Human rights, Youth participation and empowerment

Local Ombudsman for Youth Rights

We will set the foundation for creating a network of local Youth Ombudsmen that will protect and advocate for youth rights and quality local youth participation.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Rozalina Nedkova

National Youth Forum - Bulgaria

http://www.nmf.bg

Idea

Idea pitch

The Youth Ombudsman is a protector and advocate for youth rights and quality youth participation in the social and political life in your town, city or village. Through empowering young people and involving them and the local authorities in shaping the vision for the Youth Ombudsman, we set the foundation for a network of Youth Ombudsmen throughout Bulgaria and strengthen active citizenship and youth empowerment.

Where will your project idea take place?

4 municipalities in Bulgaria - Vratsa, Pazardzhik, Smolyan and Veliko Tarnovo.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The main challenge we would like to tackle is the poor youth participation at local level which is a result of the lack of instruments and opportunities for youth to take part in decision making. It’s also a result of lack of awareness - most young people do not realize that they can be accountable for what happens to them, that they should be able to express their opinion and participate actively in the development of their region without being afraid of being ignored. Our goal is to stimulate the development of habits and instruments for active search for democratic solutions to problems at the local level by setting the foundation for a network of local youth ombudsmen throughout the country. The local youth ombudsman will be an advocate for youth rights and quality youth participation

Who are you doing it for?

- The local youth community in Vratsa, Pazardzhik, Smolyan and Veliko Tarnovo - youth (aged 15-29) and youth organizations.
- The local authorities who will better their policy for youth empowerment and participation.

How do you plan to get there?

We plan to go through the following steps.
1. Research and gathering of good practices on the establishment and functioning of the youth ombudsman institution in Bulgaria and Europe
2. Involvement of the youth ombudsmen already active for a reality check on the challenges and specific context they face
3. Meetings with local authorities
4. 4 Local Academies on Youth Participation - training academies for the youth in the municipality organised in partnership with the municipality. The Academies will develop competences for participation on local level in youth aged 15-29 and will also include a session for shaping the vision for the Ombudsman institution on local level - what type of issues they will assist with, how will they be chosen and for what mandate, etc. With the youth being involved in shaping the vision the future ombudsman will receive the credibility and mandate to meet youth needs in a more effective way.
5. Facilitation of the dialogue between the youth and the municipality in order to establish an youth ombudsman institution
6. Drawing from the good practices and our experience in the project we will create a Handbook on how to establish a local youth ombudsman institution - it will be available online for any municipality, young person or youth organization who would like to create such an institution.

What are the expected results?

1. We will develop the competences for participation in at least 80 youth who will go through the local youth academies.
2. We will strengthen the active citizenship on local level by involving these 80 youth in shaping an institution that protects their rights and opportunities to take part in making the decisions that affect them.
3. We will engage 4 municipalities in the process of bettering their their youth policy by creating a structure that ensures more quality youth participation.
4. We will set the ground for а network of support between youth on local level.

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

The project’s main goal targets two potential groups - youth communities in several Bulgarian municipalities and the municipalities as public bodies which can initiate and tolerate youth participation. By establishing initial dialogue between the two groups and helping them find major points of contact we are aiming to create a strong relationship of trust and active civic participation. Our efforts are mainly focused on involving youth in local municipalities’ decisions and public life as well as creating a strong bond between the two sides. With the Youth Ombudsman initiative, we expect to increase young people’s awareness, trust and interest in public affairs, proving their opinion and struggles can change the status quo.

Why is this idea important to you?

Rozalina Nedkova - Vice President and Youth Trainer
Miroslav Tsekov - Secretary General of NYF BUlgaria
Gergana Todorova - Board member responsible for the priority Youth Rights
Ivan Aleksiev - Board member responsible for the priority Youth Rights

We will involve members of our Pool of Trainers who have been working for more than 8 years in raising the capacity for youth participation.

€ 19000,-

Total budget

€ 19000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Office expenses: 3300 EUR
Personnel costs (coordinator for one year): 2000 EUR
Fees for trainers and lecturers: 2300 EUR
Accommodation (for the team during the trainings and meetings with the municipalities): 2000 EUR
Food (for team and participants during trainings): 2500 EUR
Logistics support (during the trainings): 800 EUR
Hall rent (for trainings): 2000 EUR; Materials: 500 EUR
Travel: 600 EUR; Design: 1000; Printing (for the handbook): 1500 EUR;
Unforseen costs: 500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Anything you wish to tell us.

Team

NYF Bulgaria

president

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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