Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

Legal Clinic on Retro Wheels

Legal Advice Provided on Retro Wheels to Marginalized Population Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Aftermath

Creators

Who is behind this?

Svetla Ko

IME

http://www.ime.bg

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

Members of a Sofia retro auto club regularly make one-day drives to regions close to Sofia (places with the low economic activity and a charm of the deserted life). Utilizing a retro vehicle, we will provide free legal advice to people outside urban zones on labor and social security issues those people are experiencing due to crisis. We will equip them with knowledge and skills which will empower them to be proactive in resolving their problems and build a stronger community.

Where will your project idea take place?

Low economic activity places – Pravets, Yablanitsa, Teteven, Ugurchin, Lukovit, Roman.

What is the local challenge?

People in municipalities close to Sofia are relatively poor, low educated and can rarely afford consulting lawyers on labour rights, family issues, etc. The crisis exaggerated these shortfalls. Among these are:
• Lack of practical knowledge of their labour rights
• Lack of trust in local municipality
• Lack of knowledge how they could use the courts to protect their rights
• Lack of knowledge how the administration can assist in increasing their employability.
They often rely on “word to mouth” information which could be misleading. We will attempt to bridge this gap by providing useful information both about the specific cases and the general knowledge.

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

We will assist digitally and socially marginalized groups not only with the specific cases they are trying to tackle (labour and social security issues). We will also provide them with information and knowledge about their rights, capabilities and choices as citizens, thus empower them and their communities to be more active in engaging in the democratic processes and enhance their understanding about the vital role they have in society.
Increasing the practical knowledge and trust in their own capacities will facilitate the participation and involvement of local people in their community.
Fighting populism is another result we want to achieve - many officials claim that they help people but often such help is reserved for those that know how to apply for it.

Who are you doing it for?

information, etc.) and have lost their sustenance due to the COVID-19. People who are living in the outskirts of the ever modernizing and digitalized society. Major target groups:
- people in underdeveloped regions close to Sofia – more than 5420 registered unemployed people
- local administration in selected municipalities – we will present them a summary of the most common issues that the local population faces together with proposals for solving those that can be addressed locally
- local civil society groups – we will try to involve them and increase their capacity to include local people in important for the community causes
- local media – we will prepare summary articles and commentaries to be published

How do you plan to get there?

1. Preparation of a brief snapshot of the economic profile of the selected municipalities
2. Identifying, contacting and approaching local civil society organisations that can give us useful information about problems local people meet
3. Announcing our visits using local media and other channels (social media, etc.)
4. First round of visits in municipalities and provision of legal advice
5. Follow up on cases that require more involvement
6. Preparation of articles based on cases, publication of all articles in designated Facebook page
7. Second round of visits
8. Third round of visits
9. Networking with local communities and organizations, provision of data, information and legal advice online

What are the expected results?

- Consulted citizens on individual cases
- Enhanced knowledge about rights, freedoms and possible actions forward for local population
- More informed and empowered by knowledge communities
- A new network established.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

More active local communities result in policies designed to serve local people. Assisting people in remote areas to defend their rights and increasing their chances to find work, keep it or claim assistance for their needs will help them be more active and participatory in local discussions that directly affects them.

What is your story?

The economic and legal nexus of the project (legal consultations based on economic data and information) provided us with the impetus to try and find at least partial field solutions to some of the immediate problems people are facing following the end of the lockdown. The vintage vehicle passion some of the colleagues share inspired us even more as it ensures our accessibility. This initiative will help us show to some of the excluded citizen groups that the rule of law can have specific dimensions and economic development depends on individuals’ freedom and personal responsibility for taking action.

€ 28500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 30000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Staff - 22500 EUR
Travel - 2000 EUR
Equipment - 4000 EUR
Office - 1500 EUR

Team

svetlak

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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