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Academy of Community Development | Civic Europe
Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

Academy of Community Development

Bringing Community Changers and Youth Together to Exchange Ideas, Skills and Knowledge, Boost the Local Culture of Collaboration and Enhance the Development of Personal, Social and Civic Skills


Who is behind this?

Maria Serdareva

Center for Local Initiatives and Development – Asenovgrad (CLIDA)


Who is joining forces?

City Library “Paisii Hilendarski”



Idea pitch

Unity is power. Our project involves building a platform for cooperation between active citizens, organizations and businesses working to improve the quality of life in Asenovgrad municipality. The platform partners organize lectures and workshops for sharing knowledge, skills and ideas. Training modules are also planned, aimed at increasing the social and civic competence of young people and adults. Finally all platform partners and youth work on a common project together.

Where will your project idea take place?

Municipality of Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Asenovgrad is among the large Bulgarian towns, the municipality consists of 28 settlements. Extremely diverse social groups live here, between which communication is difficult and ineffective. The low level of trust in institutions and local authorities, daily hooliganism and vandalism have gradually led to passivity among the population, encapsulation in small isolated groups, underdeveloped civic consciousness and, in general, mistrust between people. Some of the active citizens and associations are doing joint projects, but if they deepen and expand the communication with each other, they would achieve more.

Who are you doing it for?

Main target groups:
- Active citizens, local civic groups engaged in community service initiatives in various spheres.
- Representatives of local authorities interested in investing time, resources and efforts to increase the civic and social competence of local municipalities, as well as the cohesion between them.
- Representatives of local businesses, financially and organizationally supporting various charitable causes and events.
- Young people who need good example and encouragement to develop sensitivity to community problems and opportunities to overcome them.
- Skeptical citizens who need to regain confidence in the civic energy and the power of cooperation

How do you plan to get there?

Step 1: Create social media pages and website to invite all community-conscious citizens, groups and businesses, encourage them to share their initiatives so far, start the Platform
Step 2: Organize a Round Table to present the Platform to all target groups
Step 3: Organize a series of meetings/webinars with students & youth where partners can share past initiatives and engage the community and youth in future ones
Step 4: Organize:
a) 5 lectures and workshops related to healthy living, the benefits of sport, nature and environment protection, civic education; some will be held at the City Library
b) 5 training modules aimed at improving skills that will contribute to raising the social and civic culture of the community: communication skills and teamwork (for children and adults); presentation skills (for children and adults); leadership skills (for adults)
Step 5: Public debate on the challenges in the municipality, identify major community issues, discuss possible solutions
Step 6: Green School project: the initiative will involve all participants in the project, give adolescents the opportunity to share their views and ideas and boost the ties between all participants
Step 7: Closing Round Table to present the project results, form points of cooperation between local government and community, plan the future life of the platform

What are the expected results?

Active citizens connect and open to future collaboration.
Local authorities get to know the platform partners and their ideas, learn more about the interests, strengths & weaknesses of the young.
Local businesses who join the platform have the chance to share their pride and challenges with the community, support financially the future life of the platform.
Children and young people attending the project events meet the motivation and inspiration of the platform partners, get formulas for achieving goals, develop sensitivity to community challenges, share their own ideas; gain knowledge at lectures and trainings, increase their civic and social competence.
Skeptical citizens may regain trust in civic energy and the power of teamwork and engage in future initiatives

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

The planned platform and events will strengthen active citizenship in many different ways:
facilitate links between active citizens and groups in different fields who will be able to pool their energy, knowledge and skills;
pass on experience, know-how, ideas and inspiration to the younger and more passive social strata;
enable new people to join current groups or support initiatives in which they recognize themselves;
help improve dialog between citizens, businesses and local authorities;
the planned trainings and lectures related to civic education will increase the participants’ competencies and skill in communication, increase their civic engagement and the social and political participation at local level

Why is this idea important to you?

Maria Peycheva: CLIDA chairman. Experienced lawyer, former municipal councilor.
Petar Peichinov: member of CLIDA Governing Board. Lawyer by profession, former municipal councilor.
Rancho Kirov: member of CLIDA Governing Board. Member of a local School Board, works in construction.
Maya Taneva: member of CLIDA Supervisory Board. Chief coordinator of sports events & environmental projects organized by the Center.
Maria Serdareva: member of CLIDA. Psychologist by education, initiator of charitable and cultural initiatives at the Center.
Other CLIDA members will also participate in the project.
We have a history of organizing local civic initiatives and using the instruments of direct democracy managing to engage the city council in solving the issue posed by the community.

€ 26900,-

Total budget

€ 26900,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project management 6000 EUR
Administrative expenses and accounting 1500 EUR
Equipment for presentations (projector, sound system) 900 EUR
Website, promotion of the platform / project through social networks 2000 EUR
Dissemination campaign 500 EUR
Organizational costs for the two round tables 500 EUR
5 lectures and workshops: organizational costs 2000 EUR
5 training modules: Travel, accommodation and training costs for 8000 EUR
Implementation of a joint project 5000 EUR


Maria Serdareva



Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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