Democracy and participation, Civic education

Active Youth for Razlog Municipality

Educating and motivating the Youth of Razlog Municipality for enhancement and strengthening of the local community and its’ self-awareness – creative and inclusive approach.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Katya Brankova

Association "Brainstorm Group"

https://brainstormbulgaria.com

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

The main challenge of our idea is to awaken the youth of the region to the notion of democracy and how they can be more active and help the development of the local community. The activities include 5 theoretical and motivational panels with experts – introducing the youth of the subjects related to democracy, civil rights, and inclusion and ways to work together for the good of the local community and 4 individual campaigns - the decision on the topics will be of the young people themselves!

Where will your project idea take place?

The Rural Municipality of Razlog (Bulgaria) - the municipal center and the villages of the area.

What is the local challenge?

Razlog Municipality is a small rural administrative unit, with around 22 000 inhabitants, with representatives the Bulgarian and Romani ethnic groups. As all small municipalities, the local region struggles to retain its population (especially in the villages) and to have a stable economic development. In Eastern Europe, democracy is still not well understood and accepted – what it can give a community and what it takes in order to benefit from it. Only by working together and apply the good practices of the democratic idea, can a community survive and be competitive. The problem we address, with our idea is empowering the minds of the youth with the democratic principles and teach them to work together towards common goals for the community.

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

Our idea targets the future backbone of the local community – its youth. We strongly believe that the participation of young people is one of the prerequisites for strengthening democracy and social cohesion, ensuring good governance, and ensuring political stability. The only way for this to happen, however, is engaging the young people in activities, which motivate them to use democracy as a tool for making their community and region better and better, through working together and to realize that segregation, which is raging through most of East European countries will only deepen the problems that already exist. By opening the eyes of the youth to the benefit of a democratic and cohesive existence we will make a small but firm step towards revitalizing our self-awareness and future.

Who are you doing it for?

Our project idea is for the whole community of Razlog Municipality because by engaging the youth, one engages everybody! We are aiming at motivating and educating a very wide range of young people – from those still in high schools (ages 14 and above) to those that have already chosen their path in life (newly graduated young people from universities). Everyone in our small community will benefit from young, open-minded, non-bigoted team workers – some may join the local administration and directly influence the development of the community, others may spread the message learned to their families, friends, businesses, etc. With the envisaged discussion panels and common activities – every young participant will have a chance to share their point of view and to learn from the others!

How do you plan to get there?

The main project steps will include:
- Development of a project team (for the sole purposes of the project);
- Acquiring the necessary equipment for the organization in order to be able to function adequately and complete the project successfully;
- Developing a time and subject schedule and a program for the education panels, contacting and engaging key experts for the specific topics;
- Popularisation of the upcoming events through the youths in the Municipality of Razlog (social media, advertising materials, and voluntary help);
- Conducting the events (rent of a hall, hiring expert trainers for each subject, catering for the events, accommodation of all the participants, etc.);
- Development of a final report, with all activities, expenditures, and results completed.

What are the expected results?

We can all agree, that the youth is the future – its natures’ way. The success of our project in terms of indicative numbers will be: 20-30 successfully trained young people from the Municipality – in terms of having a better understanding of the modern and innovative way of youth participation in democracy and the community and being able to organize different initiatives themselves! All of the participants in the educational panels will be awarded valid certificates for training completion. Most importantly, in terms of being more active members of the local community, we strongly believe that those seminars will help produce the next leaders of the region of Razlog. In the long run - the result will be a community with strong self-awareness and future for further development.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Democratic values and togetherness are still problematic topic in Eastern Europe and especially the Balkans, where our small Municipality resides. As an organization with experience with EU projects, we share the vision of democracy and cohesion, embedded in the founding principles of the union. The trainings for the youth in the Razlog region will equally share the same modern and European way of approaching democracy and how it may better the development of the local youth and subsequently – the whole community. We hope to show that the investment (both financial and with good practices) that Europe has given our little community is well deserved and can be worthy of a success story! We want our local young people to be self-aware proactive people with modern approach to problems.

What is your story?

As an NGO with ideals imbedded in prepare youths and unemployed citizens for successful participation in the European labour market, will help greatly the young members of our small modest community to expand their understanding of the modern ways of thinking and cohesive approach to local problems and their solution. We strongly believe that the spark of democracy and the ability to be a strong team player, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, social status, gender and all other things that can segregate us, is embedded in each and every one of us. This idea is important to us because we are certain that with only small efforts and examples – we can achieve great things, not only for our target group – the youth of Razlog, but in the long run for the whole community of the region.

€ 49250,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49250,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Staff costs: 20 % of the total budget: 10000EUR
Administrative costs: 2.5% of the total budget: 1250EUR
Info&Publicity costs: 4% of the total budget: 2000EUR
Increasing the capacity of “Brainstorm group” Bulgaria (laptops, copy machine, multimedia, cameras, etc.): 8500EUR
Organization of educational panels (Five (5), Two (2) day panels - hiring of experts, rent a hall, caterings for the event, travel costs for the participants, accommodation for 20-30 people, etc.): 27500EUR (5500EUR each)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to know:
- Is our idea shared among others in the “Civic Europe” family?
- Is there an interest in turning this idea from local to global?
- Innovative ways to give our idea even more impact and influence.

Team

Brainstorm group Bulgaria

Idea created on May 17, 2020
Last edit on May 26, 2020

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