Zagreb Speleological Union
Strengthening small local NGOs in undeveloped areas
Towns of Imotski, Duga Resa & Gospić, small places in 3 rural regions in Croatia.
Specific societal challenge faced by this regions are lack of activities in any section and involvement of young people. The civil sector lacs volunteers, involvement of citizens and capacity to attract funds for nature conservation.We can say that environmental associations suffer from the same "disease" as the whole society; they did not escape excessive centralization of Croatia. By analyzing CRO NGOs, largest financial and project activity have NGOs in large urban areas. Our target groups are local NGOs & young people there as well as the public, institutions, the professional community and the existing network of environmental associations whose expansion would contribute to the development of civic awareness and environmental protection.
To combat the lack of information flow, we aim to make local NGOs active parts of the civilc infrastructure that allows for a swift and free passage of information through the entire community. Through this project participants will gain necessary skills & knowledge to educate locals in environments protection and to participate in public politics that will strengthen civic cohesion. It is crucial to strengthen the work of NGOs, which together with the residents will ensure their human right to a healthy and clean environment. By strengthening small local NGOs in undeveloped areas, the existing network of environmental associations operating in larger cities is also strengthened, ensuring coverage of larger areas, especially rural areas where negative environmental impacts are more common.
The target NGOs’ towns have a total of 34.689 (2011) inhabitants that will be directly or indirectly influenced. They have their own schools, public organization and municipality. That way they’ll be able to educate & activate different range of community members. We’ll be strengthening local NGOs’ & teach them how to prepare projects on environment protection, to activate citizens and be a part of local policy making process. Newly strengthened NGOs’ will join a Croatian environment network, spreading the range of their impact all over Croatia and Europe. For now, local NGOs’ have merely few members, but we intend to expand their numbers through activities we will organize with them as a learning process.
Our main task is to educate NGO participants (15) to engage the local community through specific education programs as business, environmental law and civic activation. We’ll provide knowledge and skills from “Big brother” NGO’s to local ones and by the end of program they’ll have to prepare their own projects for their local community, engaging as many people possible. Having round tables they will gather info & problems their neighbors have, implementing them in their projects. We expect the creation of a new network and cooperation with the existing network of CSOs, through which strengthened CSOs will exchange information, establish cooperation with each other and with public and private entities, prepare and implement environmental protection projects.
We expect at least 15 members of NGOs to finish the educational program, and to make 3 projects that will deal with environment problems in their surroundings. We expect to grow the NGOs’ memberships for at least 50 % and to organize 6 round tables for public for 50 local key stakeholders. 6 public events will directly gather over 600 locals and have indirect impact on over 30 000 people. We plan to involve 3 local elementary schools, 3 municipalities and 3 local tourist boards. We plan to develop local strategy for each NGO for their enrolment in local policy decision process and development of activities for local tourism development.
One of our aims is to facilitate citizen and community empowerment activism through our project. Here we will strengthen the cooperation between local rural NGOs’ and experienced urban NGO’s and local communities. Europe’s policies on nature & environment protection are part of new Strategy that emphasizes the importance of protection and promotes sustainability as only way to safe and greener future. We will make sure that rural places don’t ever again stay marginalized and act as “urban wastelands” through education and activation of locals. Being part of policy making process is one of the main rights, but for that people need to understand the process and laws. We have experts both in EU environment law, citizen activation and environment protection.
We see it almost every day: laws being broken in Croatia on the issue of environment & nature protection, beautiful sceneries being destroyed, people trying to gather in groups but lacking information and knowledge to stop it from happening. We need as many active people ready to stand against nature devastation and to activate their communities to protect it. Safe and clean environment is human right and we will need it in the future, it will not repair itself. Understanding the democratic process of law making and implementation will provide fast and high-quality reaction from citizens. Making a network that will make sure every inch of Croatia is safe from pollution and devastation will be our coup de grace in our mission.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Education coordinator 12 month = 10500 EUR
Network and visibility coordinator 12 month = 10500 EUR
Educators (external trainers) fees = 10000 EUR
External services (Administration, 3 workshops, catering, posters, visibility, web, print, promo material) = 9900 EUR
Subsidence costs =1600 EUR
Travel costs (12 trips x average 600 km per trip x 2 kn/km) = 2500 EUR
Accomodation (5 person, 3 workshops- 9 nights, 3 educations- 9 nights, 3 actions- 9 nights =5 person x 27 nights/30 euro - 4050 EUR
We are very open to any kind of advice, comments or feedback. We believe that only with the help of comments, feedback and positive and negative criticism we can improve society and thus contribute to the success of our proposed project.