Democracy and participation, Civic education

How to speak publicly – the civil society language

Creators

Who is behind this?

Dimo Slavchev

“Nature and Science – 1938” NGO

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

Creating and conducting an educational course based on political and social sciences for young professionals from different areas. The course will emphasize on the process of formulating and creating a meaningful social and political message for a group or community, on what capacities and skills should have the trustworthy leader and how to represent the will of his community; how to state balanced outgivings, acceptable for the whole society.

Where will your project idea take place?

city: Sofia
country: Bulgaria

What is the local challenge?

Bulgarian society after the fall of communism still misses the socially recognized leaders who could understand and bring society’s needs to a political discussion. There is good enough legislation that ensures human and social rights in a sufficient extent but society lags in using it the best way, being inertial and not initiative, not believing that there is an effective way to state, debate and arrive to a decision of local and common problems. This project will try to introduce new attitude to social and political processes. It will add a socially oriented experience and knowledge to young people, who will act further as civil society citizens and make the change for their local and professional communities.

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

The project will produce Persons that are aware of the poor social habits of most of the Bulgarian society but also be able to introduce to their communities the social practices they miss. These community leaders will be able to discover and express the local problems, to address them to the local authorities, institutions and other organizations and show that every problematic issue could be developed in a positive, resulting way. They will give an example of social behavior and will ensure their communities that it is much better to engage in social process instead of being passive and experience the only possible negative outcome – a quiet suffering and dissatisfaction with anything that happens outside the window.

Who are you doing it for?

The direct beneficiaries of the project are students from different academic studies and young professionals that will participate in the social life of the country. Most of them come from smaller cities in Bulgaria to Sofia, which is the biggest academic centre in the country. They should share the understanding that every kind of community actually participates in social life and active social engagement and rational debate is the only way to develop a democratic society; standing apart or one-sided arguing are not the good practices for the society. After accomplishing their studies and with the beginning of their professional life, they will act in their communities as civil society creating factors, not being disarmed before the old bad social habits of keeping the status quo.

How do you plan to get there?

The steps for accomplishing the project chronologically are:
1. Creating a course
2. Organizing and conducting the course
3. Summary of the course and sending a message to the society

The core value of the project is the content of the course that will be created by professionals. We put the following criteria, key stones, aspects and/or topics that represent the spirit of a 3-months civil society course:
- Accent on how to start thinking civic / to become civil;
- How to think critically, politically, analytically and synthetically on local, common and social issues;
- What is a citizen in the 21st century and the civil society that we are interested in;
- Social practices, social components, forms of social consciousness, the psychology of the Bulgarian citizen;
- Other.

What are the expected results?

The measurable results include:
-interest to publications that we intend to release during and when summarising the course. Almost everything will be loaded in the internet (videos, texts, interviews etc.) and will be easily calculated
-interest to the course itself.
The main result that we expect is adding to our organization the role of civics society centre where civil issues could be debated in the future not only by participant in this project but also by any organization or citizen.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Generally speaking this idea is devoted to developing the poor civil communication abilities of the bulgarian society, which is still missing to catch up with Eastern Europe in terms of civil society. The democratic process is based on civil society which is able to express its problems, debate on them and come to decision including reaching political decisions. Bulgarian society would become much more democratic and much more a part of the Eastern world when it learns the language of civil speaking. This learning process could bring to European societies new experience too because new social practices may come into being.

What is your story?

It is important for our organization to place itself in the modern society not only as an educational and cultural centre but also as a place that gives space for civic debate, supports civil initiatives and thereby takes active part in social processes.
In our opinion this should be one of the feces of this kind of traditional organizations in Bulgaria.

€ 41000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 45000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

- Creation of educational course: 5000 EUR
- Lectors honorarium: 15000 EUR
- Informational and summary release campaign: 4000 EUR
- Office expenses (including office materials for the course, keeping records, making photos and creating short video and printed materials): 7000 EUR
- Personnel costs (for two coordinators – administrative and organizational): 10000 EUR
- Expenses for using educational equipment and premises: 4000 EUR
Total: 45000 EUR

Team

Nature and Science org.

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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