Open door foundation
COVID19 forced many people to work online in the tranquility of rural houses.The depopulated villages came to life with the presence of young people who,together with students,will teach adults digital skills and socialize them.Villagers will pass on to young people skills for preparing eco-products,dishes,embroideries typical of the region.Encouraging cooperation between the groups ,we will make public the opportunities for the revival of the villages and force authorities to contribute this.
Pernik and Kyustendil regions, South-west Bulgaria
The project aims to help overcome the social isolation of the villagers and at the same time, returning young people to the traditions, to show the attractiveness and benefits of rural life, to provide an opportunity to discuss specific problems and obstacles to returning to the village.
The project will have a positive impact on the lives of adults by teaching them digital skills and ensuring unpaid Internet through civil intiative.Passing preserved unique recipes for organic food production, specific for the area knitting and motifs,will revive old traditions, help young people learn about rural life and discover its benefits. During teaching adults to use the new technologies, students will communicate with returnees and will promote the idea of returning to their roots among the peers
The project will affect 300 elderly people living in 6 villages, 25 returnees and 60 upper school students in Pernik and Kyustendil regions.We rely on the mayors of the villages and the local influential people,who will form local initiative committees.They will persuade the elderly to get involved in project activities, will receive 1 laptop and 1printer per village, will organize a petition for free Internet and a survey "Why don't I live in the rural".
The round table will include 20 representatives of local authorities and specialists in the municipalities, 6 MPs, representatives of NGOs,civil organizations,educational institutions, media.
Through the broadcast of the film, the publications, the petition and the survey, we will cover the majority of the inhabitants of the two region
The team will introduce the regional authorities of Pernik and Kyustendil, local residents and mayors of 6 villages, the inspectorates of education, school principals with the goals,activities and results of the project. 1 organizer per village, 2 IT teachers and 1 ethnographer will be hired. Teachers will develop an adult education plan with 34 leasons, conduct weekly classes with minimum 10 seniors and report to the Manager. Returnees to villages and upper-class students will also participate in the trainings. The purchased and own technique will be used. The organizers will establish local initiative committees(LIC) encouraging elderly to get involved in the project activities and do specific organization on the spot. Once monthly adults will teach young people local traditions, making organic products and dishes, knitting, embroidery and other works which the ethnographer will arrange in traveling exhibition.
A petition from local residents for providing Internet in the villages centres, paid from local budgets will be signed. A survey with inquiry "Why don't I live in the rural" will be conducted among 200 people in 10 different groups affected by the problem. The results will be discused on a round table with stakeholders, state and local authorities. A film reflecting the idea will be ordered and broadcast on cable TV. 3 publications and 2 press-confereces are foreseen.
The adults trained to use modern communication means will use free Internet, express their opinion, share problems will socialize and will be heard. The summarized results from the survey will be discused on the round table with representatives of the local and state authorities, which together with request to the institutions presupposes real and effective actions to remove the obstacles to the revitalization of the villages. Students in contact with the new settlers, working online, receiving valuable lessons for traditions, will have in front of them the model for returning to the village and will share them with their peers. The film will be uploaded on the FB page and will born interes in other NGOs and civil organizations to promoting the steps for the revival of the villages.
Team of the project and LIC will work for activation local and comunity residents to share their opinion about solving problems obstructing revitalizing villages. Not only local residents and those who have already returned to the villages will be covered in the survey but different group from residents of the towns and users of FB will be included. The problems that they will share will direct the local authorities to help in the right direction. Beyond the common problems, there are local ones that can be solved to make the villages a really attractive place to live. Team of the project, students, teachers and all local residents, supported by local authorities will conduted cleaning of the villages after that will serve with local delicious prepared from participants of the project.
The isolation due to COVID 19 urges us rethink the important things in life and the fact that by chasing high technology, we risk breaking the connection with our roots. The project team, consits from Project Manager and 2 coordinators for Pernik and Kyustendil districts, are local people whose families are affected by the problem. Each of them is creative and communicative person with extensive experience in project implementation, knowing rural life and motivated to work for strengthing the connection between the generations, to influence on rethinking the possibilities and our value system and taking decisisons from authorities. The project manager is a member of the Regional Development Council and in her competence are the problems and aspirations for the revival of the villages.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Staff - 15 000 EUR
10 experts - 6 360 EUR
Travel expenses – 4 040 EUR
Materials for the activities - 2 500 EUR
Laptops, printers and shelves for the traveling exhibition – 3 640 EUR
Publicity - film and publications - 3 450 EUR
Thank you to everyone who got know with our project proposal! The topic is also important on a global scale, especially for the former socialist countries, so we would be grateful if we get constructive ideas. We will be very happy if you like our idea and want to apply it to the area you live!