Democracy and participation, Urban and rural development

Generation Bridge shortlist

Imagine an abyss separates two cities-one of youths at high-tech top,the other city of seniors-farming by hand to make the living,no click sounds heard.We have a dream to build a bridge, a strong one.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Apostolova Mariyana

Local Action Group Svilengrad Areal

http://migsvilengrad.org/

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

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.

Where will your project idea take place?

In South-East Bulgaria 5 villages of Svilengrad municipality which are affected by depopulation.

What is the local challenge?

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.

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

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.

Who are you doing it for?

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.

How do you plan to get there?

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

What are the expected results?

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.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Bulgaria as a part of the democratic union of European countries has its merited place there with examples of civil society active in expressing an opinion on numerous issues of public interest. However, we are also known for being great at speaking and poor at acting. In Bulgaria, civil awakening begins with education. Our revival leading to national revolution and liberation is the result of the access Bulgarian people have to education. Therefore this project approaches the aim to awaken the community for civil change by achieving educational and civil goals. This formula of uniting people through the educational exchange for civil action is proposed to the attention of thе small community of organisations participating in this procedure.

What is your story?

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.

€ 49427,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49427,-

Total budget

Major expenses

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

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

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.

Team

migsvgrareal

Idea created on May 24, 2020
Last edit on Aug. 3, 2020

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