Društvo Kulturno, informacijsko in svetovalno središče Legebitra (Society Cultural, Informational and Counselling Centre Legebitra)
Zveza društev Mladinski center Idrija (Youth Center Idrija, local umbrella organization)
Društvo Pina (PiNA - Association for Culture and Education)
The vast majority of activities will be carried out in Idrija and Koper, towns in Slovenia, where our partner organisations are located. Legebitra will coordinate the project and provide support.
LGBTI people come from all walks of life and live in different local communities. In order to empower them to become active citizens, they need different safer spaces where they can focus on their ideas for civic engagement. As most safer spaces exist in the urban areas, we plan to work closely with local organisations outside of urban areas to build up their capacities to create safer spaces for LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth and empower them to become active citizens.
Idrija, pop. 12.000, north-western p. of Slovenia; Koper, pop. 25.000, south-western p. of Slovenia
Based on the experience of local organisations:
• LGBTI topics are not discussed enough in local communities by and with local people (taboo topic)
• LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth, are therefore not as active in local civic actions as they could be (full potential not yet realised)
• Lack of safer spaces where young people know they are welcome to express their identity, explore it and feel safe to do so
• The likelihood of LGBTI youth permanently moving out of their local communities increases further due to lack of safer spaces
• Invisibility or even exclusion of LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth, has a negative effect on the whole local community as the community does not live up to its full potential
The project addresses two pillars of democracy: protecting the rights of minorities and supporting active citizenship. Legebitra as the expert organisation on LGBTI community building and LGBTI rights and local organisations as active co-creators of local realities will join forces to create safer spaces for LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth in the local communities by engaging with other people in the local communities and open up a discussion on LGBTI rights and how ignoring/disrespecting these rights negatively affects the whole local communities. On the basis of experiences of different NGOs in urban areas, safer spaces enable civic engagement of LGBTI people and discussion with general population enable them to become more active in society at least by becoming micro activists.
The main beneficiaries are LGBTI people living in local community outside of urban areas, especially LGBTI youth. We will also engage with general local population with the support of local organisations (2), local activists (8), local celebrities (3), local media (6). We will first build up the capacities of local organisations in order for them to able to address the hearts and minds of the local community (750 people directly, 6000 indirectly) by discussing LGBTI rights and how ignoring/disrespecting these rights negatively affects the whole local community. At the same time, we will engage with the main beneficiaries to empower them to become active citizens in their local community. Different methods will be developed incorporating specifics of local community and main beneficiaries.
By learning more about the local realities (preparation phase) and designing actions accordingly (action phase): Research of the capacities of local organizations for the empowerment of LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth into becoming active citizens (by Legebitra); Research on the stereotypes and prejudices held by members of local communities on LGBTI rights (by Legebitra); Design, implementation, evaluation of 2 half day capacity building trainings for local organizations (by Legebitra, based on information from the research); Design, implementation and evaluation of local awareness-raising actions to empower LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth and discuss LGBTI rights with general local population (by local organizations in cooperation with Legebitra based on previous steps).
Local organisations will gain knowledge and skills to empower even more LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth to become active citizens in their local communities. The safer spaces to involve more LGBTI people, especially LGBTI youth will be established and will afterwards only need to be maintained and upgraded which is less resource consuming than starting from scratch. More local people will have knowledge/arguments to raise awareness on LGBTI rights and issues at least on micro level if not community level. We will have tested a model on how to create safer spaces for LGBTI persons, especially LGBTI youth outside of urban areas in Slovenia, invaluable knowledge, experience and information on which to base similar projects in other local communities outside of urban areas in Slovenia.
Although Europe is bigger than the sum of its parts as is democracy in Europe, strengthening democracy in local communities by means of empowering minorities to become active citizens contributes to stronger democracy in Europe. By tackling LGBTI rights and issues in local communities, we bring these issues from the realm of abstract into a realm of concrete life stories of LGBTI people. We show the local communities how ignoring/disrespecting LGBTI rights negatively affects local communities as a whole. By strengthening the protection of minority rights and the support to active citizenship on local level, we strengthen a part that makes up democracy in Europe and thus contribute to its strength and resilience.
Our vision is providing LGBTI people with support in their local communities in cooperation with already existing local organisations. We would like to see LGBTI people engage in issues in their local community without fearing potential discrimination and violence. Fear debilitates people, hinders them from developing their full potential, which negatively affects local communities as a whole. Our vision is not to build parallel systems for LGBTI people. Our vision is to transform the existing system(s) in cooperation with local organisations or individuals, to build safer spaces in communities where LGBTI people and their loved ones attend school, work and simply live their lives without fearing (potential) discrimination and/or violence.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs: 23000 EUR; Travel costs: 1200 EUR; Training materials: 500 EUR; Design: 1500 EUR; Proof reading: 750 EUR; Print: 4000 EUR; Other costs for awareness raising actions: 5000 EUR; Volunteer expenses (travel costs, subsistence costs): 500 EUR; Indirect costs (10 % of personnel costs; office expenses, electricity, phone, internet costs …): 2300 EUR