Civil Society Platform - The Northwest Speaks
The main goal of this project proposal is to encourage active youth participation in democratic processes through the implementation of civic initiatives, civic dialogue and role-playing games between stakeholders. It is also planned to implement initiatives that will raise awareness and educate young people aged 15-25 on the topics of civic education and the available opportunities for young people in Europe.
Our initiatives are aimed at the Northwestern region of Bulgaria and in particular the city Montana
The specific social challenge that Montana has to face is the lack of a mechanism through which young people can informally receive synthesized and structured information about the types of institutions that exist at European, regional and local level, their rights and obligations, and the forms of direct and indirect participation. in democratic processes, in the processes of building an active civil society and communication with the government. This leads to deep disagreements in society and when facing challenges, young people do not seek their rights but build a negative attitude towards the systems of European and state bodies and local self-government bodies. The implementation of the project will work towards reducing negative attitudes and increase trust in institutions.
The activities planned for the project proposal and their sequence will create a mechanism in the form of a digital platform for direct impact on young people's attitudes towards the prospects of democracy, the meaning of the European idea and will provoke initiative to participate in social processes. The creation of a workshop for civic initiatives will open a field of expression of the personal goals of the participants. Discussions and defence of personal position will clarify the best configurations of ideas that are useful to the local community. The opportunities presented by various European mechanisms for funding these ideas will increase the interest, involvement and participation of young citizens in local processes.
Main characteristics of the target group: Approximately 150 individuals will take part in the planned aged between 15 and 25 - pupils, students, workers and NEETs (this will include the full range of views on democracy and the European idea). In order to guarantee the participation of disadvantaged young people (minorities; economic, social and health difficulties), a quota of 15 people out of the total number of participants will be formed during the selection process. Stakeholders from local and European authorities will also be involved in the activities. These audiences will give a clear example of how democracy works, how the European idea has changed the face of Bulgaria and other CEE countries to a more positive one, and how small settlements have developed since 1989.
The specific successive activities we will undertake to implement our project idea:
1. Conducting an initiative: training seminars on the topics of Civic Education: including 3 separate modules:
a. The role and functions of the institutions at European, national and regional level
b. The role of the civil sector and civic participation
c. Constructive communication and interaction
2. Workshops for civic initiatives - development of project ideas and initiatives of local importance
3. Conducting a civil society forum - young people who have participated in Activity 1 and Activity 2 will be involved in the activity itself.
4. Development of a web platform for the project for the purpose of free access and wide participation in the activities carried out by the project
The implementation of the project activities aims to achieve the following results:
-Motivated participation of the representatives of the target group and to provide opportunities for productive ways of spending their free time
-Improving the knowledge and awareness of the target group about civil procedures and the opportunities provided at local, national and European level
-Promoting opportunities for young people
-Building an online platform and network for information and communication
-Workshops for civic initiatives have been held and local ones have been implemented at the suggestion of the representatives of the target group
-Providing an opportunity for communication between the target group and the institutions at local level with the purpose of constructive interaction.
The project activities and the main goal are to contribute to the development of democratic processes in one of the regions in Europe, for which it has been identified a serious need to work with different groups of society to promote European values and opportunities for dialogue and participation in planning processes and developing local initiatives and policies. The planned training modules in civic education, in turn, will contribute to the development of new knowledge and skills among young people in the region and will work to improve attitudes towards the role and work of local, national and European institutions. Working in partnership between society, institutions and business is a guarantee for improving dialogue, civil and democratic processes.
As we have already pointed out the planned activities are aimed towards the youth of the city of Montana. The main problems that have been identified:
•High percentage regarding lack of knowledge, demotivation and mistrust in the environment, institutions and the opportunities they provide for young people
•Need for greater public attention on the topic of the relationship between young people and institutions, youth employment, funding opportunities at national and European level
•Low percentage of civic participation in the processes of planning and development of policies and initiatives of local importance;
•Lack of practical skills needed for the implementation of local initiatives.
Those are the challenges that are the main motivation behind our desire to implement this project.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
- Office expenses - 1 550 EUR
- Project management team costs - 6 200 EUR
- Costs for trainers / experts - 7 750 EUR
- Public relations costs - 2 500 EUR
- Travel expenses, accommodation, rent of training halls and forum - 5 250 EUR
- Costs for creating a platform - 7 750 EUR