Democracy and participation, Community development

Empowering youth citizenship for stronger future

Developing a platform of the youth centers in Bulgaria and acquainting young people with alternative opportunities for utilization of their leisure time.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Martina Georgieva

Association "Students in Action"

http://studyhub.bg

Bulgaria

Who is joining forces?

Young Improvers for Young Development (YIYD)

https://youngimprovers.eu

Bulgaria


Okolobulgarsko

https://www.facebook.com/okolobulgarsko/

Bulgaria


Podobri Foundation

https://podobri.org

Bulgaria


We are partners with one more youth center in Bulgaria - Zone 21. They teach youngsters 21st century skills, such as effective communication, critical thinking and problem solving. Website: zona21.bg

Idea

Idea pitch

In Bulgaria, youngsters (15–29) have limited opportunities for a diverse life and personal development in a suitable informal environment. Many of them are unfamiliar with the youth centers. Our idea is to help both the founders of such places attract and engage more youngsters, and these youngsters recognize youth places as their safe place. We will achieve this by surveying and analyzing the needs of youngsters, designing online and paper manuals and organizing events in the whole country.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will take place throughout the whole country.

What is the local challenge?

In Bulgaria, the lack of engagement of young people in the non-governmental sector limits the places where they can develop themselves with extracurricular activities and represent their ideas and active citizenship. Young people are not familiar with the opportunities that youth centers give them, such as: knowledge, experience, new connections and potential partners in business or NGO environment, analytical thinking, etc. Youth centers, on the other hand, do not always succeed in attracting young people and increasing their interest in being active citizens. Researching the needs of young people across the country and creating a model to help the spaces for young people attract and engage people will increase civic activism and democracy in small towns and in the country altogether.

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

Young people are the future for every country. Many of them, however, are not engaged in the local problems. They are not interested in their surroundings, because the places where they spend their leisure time often do not develop them as active young adults. By connecting youth societies and spaces with less active young people in small towns and villages, we would be able to develop active citizenship and democracy. Once we recognize the needs of young people, we will have the potential to pass along our knowledge to organizations that will be able to make these young people part of their active network. Through a travelling festival we will have the opportunity to present our audience why youth centers are important and what knowledge can be gained from non-governmental organizations.

Who are you doing it for?

With this project we want to affect both youth centers and young people, who are not active citizens. We will gain data with surveys and interviews with people onsite in schools and universities, as well as online in the most recognizable social medias for people, whose opinions we want to include. Key figures of the groups are members of student councils and clubs in the universities, members of school boards and other active organizations, which support our project, so that we would be able to reach maximum number of people in small towns and villages.

How do you plan to get there?

Our project will go through a couple of stages:
We plan on starting a short survey which will help us find more information about how young people spend their free time.
The gathered data will let us create a handbook with all the necessary details for each youth center in Bulgaria i.e. the exact location and activities organized there.
Then we plan on organizing workshops around the country that may include pieces of training for people who manage the youth centers, and also, various educational events for people that attend the workshop:
- the training will teach the youth leaders how to easily draw more youngsters to their places.
- the educational events will show new interesting methods on how to make good use of your free time and what knowledge you can gain from different NGOs

What are the expected results?

We have high hopes that this project will change the way young people spend their free time. This will not happen instantly, but gradually. That is why we think that our project will have a long-term effect on society.
Once we see more and more people spending quality free time and benefiting from the knowledge and the network of the youth centers, we will consider our project as a successful one.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

According to a research made by UNICEF in 2015, 22% of Bulgarians between 15 and 24 are unemployed, not in the labor force and not studying. By acquainting young people with alternative opportunities for utilization of their free time, such as youth centers, we will increase their knowledge about democracy and active citizenship and will contribute for their civic participation in local, national and social issues. That way they will have an understanding of how democracy works, how to protect their rights and how to be able to defend their opinion for Europe matters.

What is your story?

Our motivation draws strength from young people in general. In our everyday work, maintaining such a youth center, we can see how enthusiastic and ambitious youngsters can be. As a team, we constantly aim to provide interesting educational events that can spark those ambitions and help them grow into something bigger and better, we want to keep the fire going. This is what motivates us to help as many of them as possible to pursue their goals here in Bulgaria or wherever they end up.

€ 45000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 45000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel Costs and Payments under Civil Contracts – 18500 ЕUR
Travel and Accommodation costs – 9000 EUR
Website – 7500 EUR
Marketing and PR – 5000 EUR
Publishing Expenses – 3500 EUR
Event Management – 1500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are open to feedback and ideas from the Civic Europe online community.

Team

Association Students in Action

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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