Democracy and participation, Arts and cultural activities, /

Diversity is a treasure, not an issue

The challenge of mindset change from ethnically divided community into enriched community by ethnic diversity.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Goran Jelenić

PRONI Centre for Social Education

http://www.proni.hr

Croatia

Who is joining forces?

Europe House Vukovar

http://www.edvu.hr

Croatia


Besides mentioned partners, The Councils and Representatives of National Minorities of the City of Vukovar and public institutions working in the field of culture will contribute as associates.

Idea

Idea pitch

In ethnically divided Vukovar we will face a challenge to change local/national mindset that Vukovar is a “case”, an “issue”, and provoke local citizens’ active participation on promotion of their democratic rights. Minority and majority associations will jointly work on creation of arts and culture events, outputs and common strategy, thus approach to local community and impact on social cohesion as a joint legacy which promotes citizens’ engagement, richness of diversity, supports tourism...

Where will your project idea take place?

Proposed initiative will take place in a small post-war city of Vukovar in east part of Croatia.

What is the local challenge?

Although, after the war, Croatian authorities worked on overall country development, very little was done on social reconstruction and integration of people, particularly minorities in war-affected regions. Therefore, we aim to work on raising the level of understanding, acceptance and tolerance among various groups in the city of Vukovar, which has segregated educational system and minorities are still facing with exclusion and discrimination in labor market, decision-making processes, finances of their associations and promotion. This directly effects on their sustainability, membership and preservation of tradition and culture, fosters prejudice and even intensifies the division and negative attitudes, especially among youth, thus most of them are leaving the city and the country.

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

By implementing activities with minority and majority groups, The Councils and Representatives of National Minorities of the City of Vukovar and public institutions, project will enable citizens' engagement and participation, especially of minority groups. This particularly will be visible through their joint work on Recommendations for improving minority groups’ participation and creation of public and community life, based on panel discussions outputs, thus strengthening democracy, improving their active citizenship and participation in decision-making processes. Also, creation of public activities, events and dissemination of outputs based on PR education, in which both minorities and majority will take action, will contribute to strengthening of democracy.

Who are you doing it for?

The project targets 25 minority members (Serbian, Ukrainian, Ruthenium, Hungarian, German and Austrian) that exists and work through their associations, 10 members of majority associations, 5 members of The Councils and Representatives of National Minorities of the City of Vukovar (Advisory and decision-making public body) and 10 representatives of cultural and touristic public institutions. By working together and creating joint outputs, minority groups will directly benefit, which will lead to renewal and rejuvenation of their membership, preservation of tradition and culture. Due to improved cooperation, prejudice, negative attitudes and gaps between ethnic groups will be reduced, thus creating felling of belonging and contributing and therefore the whole community will benefit too.

How do you plan to get there?

Activities and methods (interactive workshops, group work, public events, panel discussions, etc.) will be implemented in order to meet target groups’ needs, develop capacities and support their engagement and participation in community life. Idea is to start with educational activities for minority associations about PR, and thus contribute to their better promotion and visibility, as well as organization of public events and creation of outputs, e.g. brochures/books, as follow up activities. Parallel, on panel discussion with all target groups we will work on creation of Recommendations (output), thus further enhancing their position in decision-making processes and participation in community life. Besides all, regular meetings and communication with target groups will take place.

What are the expected results?

Through improved PR capacities of minority associations, organized public activities: open days, events, fairs and created output: books about food, drinks & culture, we expect improvement in understanding and acceptance of minority groups' richness and values by majority, thus reducing the gaps and creating feeling of being equal citizen. Further, by participating in creation of Recommendation and activities integrated into document, it will influence on their further active engagement and participation in decision-making processes and community life. This will lead to sustainability of associations and broadening of membership, thus preventing further extinction of minority culture and tradition. Local community will be enriched with new cultural events and valuable cultural outputs.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

By designing activities and methods that will smoothly engage minority, majority groups, representatives of decision-makers and public institutions, which enables open discussion, dialogue and building of common strategies related to participation of minority groups’ associations in community life, directly contribute to strengthening democracy in Croatia, thus in Europe. By creating Recommendation for improving minority groups’ participation and creation of public and community life, in which process equally participate minority and majority groups and mentioned representatives of decision-makers and public institutions connected to culture, enables participation of different ethnicity in decision-making processes, thus strengthening democracy too.

What is your story?

We are people living in this community. Our quality of life is affected by negative atmosphere and filling of not enjoying full democracy comparing to other multi-ethnic cities which promotes and cherish their ethnically and cultural diversity. In line with the missions of both organizations, we want to face the challenge of changing this situation and therefore improving quality of our life and life in our community. There are systematic and institutionalized processes which allow democratic processes in the city, but in reality they are not functioning and therefore not supporting quality of life. Instead, they are platform for deepening the gaps between different ethnicity and used for political manipulation, especially during election period.

€ 49060,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49060,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Office expenses – 4000 Euro
Travel – 1500 Euro
Accommodation – 1000 Euro
Public relations – creation and dissemination of promo materials and promotional project video – 2000 Euro
Personnel costs – 31,060 Euro
Consumable material for artistic work of minority and majority associations: 6000 Euro
Printing of Book – Food, drinks and culture of ethnically groups: 2000 Euro
Organization of panel discussions – working material, light food and drinks: 1500 Euro

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive some advice, comments or feedback from others is this idea clear, especially the impact and whether this idea is realistic to contribute to creation of better conditions and improved civic engagement of minority members in public and community life in post-war community.

Team

PRONI Centre

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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