Relay Race

Creating a world where democracy works for everyone,no matter where you come from,what you look like,or how you identify.Supporting young people in getting closer to their vision of a better future.


Who is behind this?

Lidia Dimitrova



Who is joining forces?








Idea pitch

Is democracy dying?Young people in the rural areas don't vote.There is no connection between them and the politicians.Our mission is to empower our communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition because voting is power.The power to affect real change on the issues that we care about.We’ll organize meetings and work on civic projects created by youth.Young people and children’ll be politically educated and will participate in interesting activities.

Where will your project idea take place?

In Lovech, Bulgaria. The other 5 places will be selected by online poll.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Young people in rural areas are sidelined-they aren’t engaged in politics, especially orphans and teenagers with disabilities.They believe that they can’t make a difference,they think they don’t have the necessary resources to act.Youth have the lowest voter turnout(around 10%). Presumably many of them will grow up to have children who are less likely to vote if their parents don't.Politicians know who votes–the older people and they concentrate on their problems.The youth issues are not discussed in our political landscape.Politicians see young voters as “not likely voters”.They don’t reach out to them in any given election.Young people again don’t vote, and the vicious cycle continous.In the Bulgarian civic deserts there are no chances for political engagement and education.

Who are you doing it for?

For all of us!
- Young people living in rural areas between the age of 17 and 19, including orphans and children with disabilities. All over the world, throughout history, young people have driven social change. They have been the spark that has ignited social movements. When they come together in big numbers it can be very powerful.
- Children attending primary school;
- Teachers and educators (including university professors);
- Present and future politicians (from different parties and with different positions);
- Professionals who want to engage;
- NGOs; youth clubs; volunteer organisations;

How do you plan to get there?

1.Connecting with politicians2.Creating a website where’ll be published social challenges,youth ideas and initiatives.Every participant’ll be collecting points for civic participation3.Youth(17-19 years old)’ll meet politicians and experts.There’ll be discussions about democracy;civic community;problems.The students’ll be educated how to make a politician campaign and 'll make their prototype.Then youth’ll work in groups on personal civic project which’ll have to realize.Youth’ll get feedback,mentorship and financing4.The trained young people’ll share their knowledge and projects in primary schools.In the classrooms’ll be organized a voting simulation with real equipment5.Event with musicians and motivational speakers.Youth’ll have to earn their tickets based on the points in the site.

What are the expected results?

We expect to increase the number of young voters with 10% in 6 rural Bulgarian areas.The young partisipants’ll start volunteering projects solving local problems. The project’ll broaden the horizons of youth (leadership, public speaking, presentation, civic education). Disabled and orphans’ll be connected with other children. Pupils in primary schools’ll be motivated to be active citizens. Politishans’ll be aware of the young people’s dreams and problems.They could develop better voting strategies.

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

Through the project young people’ll understand that the change needs to happen from inside out, from the grassroots, the change which is durable and sustainable. They’ll realize that they need to identify the problem in their own words and to create the solution with their own hands. When people create thing themselves, they own them in a special way. Young people’ll be supported to act. They’ll have the chance to understand the political processes and the importance of voting. Orphans
and children with disabilities’ll feel connected with their peers. Politishians’ll understand better the youth issues in the civic deserts.

Why is this idea important to you?

I’m directly is suffering from the isolation because I live in a rural area. I fell that I and my peers are the last group that the politicians want to talk to. I’m scared about the future of youth in rural areas because young people leave their home towns. Through my project, I want to convince my fellow youth to stay and tell them that there’s more to life than pursuit of money. We ought to ask ourselves: Who will help the country’s poor and disabled when all of us have left? Building Bulgaria and Europe is our responsibility. We are going to shape what the narrative of the next 5, 10 and 20 years is. I want to remember to everyone that democracy is like a bicycle: if you don't keep pedaling, you fall.

€ 34000,-

Total budget

€ 34000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Travel and accommodation costs:5.000; Rental:2.000; Public Relations:3.000; Student projects sponsoring:15.000 - 30 projects(5projects in 6 rural aerias).On each project'll work group of 3-5 young people; Technology: 1.000 ; Educators: 2.000; Event: 5.000 ; Unforseen:1000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

- What could possibly go wrong? What is the likelihood of it happening? How will it affect the project? What can be done about it?
- Information about the specifications about orphans and disabled children




Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

Write comment