Democracy and participation, Civic education

Aim, Address and Act

Encourage the Civic Engagement of Young People in Smaller Settlements

Creators

Who is behind this?

Ralitsa Popova

Knowledge Association

http://www.znanielovech.org

Bulgaria

Who is joining forces?

Lukovit Municipality

https://www.lukovit.bg/en/

Bulgaria


Idea

Idea pitch

Young people from Lovech region, especially from the smaller settlements lack knowledge, skills and opportunities to act as engaged citizens. As a result, youth issues are not in the municipal policies nor in the public eye and the young people become disengaged citizens. The project will provide educational practice-oriented activities to 24 young people from Lovech region. We will also support them to organize local campaigns aiming at addressing local citizens issues, engaging more than 100 p

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will take place in Lukovit municipality, located in Lovech district, Bulgaria

What is the local challenge?

Lukovit is a municipality of a rural type located in the district of Lovech in the North West Planning Region of Bulgaria - the poorest region in the EU. There are 18125 inhabitants, and 2776 of them (16.5%) are Roma (last Census 2011). The percentage is much higher, due to marginalization many of them do not identify themselves as Roma. According to the Human Development Index of the UNDP, Lukovit municipality ranks 78th out of 262 municipalities on the Roma unemployment index, displaying one of the highest rates of illiteracy (35%) among the Roma population. Especially negative fact is that over 70% of the Roma population in Lukovit Municipality have no basic education, 54% are the illiterates. There are no NGOs or citizens groups supporting the civic engagement in the municipality.

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

On the one hand, we will support a group of young people from a rural municipality to organize and conduct local campaigns, on the other, the acquired knowledge on topics such as citizens participation, citizens monitoring, advocacy and media literacy will provide sustainable solutions for addressing local issues and activation on solving them.
Via the preparational workshops, local issues will be identified and ideas on how to overcome them will be generated, this will be the first step in the process of empowerment.
The project will also stress on raising the awareness on the importance of democracy, tolerance and diversity promotion via the informational and visibility campaign.

Who are you doing it for?

The main target group is young people between 16 to 26 (ca 60 % will be Roma). They will take part in training and support activities. Later on, they will be the organizers of the local Advocacy or Activation campaigns. 20-25 young people will take part in these activities.
It is expected that their peers and family members will be involved in the Campaigns raising the number to at least 100 people.
A very important stakeholder are the local decision-makers -depending on the identified issues, this could be municipal officials, Labour office officials, health care, educational or other experts competent to contribute to solving the local issues. These people or institutions will take part in the organized meetings, or will be invited to the local workshops.

How do you plan to get there?

The following steps will be followed:
1. Informational Campaign to present project idea, goals, activities and recruit participants - via social media, direct meetings (5 meetings)
2. Training and Support activities, incl:
2.1. Civic Participation and Citizens Monitoring of public services Training for 24 participants
2.2. Advocacy and Social Justice Training for 24 p
2.3. Media Literacy and Fake news Training for 24 p
2.4. Preparational workshops. 5 workshops to prepare the local campaigns 10-15 participants each. The KETSO method will be used for the generation of ideas.
3. Local Activation Campaigns (Advocacy). The young people will organize 3 campaigns to solve a local issue.
4. Dissemination activities (final event, social media coverage, publications)

What are the expected results?

As a result of the project implementation, we expect that:
- at least 25 young people will be more engaged in solving local issues, their understanding of civic participation and civic competencies will be improved
- the local campaigns, organized by local young people will give them voice and confidence that they can influence decisions.
- youth and citizens issues will be on the local agenda and the young people will be better-prepared whom and how to address these issues
It is expected that indirectly we will influence the increase of the Voter Turnout on the Parliamentary Elections 2021 that will take place during the project implementation

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Our initiative will raise awareness on the importance of civic education and engagement, media literacy and spot fake news and propaganda, issues that are identified by the EU.
It is directly linked to monitoring the implementation of the 12 Principles of Good Governance at local level, endorsed by a decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2008. They cover issues such as ethical conduct, rule of law, efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, sound financial management and accountability.
The initiative is aiming at promoting diversity, democracy and tolerance (especially toward ethnic minorities) values that are of great importance for Europe.

What is your story?

This initiative is fully in compliance with our mission to gaining recognition for the democratic values in society through providing high-quality, accessible education combined with the national traditions and the European dimensions for lifelong learning.
The young people from smaller settlements are not locally engaged, do not vote and do not undertake local campaigns to solve local problems. This is especially valid for Roma people who are nor represented in any public bodies or elected councils, they are socially excluded and need a voice.
In the smaller rural municipalities, there is a lack of perspectives - demographic problems lead to social, educational and health issues.
These are very important issues that our team is very motivated to contribute to solving.

€ 37542,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 38042,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Accommodation - 3120 EUR
Coffee breaks and catering - 5680 EUR
Experts (trainers, facilitators) - 6500 EUR
Local campaigns - 6000 EUR
Materials - 4025 EUR
PR - 2500 EUR
Rent Halls - 1900 EUR
Travel - 1560 EUR
Administrative costs (management, communication costs, etc) 6257 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Ideas on how to implement our initiative in case of a longer lockdown would be very valuable as well as strategies on engaging young people living in similar conditions as our target group.

Team

Znanie

Idea created on May 20, 2020

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