Local Action Group Svilengrad Areal
The seniors and youths separated by modern world developments get together to bridge their competences one to another. The youths teach how the seniors to use digital devices and seniors teach the youths how to grow food from seed to plate. They create a strong bond targeted at the civil campaign which challenges the community in Svilengrad for support and sets an example to the followers how a civil awakening is achieved. We build a strong bridge of the concrete of unity.
In South-East Bulgaria 5 villages of Svilengrad municipality which are affected by depopulation.
Due to the village depopulation and labour force concentration in the municipality centre, the elderly and young generations are separated. Moreover, they are not present at local social network groups and they do not take part in informal citizens' initiatives. The seniors have their opinion on civil matters but they are excluded due to lack of competences to use the digital network. The seniors have their opinion, but they do not have the means and the youths though they have the means- how to use devices, they do not have an opinion. Both generations do not take part in community life, except for casting a vote at elections.
Learning workshops beneficiaries- 50 senior and 50 youths participants in workshops and initiators of the social campaign;
Social campaign target group-citizens of the municipality voting at the opinion poll, posting comments in the social networks, at least 20- local members of parliament, NGO workers and citizens- participants in Civil Involvement and Inclusion workshop;
Audiences- 3 LAG partnering organisations with at the spot presentation of the project; local, regional and national media.
Project management team initiates the project, provides the means, tools and devices for the workshops, keeps the project accounts and regularly reports them, ensures media and social network coverage, works with schools, senior and village culture centres, partner LAGs and organises the workshops, including trips and tours for result dissemination, publishes the active citizenship manual. The beneficiaries take part in workshops for exchanging their skills and knowledge in farming and the digital world. They post in social networks about their progress and initiate the civil campaign to seek support from taxpayers. They write a manual on tablet use and a farming calendar. The beneficiaries, taxpayers, NGOs and local parliament members take part in workshop Civil Involvement and Inclusion
We expect to wake up in a community alert and ready for real civil action. The youths and seniors are both mindful and responsible for their learning output. Failure is not an option when the elderly generation is involved. They are as serious and determined as only life dependant on nature can be. The youths take the challenge to apply their digital skills for the benefit of the seniors. They also realize that growing your food is a way to express your aspiration for a healthy and consistent with nature lifestyle. We expect our community to have the tools how to participate actively in decision making- one activity of which is participation in discussion of the municipal annual budget and advocating for an activity to be funded by the taxpayers in the municipality.
The seniors and youths participate in workshops learning digital skills and farming which establishes a new bond between the generations which is of itself a valuable milestone in every process of civil activation and inclusion. The civil campaign they are to be involved in is their first examination at the community level. The target group of youths and seniors present their project not only to simply inform the public but also to find support for the sustainability of the actions. They convince the taxpayers that subsequent activities of the project are valuable to the community and present the idea to the local authorities. They organise a campaign to present and discuss the proposal to use the public funds to maintain the meetings between the target groups, including new participants.
This project proposal challenges the whole community of Svilengrad municipality towards civil change. It presents a tangible path toward active civil inclusion. Through our work in the Local Action Group, we realise how necessary it is for people in our community to be united and grow as society sharing common interests and benefits. We find it difficult for the crew of our non- profit organisation to make bigger groups of citizens work for their common interest. We consider civil society development as a crucial stage in our work for the benefit of our community. We realize that a strong civil society happens through the right steps at the right time. We believe that it has come. Our community is ready for taking its steps to find its path along the road of united Europe.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
1. project management -15707 EURO
2. publicity-1360 EURO
3. farming workshops for youths-8958 EURO
4. editing and printing of a Farming Calendar-1278 EURO
5. digital world workshops for seniors-11 872 EURO
6. Internetwork handbook edition and print-1176 EURO
7.civil campaign, Civil Involvement and Inclusion Workshop and Handbook publishing -9075 EURO
Thank you for reading our proposal. Dear Civic Europe workers and call participants, If you got this far you will make one step further- to read the Bulgarian folk tale The old people we provide in the comments below. If you read it you will be in for proposals bridging people, creating empathy.
This event was aimed at a large audience and that is why we developed it into a video recording of the presentations we did at the meeting for future reference and further exploration of the ideas presented. Thus we hope it is not the end but the beginning of fruitful deeds of the community in Svilengrad.
This workshop called How to be an active citizen? came up with an answer- to be active in your social group and act in favour of others. The young participants of this workshop were engaged in group work and discussions by Lyubomir Nikolov- a local youth leader- and presented the idea of a youth organisation and centre where they can meet and work together.
Spring in Bulgaria is a great season. It is in the air, in the tree blossoms, and in the way the farmers feel, sowing the seeds and dreaming for the crop to harvest. It is the best time to start our farming activity. The elderly have their turn to teach the youths how to garden. The seed is sown in good soil and we are waiting for the fruits to collect.
This journey has begun a bit harder than we expected. Who knows and can predict the future especially in these uncertain times. But as we are the time itself to overcome the hardships is part of life itself. The youths and the seniors met at last despite the fear and restrictions. In four out of five places in our municipality, the workshops happen. The gardening is yet to come- the seniors have to teach the lessons they owe. Gardens in spring are very beautiful, One more flower there is to grow- the one to be seeded by two generations.