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SPIRAL - principles for sustainable youth development rooted in nature

Training Course

21-29 May 2021 | Gudevica village, Bulgaria

The training offers innovative way and methods to address the developmental needs of youth. The approach combines nature-based methods, mindfulness practices, developmental psychology and somatic tools.

SPIRAL is a training course targeting personal development practitioners (trainers, youth workers, social workers, mentors, school teachers and councillors). The main intention of the project is to equip the participants with successful tools and methods to support the individual development of the young people. The training is based on the belief that the modern youth have much more developmental needs compared to one that are covered by the educational system (school and university). This extra needs are not just improperly addressed, but the deficits in their addressing leads to many of the modern society behavioural, psychological and health deviations (ADHD, social exclusion, mental health issues, violent radicalization, psycho-somatic symptoms, special educational needs etc.)

Some of these poorly addressed developmental needs are: Need for well-being (need for inner peace, mindfulness, inspiration, joy, happiness, balance); Need for belonging (need to be included, to be accepted, to be appreciated, to be respected, to be supported, to be recognized, to be trusted); Need for meaningful connection (need to communicate, to offer compassion, to receive empathy, to cooperate, to enjoy closeness and intimacy); Need for confidence (need to feel that you are worthwhile, to feel pride, to show self-love, self-acceptance, to be courageous); Need for authenticity (need for integrity, to be true to oneself, to live a life based on your values, to express oneself in a genuine way, to choose freely one’s own dreams and ways to realize them, to make independent choices that reflect oneself); Need for mastery (need to develop competences, find your element, to grow, to be “in the flow”); Need for purpose (need to have a meaning, need to be motivated, to create, to offer, to rise spirituality). What these needs have in common is that they are not well covered not just in the educational system but they are neglected in the society at all. There is lack of effective tools and practices available for facilitating natural development in these spheres for the youth. What we offer in this training are innovative way and methods to address these developmental needs. The approach combines nature-based methods, mindfulness practices, developmental psychology and somatic practices.

The abbreviation SPIRAL stands for the basic principles that unite the methods included in the Integral approach: Spiritual development/ Positive worldview/ Interconnection with all natural beings/ Resilience/ Active role in the community/ Life purpose identification.


  • To develop common understanding about the developmental needs of young people focusing on disadvantaged one (NEET, marginalized, hard to reach, in a risk of radicalization);
  • To develop competences that enable youth workers to work with youth on complex personal challenges, thus enabling them to reach their full potential;
  • To practice and equip the youth workers with tools and techniques for working with youth (especially disadvantaged one) for their personal development, social inclusion and realization;
  • To explore alternative practices for addressing developmental needs of disadvantaged youth;
  • To create environment for development of social core values which youth workers can foster with their target groups: compassion, support, unity, respect, empathy, inclusion, acceptance;
  • To empower youth workers to adopt and create their own practices based on personal strengths, talents and preferences in the field of personal development.


Self-discovery and resourcefulness - understanding about ourselves and supporting others’ self-development process; Physical exercises – practices based on yoga and other traditions that can be implemented in everyday life; Meditation and mindfulness – tools for focus and balance of attention, emotions and consciousness; Outdoor creativity and nature – connecting with the self, nature, other people, the outside world, organize open air learning and creativity activities; Dance and movement – embodiment as a method for deepening connection to oneself and provoking kinaesthetic learning experiences; Singing and using the voice – experimenting with our natural ability to communicate and connect to the nature (inner and outer) through the very first mean of communication.


  • Working with values
  • Nature based methods
  • Experiential learning
  • Methods for self-development
  • Workshops development and delivery
  • Solo time in nature
  • Land art
  • Living as a community (cleaning, cooking etc.)

Information about training activities reaches SALTO from the most different directions. SALTO cannot be held responsible for incorrect information or changes in the training activities. However, please inform SALTO, whenever you should come upon incorrect data in the European Training Calender. Always contact the organisers of the training activities themselves for the latest information.

Training overview


This activity has already happened!

This Training Course is

for 25 participants

from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania

and recommended for

Youth workers, Trainers, Volunteering mentors, Youth coaches, social workers, educational and career counsellors, teachers, general educators, educational nature guides

Working language(s):



Learning for Change Foundation (Others)

“Learning for Change” Foundation is established in 2016 by experts in the field of education, training and project activities. The main motivation of the team of the organization is to provide learning and transformational opportunities for youth. The experts and professionals behind the organization works actively together in the field of Youth work designing and offering activates in different areas: personal development, motivation, youth projects and volunteering, interactive teaching and environmental education, adventure programs based on the methods of experiential learning and outdoor education, sustainability, responsible consumption, spiritual intelligence, training design, anti-globalization, social change and environmental rights.

Our share values are: solidarity, social justice, the right for education and training, mutual cooperation, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, public and personal responsibility, peace and sustainable development.

MISSION: To support young people in the search of their true life purpose by raising personal awareness, connection to nature, and building sustainable core values.
VISION: To live in a value-driven society that provides opportunities for natural growth and personal development through one’s unique talents as an integral part of the global eco-system.

Two main areas of work of Learning for Change are:
1. Ecocentric (soul-oriented) personal development – developmental psychological concept facilitating holistic personal growth;
2. Nature-based experiential learning – reconnection with Nature (inner and outer) using outdoor education and learning by doing in wilderness settings;

Contact for questions:

Ognian Gadoularov


Phone: +359 896756267


Participation fee

There is NO participation fee for this training course.

Accommodation and food

All the activities, accommodation and food are 100% covered by the EU grant

Travel reimbursement

The travel costs will be reimbursed to the participants after the course in the amounts limit according the Erasmus + regulations:

  • Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria - 180 euro/per person
  • France, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Cyprus - 275 euro/per person
  • Portugal, Ireland - 360 euro/per person

Additional reimbursement will be provided for all the expenses related to international travel regulation due to COVID-19 measures (testing, medical certificates etc.)

Participants are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate from the organiser, for recognition of their competence development during the activity. Read more about Youthpass:

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