbia, SCI Hellas, DEM Macedonia, CVS Bulgaria, VUK Croatia, GAIA Kosovo)

Mountains connecting people…

We are looking forward to receiving your applications…

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to

Training-Seminar Balkan Myth Busters!!




TAVANKUT, SERBIA, from 1st to 10th of November 2016

Volunteers’ Center of Vojvodina is organizing a training­-seminar for 25 youth workers, activists and volunteers who work with young people. The participants from 8 countries will gather for 10 days, to learn, share, challenge, create and change.

The main topics of the training will be:

  • youth exclusion, unemployment and nationalism; individual and collective identities
  • role of institutions in inclusion/exclusion through their impact on young persons’ identity
  • Balkan mythology; Balkan stereotypes and how to use them creatively
  • Inclusion, denationalisation and social cohesion through creativity and art
  • Erasmus+, learning and recognition of non­formal learning
  • Youthpass.

VCV conducted a research in May and June 2016, examining the perception of youth about Myths and it’s influence on their beliefs. The results of the research will be the starting point for the creation of the methods implemented on the training­-seminar, mostly focusing on questioning beliefs, creating critical thinking, and tools for searching for facts instead of taking things for granted. The results of the research will be presented during the training­seminar.

The program will be revised according the needs of participants and common understanding of the group.

The program will be divided in four main parts:

  1. Team building, sharing expectations, experiences, research results and learning about current state of youth unemployment and inclusion and nationalism among youth in all countries;
  2. Learning; Identity and different layers, its formation and influence of different institutions on it (medial, culture and religion);
  3. Getting deeper into Balkan’s culture, mythology, religions and stereotypes, introduction to backcasting strategic approach
  4. Creation of new tools and methods for youth work on the topic of nationalism and identity, linked with diversity and inclusion through creativity and art; based on previous sessions and learning outcomes;

We will invite experts to share their experience and knowledge regarding roles of media, religion and culture (art) on nationalism and identity formation.

The training-seminar will gather 25 participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Germany and Serbia, interested in the topic, willing to develop long­term programs for youth, fighting exclusion, nationalism and stereotypes.

Advantage will be given to youth workers and group leaders that are working with minorities, with unemployed young people, or with youth that have fewer opportunities in any way. Also, an advantage would be if the participants are intended to be group leaders on the upcoming youth exchanges.

Velebit Association Kuterevo, as a partner organisation for this project, is searching for 2 participants to join this project!

The application form should be filled and sent to not later than 16th of October!

Selection of participants will be done by 19th of October!

Practical aspects

  • Accommodation and food will be covered through the project. Food will be vegan with vegetarian option, seasonal and domestic as much as possible.
  • Travel costs will be covered 100% for participants who come by land, and 60% to participants who travel by plane, but we still strongly advise travelling by planet­friendly means of transport.

This training will be followed up with two activities:

  1. Youth Exchange (YE), which will take place in Trstenik, Serbia, from 13.03.2017 to 23.03.2017, with GAIA Kosovo, SCI Germany, CVS Bulgaria, CID Macedonia and SCI Hellas
  2. Youth Exchange in Novo Brdo, Kosovo, from 05.08.2017 to 15.08.2017, again with GAIA Kosovo, SCI Germany, CVS Bulgaria, CID Macedonia and SCI Hellas

We are looking forward to receiving your applications

Kuterevo team 🙂

Poziv: razmjena mladih


Razmjena mladih: Priroda nas PONOVNO povezuje

Kuterevo, Utočište za medvjede i ljude, od 11. do 21.05.2016.

Priroda zove 24 mladih ljudi iz Hrvatske, Srbije, Kosova i Bosne i Hercegovine (po 6 osoba iz svake zemlje), koji su zainteresirani za desetodnevnu razmjenu mladih koja će se održavati u Kuterevu, selu na sjeveroistočnim obroncima planine Velebit.

Glavna ideja ove razmjene mladih je ponovno povezivanje s prirodom u nama i oko nas. Kuterevsko utočiše je odlično mjesto za ponovno uspostavljanje veze između ljudi i prirode jer nam medvjedi mogu pomoći povezati se s prirodom. U isto vrijeme, pokušavamo raditi na prekidanju prakse socijalne otuđenosti i nepovezanosti, i želimo potaknuti jedni druge na izgradnju drugačijeg svijeta.

Tijekom ovog susreta ćemo…

… istraživati značenje i praksu suživota prirode i ruralnog područja,

… upoznavati lokalnu zajednicu, njihove običaje, tradiciju i način života, te život u skladu s godišnjim dobima,

… učiti o i od divljine (orijentacija, jestive i ljekovite biljke, tragovi…),

… otkrivati plemenske običaje i glazbu prirode,

… produbljivati svijest o bogatstvu i različitosti života oko nas,

… baviti se ekološkom dimenzijom svog vlastitog identiteta

… uživati, zabavljati se i još ponešto 🙂

Program će biti raznolik i intenzivan jer ćemo imati radionice od jutra do popodnevnih sati, a uz to i večernje aktivnosti.


Razmjena mladih je dio projekta Erazmus+ Programa, koji okuplja grupe mladih ljudi iz dvije ili više zemalja i omogućuje im razmjenu mišljenja i diskusije na razne teme, uz koje uče o zemljama drugih sudionika, njihovim stanovnicima i kulturama. Razmjene mladih mladim ljudima daju priliku postati aktivni sudionici, kreativni i kritični, omogućavaju im da nešto nauče jedni od drugih, da nauče nešto novo o sebi i sami sebi postave izazove, da pogriješe i nauče nešto iz tih grešaka, da iskuse raznolikost u malom…


Kuterevo je malo selo s otprilike 550 stanovnika na Velebitu. Udaljeno je 30 km od Senja, prekrasnog gradića na morskoj obali, 60 km od Nacionalnog parka Plitvička jezera i samo 10 km od Nacionalnog parka Sjeverni Velebit. Kuterevo se proteže u dolini dugoj 6 km.

Grupa će biti smještena u drvenoj kući koja se nalazi u Utočištu za medvjede i ljude. Nekada je to bio sjenik a danas se koristi za smještaj grupa. Postoje samo dva veća prostora za spavanje i nema mjesta za privatnost. Kuha se zajednički uz pomoć jedne Kuterevke. Svi obroci biti će veganski uz pokoju vegetarijansku opciju.


Svaka od partnerskih organizacija izabrat će 6 sudionika, od kojih će jedan biti vođa grupe. Prethodno iskustvo na internacionalnim aktivnostima mladih (razmjene, seminar, radni kampovi…) nisu obavezni niti nose prednost. Ovdje su navedene neke od točaka koje će se uzimati u obzir pri odabiru:

  • Zanimanje za teme i voljnost pripremiti se za njih prije same razmjene
  • Voljnost isključiti se virtualno a uključiti prirodno
  • Spremnost živjeti samoodrživo u internacionalnoj zajednici, u udaljenom mjestu, na period od 10 dana
  • Biti spreman aktivno sudjelovati i pridonijeti radu skupine
  • Imati između 18 i 30 godina (moguće su iznimke za osobe mlađe od 18 godina)


  • Smještaj i hrana su organizirani, također i grupni izleti tijekom programa
  • Putni troškovi (isključivo ekološki prihvatljivim prijevoznim sredstvima) bit će refundirani nakon što organizatoru budu predane SVE ORIGINALNE putne karte.
  • Internet neće biti dostupan, osim u hitnom (zaista hitnom i važnom) slučaju, pa ako trebate pisati diplomski rad ili ne možete preživjeti bez Facebooka, molimo vas da se prijavite neki drugi put.

Ova je razmjena dio projekta Priroda nas (ponovno) povezuje, čiji je prvi dio već održan an Šar planini (Kosovo) u studenome prošle godine. Više informacija o ovoj i drugim razmjenama koje su organizirane uz podršku Erasmus+ mogu se pronaći na našem blogu

Ako ste zainteresirani za sudjelovanje na razmjeni mladih Priroda nas (ponovno) povezuje, pošaljite svoje prijave na do 25.03.2016.

Prijavni formular: Nature that reconnects us APPL_Kuterevo

Kontakti partnera:

Srbija: Volonterski Centar Vojvodine (

Bosna i Hercegovina: Terra Dinarica (

Kosovo: GAIA SCI Kosovo (

Quick news from Paris

COP21 in Paris – you’ve probably heard about it, seen messages on your favourite social networks, read headlines in newspapers, watched news on TV… And I hope you’re trying to follow what’s happening there, since the decisions to be taken (or not taken) are of the biggest importance for all of us, for our communities, our societies, for ecosystems and so much more.

For the third time, Service Civil International, the international peace organisation Velebit Association Kuterevo is part of, sent a delegation of activists to attend the climate summit, represent the organisation there, participate in events and actions, and spread the word through SCI network and further. After Copenhague in 2009 and Warsaw in 2013, SCI COP team arrived on Saturday in Paris and will stay until the end of negociations this week-end.

We are 16 people, coming from all around Europe. Part of us participated in RE:Actions projects organised this year by SCI in Kosovo, Poland and Germany, others are SCI volunteers and activists. Half of us is accredited to go inside the conference and to attend the negociations, while the other half is dedicating its days to discover and take part in actions, events, conferences and many other activities organised by civil society.

We’ve been in Paris for only 3 days, but so much is happening that it would be difficult to explain, and probably wouldn’t make much sense. Events are taking place all around Paris, and it’s hard to follow even for us being there all day 🙂

Some events are very good and inspiring, for example the exciting Peoples’ Climate Summit which took place this week-end and offered are wide range of debates, conferences, workshops, concerts, and which gave the opportunity to meet volunteers from many different organisations. It was a great place to discover alternatives, to speak about food, energy, banks, transport, religions… just like this, in the street, with veg food and friendly people simply willing to share their experiences and ideas to change the world 🙂

But not everything is so inspiring and reality of negociations is often hard to admit… the conference is also the place for greenwashing for many dirty companies having a big responsibility in climate change, for events which are more marketing actions than ethical calls, for hypocrical talks, false solutions and superficial events for which only the flyers are green… But we still hope for a satisfying international agreement, and this COP21 is also the place to meet people and organise ourselves to act for climate, to build an international and sustainable mouvement for peace and justice in a liveable world, whatever will be the official decisions of the politicians!

So while slowly representatives from 195 countries are trying to take decisions which concern us all, our small team will do its best to contribute to the fight, to learn more and more, and to share 🙂

Follow us on SCI international Facebook


Jesen u Lici 2015

Autumn is here, and with it the traditional celebration of the event “Jesen u Lici” (Autumn in Lika) held in Gospić from the 2nd – 4th October.

This year the people from Kuterevo attended to strengthen the program with their abilities and skills for which they have been widely known for years.

Our old grandmothers Teta Dragica & Teta Kaja knitted traditional shoes (kuterevske coklje), and stric Milan made his traditional wooden chairs. There were also several other people from Kuterevo who made woodworks such as the music instrument “tamburica” (kuterevska dangubica – which is together with coklje on UNESCO’S list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity), “naćve” which was once used to make bread, “bukare” a vessel in which wine was stored, small sculptures of bears…

With them Matija Kobola and his wife from Slovenia had their beautiful  sculptures of bears. For this occasion they also made wooden necklaces carved in the shape of the sun for happiness and luck as a gift for the children.

On the stage we had KUD “Dangubice”, a young folklore cultural group from Kuterevo who are growing stronger every year.

We also had a group of volunteers who took along pictures and articles about the Erasmus+ program and the EVS (European Voluntary Service). Our volunteers were: Zuzana (Slovakia) & Mathilde (France) who are here from EVS for six months, Yazou (Belgium) this is her third time in Kuterevo, Louis (France) and Amelie. The goal for the volunteers was to talk to the visitors and inform them about the activities of Velebit association Kuterevo and about the Erasmus program. We hoped to spark some interest in what we do as well as spread awareness.


U-planin, Eco-Center project in Bulgaria

4 years ago, when Katrin, a young Bulgarian girl came to volunteer for 2 months in Kuterevo bear refuge, we didn’t know that it would be the beginning of a long-term partnership between Kuterevo and Bulgarian environmental projects.

Already in 2013, Katrin came back to Kuterevo with a small group of youngsters from Bulgaria to participate in the Youth Exchange „Bear and people – from myths to reality“. This great experience strengthened our good contact and few months later Katrin contacted us to help her in a project of Eco Center for education and sustainable development in Bulgaria.

Velebitska udruga Kuterevo happily decided to support the initiative, and to play the role of adviser in this project which is supported by EEA grants. That’s how, after long preparations, Katrin came again to Kuterevo in July, with a few members of the project, to visit the bear refuge, share experiences on organizing workshops and running voluntary activities among youth and discuss development of future activities.

At the end of the summer, it was our turn to visit the Bulgarian project, and 2 members of VUK went to Bulgaria to help with the organisation of a Nature School for children in Chiprovtsi. During 5 days, they supported the local team to take care of the children, organise workshops and nature games and other educational activities.

Katrin’s project in now going on, with the development of the center, compost workshop with local community, biodiversity handbook of the region, eco-patrol and others various activities.

Learn more: