Association "Bulgarian-Romanian Trans-border Mediation Institute"
In the conditions of great cultural and community diversity, the connection with the traditions and roots is lost, which is most painfully manifested in the young generation. This leads to migration to the EU for employment and social benefits. Our idea is to activate youths aged 15 to 29 to believe in themselves, to learn and develop civic skills and values such as tolerance, pluralism, equality, non-discrimination, to stand behind the causes and draw the future of their homeland.
4 municipalities in Ruse Region - Borovo, Dve mogili, Byala and Tsenovo; Bulgaria
We will attract young people from 4 small municipalities. The region is characterized by ethnic and cultural diversity and coexists Bulgarians, Turks, Roma from different subgroups, Vlachs, Armenians, Tatars and others. The post-socialist transition, which lasted more than 30 years, failed to restore the connection of young people with the values, the family and the community, the settlement and the municipality, the traditions, the homeland. Unfortunately, there are no adequate local policies and local authorities fail to create an environment for preserving cultural and national identity. In the conditions of this diversity, the connection of the people with the traditions and roots is lost and this is most pronounced in the young generation.
Our focus is on youths aged 15 to 29 to find among them these activators with motivation and desire for change able to influence their peers through their example. They will be empowered through volunteer and advocacy training for a pro-active civic position and respect for the ethno-cultural values of others. Accepting and respecting everyone, regardless of ethnicity or religion, and uniting the efforts of youths to create a more favorable environment is key to the development of the region, which in recent years has become increasingly depopulated and losing its image. Empowering youths to come up with ideas and participate in the decision-making process at the local level is a condition for democracy and they should recognize themselves in the local policies.
The idea is aimed at young people who are representatives of different ethnic and social groups: students, social services users, workers, unemployed. The main activities will be implemented in the 7 settlements of Borovo Municipality, and in the other 3 municipalities activities will be implemented in the municipal centers. The direct participants who will undergo training at a volunteer academy are 120 young people. The families and close communities of the participants, as well as the local educational and cultural institutions, the local authorities will be indirectly affected. In general, the idea will affect the four main dimensions of society at the local level: political, social, cultural and economic.
The first step is to identify active young people and their attitudes. The next steps are motivating them to get involved in training on volunteering, advocacy, soft skills, leadership, community work and forming a volunteer corps under the motto "The Future For My Homeland". Youths will be able to participate in the local decision making process, to organize and implement local initiatives, cultural events aimed at preservation of democratic, cultural and ethnic values. All these steps will encourage young people to learn about the traditions, values and customs of each of the communities inhabiting the target region. The result of the efforts will be the organization of a significant cultural event - a folklore festival of ethnic groups on the occasion of Europe Day.
The results of the realization of the idea can be considered in 2 main directions: 1. Impact on the directly involved youths in terms of raising their civic awareness, their place and role in the society, activating their resources to influence local policies and creating causes and events, advocacy campaigns for the benefit of their communities. The main result will be the formed volunteer corps. 2. Positive impact in the small settlements life by activating youths and their participation in local public councils for the making and implementation local policies. In the longer term, this would be a factor preventing migration. Preservation of the family memory and cultural identity by organizing and conducting a folklore festival of the ethnic groups.
When we are part of a community, we can influence it, participate in its development and contribute to its well-being. Citizenship is about playing an active role in our society. This participation could be in our neighborhood, in a formal or informal social group, in our country, in Europe or around the world. The idea ensures a community of young citizens and leaders with an active position in the local, regional, national processes, knowledge and recognition of contemporary democratic values such as pluralism, tolerance, informed debate; dialogue; increasing civic participation in public life; empowerment of youths in the region living in difficult social conditions, so that they themselves have the opportunity to take action and become part of the change.
The initiative is a joint idea of the partners. Due to many years of field work in the target municipalities, we know the problems and needs of local communities. We believe that, although belated, the intervention against young people will have a positive effect. An initial impulse is needed to motivate young people to change their communities and to participate in social and community life. This would lead to improved living conditions and the activation of positive processes in small settlements, the creation of a community of like-minded people to implement activities and initiatives that will contribute to social change and prosperity.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs - 23000.00 EUR
Travel & Accommodation costs - 3000.00 EUR
Training materials - 2500.00 EUR
PR & communication costs - 3000.00 EUR
Logistics - 3000.00 EUR
Festival organisation - 8000.00 EUR
Information campaigns - 2500.00 EUR
Project management and administration: 4000.00 EUR
Feedback is important to us and we would accept advice, comments and suggestions to make our idea more applicable. We would comply with the recommendations made if they are relevant to local communities and their characteristics.