The project will engage Lyulin’s young citizens to identify key and most pressing problems of their local area and to come up with solutions which can be implemented in cooperation with local authorities. It focuses on educating young people on their electoral rights, procedures and mechanisms of public governance and how youth can take an active part in this process. The project will set the ground for solutions, which can transform the area, and create more sustainable youth spaces in Lyulin.
As the teams of Spasi Sofia and 365 have already worked with students in Lyulin, they have recognized severe lack of civic engagement and awareness of local problems, lack of youth spaces for the youth to spend their free time, lack of interest of the young people to be involved in civic initiatives, educational and training programmes or to participate in public consultations with authorities. A large number of young people enter the labour market too early – on an average age of 15–16 years, which prevents them from actively participating in educational and training programmes.
The project will include a programme of trainings of 50 high school students aged 15–19 from five schools in Lyulin. It aims to engage 10 students per school from the schools “Gen. Jose de san Martin” School, High School “Bratya Miladinovi”, High School “Prof. Konstantin Irechek”, High School “Indira Gandi”, and High School “Iordan Iovkov”. It will also include the organization of a festival reaching 200+ people – students participating in the project, who will present their solutions for Lyulin and the results from their training, meetings with local authorities and activities to transform public areas in the district. Their communities will also be engaged – parents, peers, teachers, wider public from the district. Local authorities and media will be other key stakeholders.
The project will include communication with schools and invitation to students to apply for the training programme. Following an open application process, ten students from each school will be selected to participate in the one-month programme which will include four weekends of training with certified youth trainers and facilitators on civil and political rights, public institutions and governance. The programme will include lectures with guest speakers and simulation games to help students acquire knowledge on how they can participate in the transformation of their local area. Via interactive and facilitated sessions students will identify key problems in their area and by working in teams will generate ideas on how to transform the area and propose solutions to the most pressing issues for the youth in Lyulin. Students will be supported to implement their ideas and initiatives aiming at achieving positive social and environmental impact. Students will meet with Lyulin’s administration to present their ideas and then act to transform the areas. A small and local youth festival will also be organized to engage the community, show and promote the good example of the youth. During the festival, the students will present their project proposals to their schoolmates, neighbours, local administration and media. Educational, game and sports activities will also be organized.
50 high-school students will be reached via the programme, as well as 200+ people from the local communities will be reached via the festival. A one-month programme for the students will be developed and implemented, and three meetings between students and local authorities will be organized. One youth festival will be organized and three public spaces will be transformed.
Information about the progress of the project and results will be published on Spasi Sofia & 365 social media channels reaching an online audience of more than 114 000 people.
The project will include civic education training via non-formal education methods, meetings between young citizens of Lyulin and local authorities, attendance of the open sessions of the Sofia City Council, participation in the public debates of Youth, Sports and Education Committees of SCC. These project activities will allow participants to acquire knowledge in their electoral rights, institutional processes on a local level and be involved in the communication with local authorities, to present their ideas and vision for the local community. Students will become aware of the political system and actors on a local level, how policies are implemented & will be working with legislation and institutional documents while exploring case studies from different districts of European capitals.
This idea gathers youth activists who have been working to make a positive impact, and transform Sofia into a modern, inclusive, sustainable, smart and youth-friendly city. Both Spasi Sofia and Free Sofia School have a passion for civic engagement, civil rights and youth participation in decision-making. Spasi Sofia have a vast experience in communicating with local institutions and administration. Free Sofia School’s team has also worked with local institutions in designing & implementing youth training in the fields of civil rights, youth participation in decision-making, gamification, creating youth spaces, and improving the civic environment, as well as development of youth skills & competencies, capacity-building & facilitating dialogue between policy-makers & youth.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project management – 6500 EUR
Facilitators and training methodology – 3800 EUR
Costs for trainings (hall rental, coffee breaks, materials) – 4750 EUR
Youth space and public spaces transformation – 5200 EUR
Digital Marketing and communication – 1450 EUR
Youth festival organisation expenses – 3500 EUR
We welcome comments and ideas on improvements in our approach to reach and engage young people, as well as practical advice on sustaining a youth civic structure in a fragile community environment.