Community Center “Obedinenie 1913”
Support Center for Women Victims of Violence - Kardzhali Province
Partner 4: Southern Community Centres Association for Development, Kardzhali (“Читалищна асоциация за развитие юг”, Кърджали)
#EarlyBird creates a supportive network for abused women and sheds light on the first signs of violent relationships. Many towns lack relevant support, but they all harbor women in need and citizens willing to wake up these women’s superpowers. #EarlyBirdTour forms local teams of volunteers through comprehensive trainings, experience sharing with therapists & survivors and the resources of the first EU support Mobile App for women empowerment with development missions, mentorship & gamification.
Kardzhali Distr., Bulgaria - main piloting area
Lack of support: Just 1 support centre operates in the whole region - a mobile team of only 3 people visiting the different municipalities on a project base with 2 volunteers and 1 coordinator.
Weak voice: Kardzhali(BG) is a province where only 41% lives in urban areas.Villages are closed communities, where admitting a relationship problem & finding support is too challenging.
Cultural barriers: over 65% in the Province define as part of the Turks ethnic group. In Shia Islam in particular women are culturally put unequal to men,kids grow up with such family model, women empowerment is rarely encouraged and home violence is rather a rule than an exception.
Psychological practices in the region are paid,yet deficient. There are no free support services except the mobile team of 3 people.
Based on our preliminary research, volunteering is not practiced in the region. We will increase the involvement of volunteers in the community life i.e. their civic engagement - “the main pillar for a correct collective functioning” (EU Civic Forum)
We encourage the formation of local units of volunteers by:
- training in the foundations of effective volunteering,project management skills
- disseminating the values of volunteering, involving them in a national supportive network
- using the very respected platform of the local Community Centres we give the volunteering role a new status of a respected activity
-encouraging experience sharing with our support groups of women survivors and therapists
We engage citizens with employers, public authorities, community centres, police
Main Beneficiaries: women, who are or have been in a violent relationship.
Every 3rd woman has experienced some form of violence (FRA, 2014). 1/3 of the female population means that over 25К women in the district potentially need support.
Violence is systematically underreported - only 13-14% of the women report it (FRA, 2014);
-Employers: Raising awareness of the economic damage of having employees missing or suffering decrease in work performance due to violence.
-Psychologists - preliminary research has shown an immense challenge in finding local help. We’ll increase the: visibility of this service; its accessibility /involve more professionals incl. online/; its quality /supervision&experience sharing with other regions and engaging Mobile App/.
Active citizens: Formation of local volunteer teams; Training in volunteering and project management; Development of EarlyBird Methodology, to be launched in other civic deserts.
Mobile App development: Based on Emprove’s expertise, whose team already developed the first EU gamified online platform for training&support of female violence survivors.
EarlyBird awareness raising tour: Discussions with therapists & survivors (also streamed live, enabling anonymous participation); Dissemination of info about First Signs;
Individual consulting and skills development in the first Gamified MOBILE APP for women in a violent relationship.
Local workshops/trainings & support groups.
Webinars/workshops for employers: Recognising the first signs, first aid interventions.
The First EU Mobile App for free support and empowerment of women, who suffered violence with the science of gamification, training missions, mentorship and networking.
New teams of volunteers in towns, where currently NO support is available.
regular events incl. online with national participation of experts.
Monthly support groups for women - facilitated with the Emprove methodology.
The EarlyBird methodology - finalized, with clear standards&guidelines, ready for launch in BG and EU.
With an addressable group in need of over 25K women only in Kardzhali Province,we expect at least a doubled amount of #EarlyBird women, who have opened up and reached out for help.
Empowered women, empowered supportive network of employers, families and friends, empowered VOLUNTEERS & empowered media.
We encourage the involvement of citizens as volunteers in the social life of their community, defined by the EU Civic Forum as “crucial for people’s commitment to the values of Democracy.”
Through our digital solution (APP) and by making our learning courses available to all, we also contribute to Europe’s Digital Future & Ursula von der Leyen’s agenda for EU 2019-2024.
Our trainings in volunteering are adult education, shown to increase the chances for volunteering and to improve social cohesion and to promote active citizenship (Women In Digital Policy, 2019; EAEA).
Our actions are among the key goals of the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 to end gender based violence.
The EU Global Strategy defines women empowerment as cross-cutting priority for all EU policies.
Our preliminary research and the discussions with our partners in Kardzhali gave us the great feedback AND the huge responsibility, that our idea is unique and much needed in the area! By acting locally, we can make inspiring examples for our whole EU Family.
Not only we see this idea as revolutionary for a particular District, we know from experience how quickly good practices can spread around EU. In 2017 we've launched our Bulgarian-born idea for the Emprove Gamified Platform for women in Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, Ireland. We know how to repeat this again.
The main goal of our foundation is to support women on their journey to self-discovery, empowerment and economic independence. Imagine what our world would be like with all this hidden power coming to expression!
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Staff costs – 22000
Mobile App Development and Testing - 15000
Awareness Raising: design and print of materials, social media campaigns and marketing – 6500
EarlyBirdTour costs (travel, accommodation, workshops for 8 locations, etc.) – 6500
We love new perspectives! Feel free to get in touch! Any shared experience on mobile app development and management, fundraising, social media campaigns, community management and national tours coordination are welcome! As well as any further feedback that might occur to you while reading our idea!