Would you like to live/work in a neighborhood with good self-esteem? Do you think your community has strengths? Do you relay on the participation of neighbors, professionals and administration as the key to collective empowerment? The project "Strengthen your neighborhood" aims, through a community process, to make the strengths of up to 3 neighborhoods in Zaragoza, so that their citizens put them at the service of their present needs and individual and collective commitments are established.
Neighborhoods where “the peripheries” of all kinds are located: urban, economic, social, cultural
In Zaragoza there are neighborhoods called "worker neighborhood" or "peripherals" that have been traditionally less helped by the administration. They have received fewer resources, infrastructures, ... They have recived population with high needs, they also have had to "fight" more actively for their development ... Their history leave a present full of contradictions: strong feeling of belonging againts a desire to change to "a better neighborhood": low self-esteem; pride for what it has been achieved againts fatigue and lack of arguments to keep on going or no intention of getting involved in the neighborhood.
The situation of these neighborhoods (and more after the socio-sanitary crisis that we are living) needs an impulse to identify, make visible and re-appropriate their strengths.
This initiative offers the possibility to max. 3 Zaragoza neighborhoods to carry out an important democratic exercise of collective thought, self-knowledge and acquisition of individual and collective commitments, creating spaces so that citizens (organized and non-organized) can:
- Identify the achievements reached in the neighborhood (and also the non-achievements)
- Recognize the strengths of the community that allowed it to reach these achievements
- Make visible and socialize the achievements among the community, and especially, the strengths
- Validate that these strengths were valid, and are also valid today
-Involve citizens linked to the neighborhood in the visibility of these strengths and putting them at the service of needs
The methodological key is the participation and involvement of the community, represented by different sociocultural groups that cover as much diversity as possible, trying to collect the voice and opinion of the entire community. It is not about "for who", passive subjects who receive, but "with who", active subjects who are protagonists of their history.
We will work with natural groups, taking advantage of the organization and existing community coordination (citizen organizations, resources and projects, administration) and promoting the creation of new ones if necessary. We are talking about seeking child and adult population representativeness; gender diversity; old and new settlers; different socioeconomic and cultural levels; indigenous and migrants; etc
1: BASIC TRAINING, of the “Strengthen Oliver 17-20” process. Information about possible replication in Zgz neighborhoods: neighborhood entities and social organitations.
2: ADVANCED TRAINING, specify characteristics of each neighborhood: participants in phase 1 interested in starting the process
Agreement about which neighborhoods will start it (max. 3, to guarantee adequate accompaniment).
These phases allow us to reach a large number of active people in neighborhoods, generating interest through real experience and training in Community Intervention.
3: COMMUNITY PROCESS: Motor Group; diffusion - start up; identification of neighborhood achievements; extraction of strengths; return and visibility of strengths for validation; creation of Embassies Strengths Network of the neighborhood.
P. 1: they will receive training in Community Intervention from the strengths based on a real experience and will be able to transfer their knowledge to other people and put them at the service of their work, volunteering, community life ...
P.2: they will go deeper into this intervention approach and will carry out an analysis of their neighborhood, which they can now socialize in the structures and groups they have in their territory.
P. 3: they will identify their achievements and their strengths, being able to form a Strengths Embassies Network. It has an impact on their strengthening, self-esteem and resilience.They will be able to communicate the result to the rest of the city. Relations between citizens, professionals and administration will have been strengthened.
This project is a strengthening of democracy because it encourages citizen participation, understanding it as the exercise of taking an active part in decision-making that affects collective life. It proposes that people of each community, each neighborhood, work together with the technical resources and the administrations that exist in it, to plan and carry out collective actions that improve their living conditions. For this reason, this PARTICIPATION of the citizenship supposes empowerment of the people and groups of the community (including the most vulnerable groups), because it let them be an active part and protagonist of the ecosystem to which they belong, being able to influence the logics that move it (in what local, but also in Europe as a more macro ecosystem)
In 2014, the three working members and the collaborating member decided to establish a cooperative to dedicate ourselves professionally to Community Intervention. and Citizen Participation (child and adult), We wanted to give them a significant place in our territory. We received in 2019 the Social Work Award in the XXI century awarded by the Social Work College, which valued the «spirit, commitment, capacity, drive and commitment to Social Work, community animation and social innovation, and focused work in people and communities, from an ethical, sustainable and transformative perspective ”. To continue with our purpose, we want to extrapolate the learning obtained from our experience to other neighborhoods in the city, contributing to the improvement of the communities.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Staff (technical team).............................................42.000 €
Professional services for activities (advertising, graphic design of large format return materials, audiovisuals, ...).......................................................4.000 €
Activities: office supplies, advertising,... ................3.000 €
Others (city trips, ...)...............................................1.000 €
Any comment, contribution, question or query will be welcome.