Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

Play and Nature Academy

Mobile school for education though play in nature - for all ages.


Who is behind this?

Stela Nedyalkova

Play and Nature Association



Idea pitch

Everyday life in front of the computer screens already occupies most of our daily lives, which leads to anxiety, lack of motivation, but at the same time clearly emphasizes on our lack of social contact. This project aims to help children - by creating time and space for free play outside, space for adults to share ideas, visions for the future and make new contacts, and for families to build a strong relationship with their children.

Where will your project idea take place?

Sout-West Bulgaria, municipality of Cherven Breg, Dupnitsa

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

As in all small municipalities in Bulgaria, we are witnessing a high amount of ignorance among the people, almost no cultural and social function from the town hall, which leads to a lack of interest among society to engage in public events of any type. To meet this challenge, we will create an information campaign that reaches people easily and understandably, we will talk with local authorities to restore the activities of the community center and through that we will organize various types of outdoor and indoor activities aimed at both young and adult people.

Who are you doing it for?

For all children and their right to play freely. And what is a better place to create unforgettable memories than running on the dusty roads, small gardens and endless fields.
For all young people who need a place where they can express themselves, share stories and experience with their peers, participate actively in the organization of social life in the municipality and gain experience as part of a non-governmental organization
For all the "elders of the tribe"/parents and grandparents, who would pass on their wisdom to us, and whose experience would help us to grow as full members of this society, would tell us the legends and traditions, the old recipes of their grandmothers, which we should preserve and pass on, because in order to be close to nature, we must be close to our roots.

How do you plan to get there?

We divide the project into several stages so that we can easily monitor the implementation of tasks and be able to respond in a timely manner if necessary.
First stage - Organizational activity
-Negotiating and organizing space for the project activities with local authorities
-Organizing an information campaign for feedback from the local population. What kind of activity do people need.
-Involvement of locals in the work and social activities of the community
Second stage - Main activities of the "Traveling School"
-Creating a program to play and educate using the Nature-Based method, which should be accessible to all children in the education system
-Organizing groups for children to play in nature as well as workshops for parents and teachers in order to learn about the different practices of education models
-Organizing meetings and consultations with young people who want to develop in the field of education
-Organizing campaigns with ecological orientation and and knowledge for the environment
-Organizing groups for sharing and exchanging experiences
-Creating a "Nature Club / Network"
Stage three - Additional activities organized in the community center
-Creating space for different types of activities
-Organizing youth groups for volunteer actions and campaigns
-Organizing lectures and a course for "Public Speaking"

What are the expected results?

Informed local population about the qualities of the natural environment and how to take care of it.
Educational program for teachers and parents by the method "Nature-Based"
to help society build bridges with each other by finding a common cause.
Engaging young people in the social life of their society by providing them with various opportunities for development.
Known space in which to accommodate our "Traveling School", with available working positions.
Give a scholarship to a person for course about "Public speaking" who will be able to do the same course after.
Several people from the community will be trained in leadership skills so that they can then lead groups.
And our main goal - informed society - the importance of nature and its qualities as a teacher and healer.

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

This project aims to build a connection between people in the community by giving them a space in which they can develop their ideas and implement projects aimed at improving social life. There is no common space in the village to offer opportunities for social activities. With such a space, we will also make a connection between the generations, establishing various activities such as gardening (to help an elderly neighbor in need, which in turn teaches us to volunteer), cooking classes (traditional recipes from grandparents that are typical for region), the organization of celebrations on each national holiday or celebration of the village, organizing meetings about negotiations with the government for the introduction and development of environmental and social policies in the village.

Why is this idea important to you?

To find out more about us and our team, we will start with how important the connection with nature is for us, based on the connection with our roots, the feeling of belonging to the community.Through nature we receive experiences that we could hardly find in our hectic daily lives and taking care of it should be a priority for all people.
•Positive, direct experiences in nature during childhood and role models who care for nature are the two factors that contribute the most to people who choose to act in favor of the environment as adults.
•People of all ages who participate in natural activities are happier and healthier than those who do not. Social experience in nature promotes the connection between us and nature.
•People who develop a sense of belonging are more likely to protect

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project management: 14 000 EUR
Travel and accommodation: 1200 EUR
Rentals: 2100 EUR
Trainings, teacher aids, consultants: 15 500 EUR
Web and media support: 2 200 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any critics or comments in general about the project relevance, idea and feasibility are welcome, along with good practice examples or future partner/network suggestions.


Play and Nature

Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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