Academy for Active Youth
As a post-communist country, 30 years after the fall of the eastern block, for Bulgaria, it somehow still feels that it is really difficult to shake off the past and that we are still far away from the democracy that we need to already somehow have reached. Sadly, we the youth still have a long way to go, to achieve a better democracy, transparent government, and fight against corruption. We believe that that is possible by empowering and educating the youth on social and political issues.
The project will take place in 3 Bulgarian towns- Targovishte, Varna and Dobrich
Our project aims to address the need for youth inclusion into the decision-making process, the need for youth empowerment, and the education of the youth on the political scene and the decision-making processes. The problem that our projects aim to refer to is the fact that most of the Bulgarian youth considered politics as a dirty word, as something that is for everyone but the educated and knowledgeable people. That is a really important issue because if we continue considering politics as suitable just for a few, we will never get closer to actual democracy. We have surveyed youngsters between 18-25, living in these towns, and 80% of them said that they know almost nothing about politics, they do not vote, and do not trust the politicians.
The target group of our project is the youth of this region- we would like to reach 300 youngsters with our debates, round tables, discussions,role-plays, and events. These youngsters are aged between 18 and 25. We would like to include youngsters from all backgrounds. Our targeted youngsters have never thought about the decision-making process in the country, youngsters that consider voting as a pointless activity and such that believe that politics is not for youngsters and that the youth will never be allowed to have a voice that is heard in that sphere. We also have an idea about an online campaign with which we would like to reach at least 10000 youngsters, with the help of social figures ready to spread the message and the materials that we will produce for the project.
The activities that we are planning to create are various and captivating: debates, round tables, role-plays, public discussions, meetings with political party representatives, sessions with journalists, activists, and public figures from the fields of arts, literature, music, social media, and culture. We are thinking of creating a series of numerous events, for the period of one year, for us to reach and discuss with our peers' politics, social issues, the need for youth empowerment, activism, and youth participation in the decision-making process. Our main approaches are the peer-to-peer method in which we deeply believe in since, it is proven that people affect other people their age way much stronger than different generations can influence other, That is why we, from Academy from active youth, have contacts with politicians our age, activists, artists, journalist, and public figures. We also trust in the power of lead by example: that is why we will be mediators of key social figures in politics and social issues between them and the youth, Debating, role-plays and round tables are some of our favorite activities, which we plan to organize, including both-youth and key social figures.
In the long term- we expect to help the creation of a youth society that is way more socially and politically engaged than the previous one. It is really important for us the youth to be way more familiar with the democratic process and the need for youth participation. The short-term results will be around 300 youngsters way more familiar and interested in social work, youth work, and participation. 300 youngsters introduced to the youth participation value and need- together we are planning on developing youth policies, youth seminars, talks with representatives, and people with power. At the end of that year, we aim to have 300 youngsters ready to be ambassadors and change-makers towards a more democratic life in Bulgaria.
We are strengthening the relationship between the people in power and the youngsters, who in Bulgaria usually are considered too young to suggest policies and to be able to work for them. That is why by using non-formal methods and education we are aiming at strengthening exactly that connection and youth participation. The set of skills we aim to develop and encourage in our participants are debating on a controversial issue- the skill how to defend your point of view; we will study delegation as a skill; special attention will be turned to all of the positions of power in Bulgaria and what is the role of each one of them- form the role of the town councilor to the prime minister.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
10000 euro – conference, logistics, and accommodation costs for conducting the debates and discussions with stakeholders
3000 euro- other event costs- open events, round tables
2000 euro - dissemination costs (publicity + public relations)
8000 euro - interviews, gathering and summarizing data
2000 euro - project management cost-plus accounting
We, from the Academy, would like to know what do you think about our idea?
Do you believe that is possible for youth to influence youth and get more of us to be socially engaged and interested in the politics and the social issues of Bulgaria?
What are the weak points in our presentation?