Hello everyone – wishing you a very successful conference – work hard and have fun! Best wishes from Anita EPEA Secretary
Valentina Petrova – European project coordinator, Bulgaria Dear EPEA Members from beautiful Greece, First of all, I would like to thank you for the kind invitation to me to attend your meeting! I would be honored to be with you today and I do hope that you will accept my apologies! I am engaged in arranging another EPEA event in Bulgaria next week and will meet only some of you. I am sure that your Petros and Ioannis will bring excellent news about your event! I would like to briefly share some thoughts on only one aspect of the power of our EPEA, namely the collaboration between professionals working in prisons. Some years ago it would have been unthinkable to enter a foreign prison just as a free citizen. European funding opportunities and the EPEA membership changed that situation. The EPEA Conferences bring colleagues together from more then 30 European countries every two years. These events are a great opportunity to exchange ideas and to find project partners. The ISDPE Project is well known in your country as it involved prison teachers from Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Norway. After each project visit in a foreign prison I have noticed positive changes in the prison where I am working. That is the greatest benefit of the project work, I think. The Prison Arts Network and “The Will to Dream” Project have been created during the 10th EPEA Conference. Both projects are highlighting the best European practices in arts and creative activities in prisons. The VEPS Project is paving the way of the future distance learning in European prisons with a focus on the holistic approaches and programs. There are several European funding programs. You may find information in your National Agency administering the Lifelong Learning Program and on several websites. But to make a successful project means to have the right partners. These partners you can find among the big international EPEA family! I would like to encourage the EPEA Hellenic Branch to continue working active in EPEA projects as you can offer much to be learned from you! Best wishes and have great time at your meeting, Valentina Petrova, Bulgaria
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