Comprehensive secondary school "Elin Pelin" Varna, Bulgaria
The challenge we want to tackle with our project is the exclusion of this one particular minority group from the urban center - Roma people and to be more specific - young people in the age between 14 and 16. What our team aims is to create the "bridge" between the urban center and periphery through different initiatives, connected with culture, teaching leadership and getting familiar with the opportunities that the city center offers.
The main challenge we want to tackle with our project is the growing exclusion of Roma people from the city center and the growing gap not only in geographical, but in civic sense. As mentioned above, Roma people are a group that daily faces serious discrimination and prejudice. Our team is fully aware of that, but we are absolutely ready to face these challenges and believe that we will achieve results. We believe in the importance of equal opportunities for everyone and we know that there is an enormous potential inside this group. What we aim at is to wake up the interest of this group in the life at the city center, because this is the place where the civil society is accumulated, thanks to its opportunities.
Our target group includes people living far away from the urban center, at locations at the city periphery. The project focuses on Roma students between the ages of 15 and 17. Like their classmates and peers, studying and living in the city center, having access to everything that it has to offer as possibilities to get to know and develop yourself, be active and fight for the creation of one civil society, they deserve to be full citizens and express themselves freely in it. They are not informed about the opportunities provided by the city center and need to be integrated into it in order to be more alert and create prominent position for themselves.
The academy will start and end with a survey among the participants, which will aim at understanding their attitudes related to the objectives of the project, as well as what are their expectations and impressions from their participation in the academy. The results of the survey will be summarized by mentors, who will also be responsible for monitoring the participants. The academy will be held over two weeks, in which the participants will meet with lecturers who will be representatives of various important institutions for the existence of the city (municipality, radio, universities, museums, theater etc.) This will allow both mentors and lecturers to enter one not so familiar environment and meet new people. This is one of the "bridges" that we want to build in the project. The goals of those meeting are the creation a more alert civic position in the Roma students and helping them to choose their path for professional development. They will also be given the opportunity to visit a theater performance and a museum. The project will end with a round table, where everyone will have the chance to talk about his experience. It will also be used as an opportunity for the participants to see that they have the chance and right to speak and to be heard and to relax as active citizens and participants in the life of the city.
We want to provoke interest in the suggested initiatives through different forms of participation- art, cultural heritage, education, courage to stand up and express your own opinion and your personal civic position, understanding of your equal rights and responsibilities in the European society and democracy. Our team wants to create the possibilities for communication between young people from different ethnical backgrounds and personal development in one multicultural and competitive setting. Creating ambition for self-improvement and of course being an active citizen.
Our efforts are directed at the young people in the Roma community in Varna and our goal is to make the information about their equal rights accessible and to provoke their civic activity and the resulting from it civic cohesion through cultural, educational and social interaction through the initiatives of the project. We want them to see and use their potential as equal citizens of Bulgaria and our European family. Our project will help reaching the goals we have in front of us: inclusion of the marginalized Roma through promotion of quality, participation and interaction between the young people. This, in our opinion, will give them the opportunity to be part of the educational, political, social and economic live in the city.
The project team is composed of specialists and citizens with a prominent position in society. Experts from different parts of the city center will take on the role of lecturers and introduce the participants to various socially important issues related to the city in their field. Behind the participants will be mentors with previous experience in this. They will be the bridge between the participants and the management and the lecturers of the project. The team will have a photographer who will capture what is happening at the academy. PR that will communicate with the media and help promote the academy among citizens. The project coordinator and managers are people with previous experience.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Staff costs 10000 EUR
Transportation costs 1500 EUR
External services 1000 EUR
Materials for trainings 4000 EUR
Technique 8000 EUR
Prizes for participants 4000 EUR
Advert 2000 EUR
Other expenses 2000 EUR
What we want to hear from the other participants is of course their opinion on this problem, that is, al already mentioned, common for many member states of the EU. We want to know what is their opinion on our method to fight marginalization and what advice they could give us.