Democracy and participation, Community development

A Community Capital Bank in Abaúj

A community capital bank, remedying the dysfunctionalities of the local society by means of activating and connecting resources to be found in the communities of our eco-logically sized micro-regions

Creators

Who is behind this?

János Sivák

“Fogado” Association of North Abaúj County Community Developers’ Circle

http://feszakkor.hu

Hungary

Idea

Idea pitch

The long-term goal is to ensure a good living environment for a disadvantaged country region. Though the challenge is not unusual, the community capital bank-based development in a micro-regional framework is indeed particular. Microregional workshops offer a sufficient but manageable extent for efficient community capital (made of natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial and constructed capital. In our project, the specific goal is to establish human and cultural capital.

Where will your project idea take place?

Hungary, North Hungarian Region, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Abaúj Region

What is the local challenge?

The low levels of living conditions, accommodation, income earning and consumption are statistically verifiable negative factors in the region, but the main obstacle of improvement are the low levels of the socialisation process and of social participation, as they result in lack of education and good organisation that have adverse consequences. The success of socialisation at a young age is as important as that of adult education, because community learning opportunities are key in successfully and efficiently adapting to changing circumstances at an adult age. The end result: no local co-operations, only waiting for outside intervention to make changes.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

Community workshops are planned to take place regularly, as they allow the practicing of constructive participation democracy. A key aspect is the phase of acquaintance and trust-building along the personal motivations of participants willing to take part in community activities, and another one is making a process based on regularity significant, as the properly extensive microregional co-operations and the project resources serve as the basis for implementing the notions generated during community meetings. These aspects are all essential in terms of the success of the process, and the social development practices show that even if there are community events, they do not become regular and traceable, and if such events are regular, they lack the active – implementing, realising - phase.

Who are you doing it for?

Our long-term mission, i.e. creating a liveable Abaúj region, is based on the community capital of our region, the extent of which definitively depends on the number of local people and communities involved. The majority of capitol bank capitols is human-related, it is based on local resources, and its extent takes the whole circle of involved persons into account.
Relevant data referenced from the 2011 census:
Population: 19,275 people, strongly decreasing
Migration: Negative migration
Education levels: primary school (8 grades) completed: 6,078 people, secondary school GCSE: 3,163 people, college or university degree: 1,119 people
Employment: People employed: 5,423 people, unemployed: 1,980 people
Settlement structure: Small villages, two towns with populations 2000 to 3000

How do you plan to get there?

As a first step, local people seeking active changes and thus being capable of taking actions will be sought, and they will be interviewed, so that their commitment could be strengthened. To reach more people, we will use the snowball method, i.e. we will request recommendations from the already contacted people. Then we will establish the microregions, and microregional community discussions can commence, during which settlements can get acquainted with one another, they can reveal their mutual matters and problems, and can also collect elements constituting the cultural and human capital banks.There will be several activities, both on microregional and regional levels, with the aim of promoting the community capital bank.

What are the expected results?

The people contacted within the project will take part in an intensive community learning process during the one-year period. During the process, they will become the active initiators of their settlements and their microregional environment, and by means of mutually supporting the other microregional players, they will become an efficient team as partners in the strategic development processes of their region. FÉSZAK-KÖR would be satisfied with the project if the perspective of thinking in microregions regarding the management of the development strategy of the region could become a model between the too low-scaled, single-settlement and the too remote (e.g. regional level) approaches.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

In the past few years, the principle of subsidiarity has been almost completely eliminated in Hungary due to the restructuring of the public administration system. Through this programme, the community capital banks can provide this subsidiarity for the region and the community, as they seek solutions to the problems and issues through local resources and programmes organised by the local community. Furthermore, the region as well as the development of the region can become more transparent, as the operations of the community capital banks builds upon initiatives starting from the bottom, generating local publicity, which supports the improvement of transparency.

What is your story?

The success of the operations of FÉSZAK was based on the fact that several settlements have been thinking of working in partnership from the very start to implement their plans. In the first 8 years of its operations, the association contributed to the strategic development of its micro-region in the NorthAbaúj region. In the last 5 years,while seeking its place and necessity,it reached a stage where it started lobbying and fighting for the sustainability of the region doomed to decay, as a regional gestor of microregion-based regional development intentions. The successful implication of the model reinventing regional development through micro-regions and community capital banks could also result in the own renewal of the association operating in the regional segment of social development

€ 49000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

-personnel costs: EUR 21,000
- travel costs: EUR 4,000
- renting rooms: EUR 2,000
- catering: EUR 4,000
- publicity, communication: EUR 4,000
- micro-regional activities: EUR 7,000
- regional activity: EUR 2,000
- establishment of capital banks (2 capital banks): EUR 5,000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We wish to place our idea in a broader context. Assessment of eligibility for the application.

Team

FeszakKor

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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