Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Active Citizens for a Greener Future

Revitalizing rural communities by educating young people from vulnerable populations about their environmental civic rights and obligations

Creators

Who is behind this?

Alexandru Manda

Asociatia PUR SI SIMPLU VERDE

http://www.pursisimpluverde.ro

Romania

Who is joining forces?

Policy Center for Roma and Minorities

https://policycenter.eu/en/

Romania


Asociatia STUDIOUL ACTORULUI TANAR

https://www.facebook.com/Studioul-Actorului-T%C3%A2n%C4%83r-102295535222262

Romania


Liviu Stancu si Asociatii

http://legalasist.ro

Romania


Idea

Idea pitch

The involvement of young people in rural community life is low, especially among disadvantaged groups such as roma and immigrants. Our project aims to revitalize these communities, by providing young people a better theoretical and practical education. Our local activists will select a group of young people who will receive training from our four mentors about law, communication, antidiscrimintation, and activism, will identify environmental problems and carry out watchdog and advocacy actions.

Where will your project idea take place?

Buturugeni and Gaujani, Giurgiu County

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Many young Romanians display an attitude of deep social inaction. A 2018 Friedrich Ebert Foundation study showed that 80% of young people had never signed a petition. Also, Romanians are less concerned with protecting the environment. According to the 2019 Eurobarometer, only 46% of Romanians surveyed said that environmental protection is important for them. At the same time, many young people from disadvantaged groups have to live in extremely precarious environmental conditions. We plan to tackle these problems by training young people and give them the tools to solve environmental problems locally. We bring together youngsters from different backgrounds (roma, African immigrants, etc) to help them overcome environmental issues together and alleviate social cohesion problems.

Who are you doing it for?

The project is addressed to young people aged 14-35 living in two rural communities from Giurgiu County, Buturugeni and Gaujani. The two local activists who will coordinate the grassroots activities are from the community, with deep ties to the Roma community and to the African immigrant community. These activists will attract approximately 20 young persons from the local community to be part of training and of the other activities of the program. The indirect beneficiaries are the 3900 people living in Buturugeni and 3000 people living in Gaujani and possibly other young people affected by environmental problems hearing from the project from our communication activities during the project.

How do you plan to get there?

1. Development of instruments for civic awareness among young people regarding the environment
Our experts will create a good practice guide for youth involvement at the local level.
2. Sessions of training for the two local activists. Preparation for local activities.
A training of the local activists and four mentors will be organized.
3. Multiplication events
The local civic activists will organize in their local communities multiplication events, such as information sessions that promote: democratic citizenship, active participation in the community, civil rights and the right to a healthy life. The activists will select the young people from the community with whom they will work in the following months.
4. Local action/advocacy
A training will be organized in each community for local youngsters. There will be also a media literacy course.
Young participants will participate in a local council meeting, request public information from the city hall, organize a public consultation to identify solutions to a local environmental problem, run a campaign to solve it, organize meetings with local decision makers, and write petitions, if applicable.
5. Institutional visit and mock council meeting
There will also be a visit to a public institution with responsibilities in the field of environmental protection and a simulation of the activity of the Local Council.

What are the expected results?

At the end of the project, we aim to bring awareness of the environmental issues to at least 20 young local participants in the program, to increase tolerance among these participants because of their work alongside people of different ethnicity, to increase social cohesion in the community due to the experience of identifying and finding solutions to an environmental problem as a group, leaving these young participants will tools they can use to solve other local problems and making them more interested in being involved in the local decision making. Through our communication efforts we hope to inspire other young Romanians to take action at the local level to solve environmental problems and be more tolerant towards different ethnic groups.

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

We will teach the participants how to speak publicly, how the local council works, how they can write petitions and how to interact with mass media through a media literacy course. After they assimilate this information, project participants will disseminate it first to family and classmates, and then, to the larger community in which they live. This will likely increase the number of community members who will take a stand when a new problem arises and this would lead to a cleaner environment and better health for the community members.

By co-opting partners belonging to the disadvantaged Roma community or African immigrant community, we aim to increase solidarity of all participants around the environmental theme and generate more cohesion in the community, in the process.

Why is this idea important to you?

We assembled a team of activists from the targeted communities (Raymond Emiga, a Romanian-Congolese from Buturugeni and Marinel Blaga, a 27-year old activist from Gaujani who has close ties to the Roma community). They are committed to improve the quality of the environment in their own communities and improve the health of its members with the help of our mentors (Liviu Stancu, a lawyer with 25 year experience in civil and administrative law, Florin Botonogu, a Roma professional with experience in the influence of environment on poor communities, Gabriel Radu, a renowned actor, and Alexandru Manda, a student with extensive experience in youth activism). This team will be supported by Maria Coman, a journalist with 20 years of experience and by Ionelia Ene, an experienced accountant.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

27480 euro (mentors, activists, etc.)
2640 euro (legal consultancy from our partner)
1600 euro (travel)
2240 euro (creating best practice materials)
800 euro (food and water for the meetings)
240 euro (bank fees)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Advice about overcoming the risks associated with our project. How can we adapt the project to face possible prolonged restrictions imposed by the authorities will not allow us to
on-site activities? How to prevent the withdrawal from the project of the selected participants?

Team

pursisimpluverde

Idea created on April 25, 2021

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