Neda Milišić Buklijaš
Association Cenzura Plus
The consortium initiated and gathered around Cenzura Plus has identified its capacities, values and priorities, and developed a project that focuses on enhancing democracy in local community in Split.
The Project will contribute to democracy empowerment in patriarchal Dalmatia County in Croatia, protection and promotion of basic human rights and enhancing active citizenship through empowerment of local CSOs and minorities. This will be done mostly through new LGBT Center Split, were network of CSOs is build (inter-sector cooperation) and long-term cross-sector cooperation with City of Split. Local citizens will be dragged into the dialogue and encouraged their critical thinking skills.
Region Dalmatia in South Croatia, most activities will be held in City of Split.
Region Dalmatia, with Split as a second biggest town in Croatia, with very patriarchal attitudes of people, faces with inability of minorities to articulate their needs and problems for fear of misunderstanding, social exclusion and hate speech in public space. Local policies are not socially sensitive and do not promote inclusion of minorities. Local government does not finance CSOs which support minorities and civic education, and cooperation among them is on low level. CSOs are torn between providing direct services to citizens and building their own capacities, sustainability, advocacy and encouraging citizens participation. Citizens are completely excluded from the participation in local community development, becoming more diverse, lack solidarity, tolerance and understanding.
While empowering LGBT Center Split, where minorities will have a safe space for support and personal development, it will at the same time remain a long-term community resource and a good example of public-civil partnership between CSOs forming LGBT Center and City of Split as owner of the public space. By creating a space for direct engagement of citizens in a dialogue on relevant policy issues, through serial of cultural events and workshops, storytelling events and debates, with audio-visual elements, the Project will mobilize local communities, thus create the atmosphere of freedom of expression and exchange, talking on joint problems and values, trying to understand each other and regain trust, create positive environment for active participation in democracy development.
Minorities (LGBT and women suffering violence, human rights victims) are discriminated by their own local community, are target of hate speech, are in a fear and socially excluded, do not create added value that contributes to a sense of (equal) value and belonging to the local community but also to the general development of the community. CSOs do not have capacities for individual work that will generate changes in community and do not cooperate on joint issues, they aren’t` visible, also their work and results are not recognized by media or community. Local government of Split is neglecting its role in enhancing human rights protection system and combating discrimination at local level, also lacking cross-sector partnership and including CSOs and citizens in decision-making processes.
Building a network of CSOs and establishing a cooperation among them, also with local government, through LGBT Center, is an important, sustainable and visible project intervention. CSOs gathered among LGBT Center will cooperate more on joint issues, making plans and carefully designed community interventions. Educational and cultural events will enhance critical thinking skills and promote possibilities for intercultural dialogue were different participants will express themselves through writing, storytelling, filming etc. highlighting the issue of how themselves and minorities could be included more into the society. It`s about creating the atmosphere of freedom, without discrimination, where citizens have opportunity to discuss common problems and values, exchange opinions, etc.
Minorities will have a space were feeling safe and empowered will create programs and campaigns which contribute to the community sensibilization on the problems that they face with thus spreading the tolerance, equality, justice and solidarity. Local government will be aware of the importance of cross-sector cooperation, while enjoying benefits of media promotion, better quality of life of minorities and enriched cultural life of a local community. CSOs will enhance cooperation, build capacities, learn on joint planning, sharing and resource management, look for innovative approach to community interventions, empower advocacy position and visibility of their work. Citizens will better understand real threats of democracy, human rights issues and participation in community development.
The progress made within the democracy area in Croatia, but also within other multiple challenges that the Europe is facing with, has been generated by the EU, which is recognized as a promoter of peace, solidarity, equality, freedom and human rights defender; and the Project strives for the promotion of those values. Except those challenges we will deal with other problems such as threats to critical thinking skills, freedom of expression, exchange of views and opinions between different cultures, civic participation, thus related concerns on how to bring people together in these turbulent times, and how to empower CSOs, which are facilitators of a structured dialogue and important local actors that support co-shaping a colorful and vibrant community.
The Project is in line with all partnerships` organizations` missions that is focused on democratic challenges that can make positive change in local and small communicates on long-term. Although Split is the second biggest town in Croatia (more than 250.000 people gravitates to Split) it faces with overall discriminatory attitudes of people toward minorities, especially LGBT people, like at the children`s carnival at Kaštela (10 km from Split) were same-sex partners were publicly burned with the support of local and church authorities. CSOs advocacy activities in protecting human rights, are often discredited and described as contrary to social values, national interests and religious belief of the majority. Project will support our efforts and contribution in shaping better society.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Salaries: 10.500 EUR
Honorariums for workshops, cultural activities, articles, reportage, technical staff etc.: 23.000 EUR
Accommodation and travel costs: 4.000 EUR
Promotion (design, print, material, distribution, promotion on social networks): 6.500 EUR
Film subtitles and rights, music release fee: 1.000 EUR
Material for preparing exhibition and print of photographic for exhibition: 2.000 EUR
Equipment and workshop for LGBT Center: 2.500 EUR
Office expenses: 2.500 EUR
Please add comments if you think that some parts of the application are not clearly enough, especially regarding the position of the minorities and CSOs in society, as well as part on the activities, as we know it`s not lot of space to define all details. Thanks in advance!