Following the great example of Epicurus we plan to provide local society with a Garden* – place where different people may feel free to exchange ideas, work and learn together. This open dialogue space will be structured by the participants of the project in an area near local park of Yamatcha through turning wild forest into orchard by grafting the existing trees, planting new fruit trees, clearing and landscaping the environment and previous training (horticulture and civic education)
The division between the generations is especially strong. This process is exacerbated by the migration of younger people – from villages to towns, from towns to cities or abroad. The rapid development of technology, media and new means of communication also contributes to it. Adults feel useless and abandoned, and young people feel insecure about their ability to deal with even small situations or problems. Their problems remain unspoken and therefore unmet. We face avicious circle of unmet needs and an even deeper segregation in society is being created. We aim to tackle this specific challenge: to turn this vicious circle into a Circle of Creativity and Change, to bridge knowledge and traditions with technologies and modern life skills and to connect people with different perspectives
We target on two key groups: 1/30 young people at school age and 2/ 15 retired people from Haskovo and villages nearby, both suffering social distancing and thus, lack of self-confidence. We focus on children from one-parent families and/or with different communication problems or specific needs. Most of them do not feel prepared or free to communicate face to face, to formulate and express their ideas and remain unheard. Elderly people we’ll invite are ones who has knowledge and skills in horticulture and especially in grafting fruit trees and are in need to share their knowledge, ideas and stories with others. They lack recognition, attention, and a forum to express or share opinions. These two target groups are polarized and have no motivation to undertake action for positive change.
Activities: Autumn a/public and personal invitations to target groups, kick-off meeting, planning b/identifying the exact spot, sizing, designing an idea project for landscaping, administrative procedures c/cleaning up the spot, examining and marking the existing trees and measures for their grafting d/designing planned trainings and the recourses needed.
Winter trainings on three mayor topics: 1/Horticulture and Grafting, 2/Civic education–basics and 3/Media and Information Literacy. The specific moment with the trainings is that they will be taught by a team: expert trainer and member/s of the target groups.
Spring Work on Field, our teams will graft trees, plant some new ones if needed, arranging the Garden together in accordance with the accepted landscape designs. A special informal group Green patrol will be organized to examine and take care of the trees during next several months.
Autumn Gathering the fruit–final dissemination activities to inform local community and show the results reached
Information and visualization will go on since the beginning, publishing materials on social and local media as well. At the end a Grafting Manual for Beginners will be issued.
The main methods will be: learning by doing, peer-to-peer, project-based and space-based learning, cooperation and collaborat
The new Garden as user-friendly and safe environment will be suitable for meetings and communication.
The participants in the project will gain and upgrade knowledge and gain useful skills and thus empowered for future actions. Learning from each other they will perceive the values and attitudes of the opponent and thus their differences will narrow. Through working and learning together members from opposing groups/generations will find the common topics and find out the importance of the dialogue for enriching one’s capacity.
The local community will witness a good practice for coping with challenges by the efforts of different-minded people. That will be once more an example of the Motto of Bulgaria: “Unity gives the strength”
Our idea contributes to democratic values: human dignity –through recognizing the skills and knowledge of elderly people, meeting the needs of youngsters, appreciation of labor; tolerance – bridging opposite generations and groups together, providing empowerment to vulnerable; freedom of speech and rule of law – civic education, friendly open space for dialogues.
We’ll use civic education to provide knowledge about ways and forms of civic actions and associations, as well as critical thinking, media and information literacy, skills of dialogue and debating using methods well-known from Ancient times and philosophers such as Socrates and Leonard Nelson later on
Trendafil Madzharov – retired agriculture engineer, expert on horticulture and grafting;
Maria Daskalova – lawyer, licensed Civic Education and Philosophy Trainer
Svetla Madzharova – radio journalist, expert Event Management
Ivan Ivanov – Building and Construction expert
Lidia Mikova – psychologist, personal development couch
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project Management - 5250 EUR
Experts - 10 500 EUR
Trainings - 7000 EUR
Work on field - 10 500
Information and publicity - 1750 EUR
We will be thankful for any constructive advice and/or ideas for future cooperation and partnerships in the mentioned areas of work