The Samokov Municipality has always supported the activities of SEED and is committed to provide institutional support for all the planned activities in the project.
We will organize a series of activities and events for young people in 2 municipalities in Bulgaria with the participation of youth with diverse backgrounds, especially focusing on Roma young people. They will take place in the youth space “Hub-a” in Samokov, as well as outdoors, and will be connected to the promotion of youth participation and the access to sports and culture for all. We will also work on the prevention of early drop-out from the school system, early marriages and addictions.
- Samokov (35 000 people), in the “Hub-a” and other public spaces.
- Troyan (30 000 people)
In the region of Samokov young people experience challenges related to the lack of access to opportunities and activities that would contribute to their personal and professional development, as well as civic engagement and inclusion. Moreover, there is segregation and marginalization in the community and Roma youth are often excluded from any cultural, sports or non-formal educational activities. Youth participation in decision-making and policy development on the local level is also not sufficiently developed. Young people, especially Roma youngsters, do not have the necessary knowledge, skills, motivation and opportunities to take part in civic life, which creates a lack of social cohesion.
The only place in Samokov where all young people from the community can interact, learn, participate in workshops, cultural and educational events is “Hub-a”, the youth center managed by the Foundation. That is why the main challenges will be addressed by the project through further developing and expanding the activities and impact of this space, contributing to its sustainability and to better social cohesion. We will organize activities for the local young people, in order to promote democracy, civic engagement and meaningful youth participation: capacity building as well as meetings with decision-makers and other stakeholders from the community. In all the activities we will involve young people with different backgrounds, ensuring the equal involvement of Roma youth.
The main target group of our project are young people aged 15-30, especially Roma youth who are often marginalized and more vulnerable. We aim to bring together youth from diverse backgrounds in our community, in order to create a safe space for them to share, learn and express their opinions on relevant issues, to take part in decision-making processes and engage in a constructive dialogue with different stakeholders, such as NGOs, schools, the local authorities, entrepreneurs, artists, etc. “Hub-a” is already a space that provides this kind of opportunities to young people but it needs further development and support, so that it can have a sustainable impact on the local community through strengthening the social cohesion.
The concrete envisioned activities are:
• a training on democratic values, youth participation and advocacy
• 3 meetings for dialogue between young people and local authorities
• 3 sports events
• 25 educational and cultural events in “Hub-a”: workshops, exhibitions, concerts, presentations related to: active citizenship; prevention of human trafficking, early marriages and addictions; opportunities, positive examples and meetings with successful people in various fields.
• Groovy Office online channel development – 4 new episodes dedicated to alternative professions and youth opportunities
• 2 festivals in Samokov and Troyan
• Improvement of a public space
Approximately 1000 young people will be involved in these activities, at least 50% from the Roma community.
We plan to involve 1000 young people in the project, in the diverse activities which all have the aim to empower them, to build their capacities, to promote active citizenship and youth participation, as well as access to quality cultural and sports activities in a small town. We have a comprehensive plan on how to achieve this empowerment and better social cohesion, with the participation of young people from different backgrounds. We expect that after this one year we will have less segregation among youth from Roma and non-Roma origin, more young people who are active on the local level, who volunteer and are in dialogue with the local authorities, who are interested in continuing their education, in entrepreneurship and youth opportunities, in culture, arts and sports.
Youth participation and civic engagement, social cohesion, as well as equal opportunities and inclusion of young people with different backgrounds are all elements of the core democratic values in Europe, based on the ideas of human rights. That is why our activities in general and also within this project are focused precisely on these goals. Through the proposed activities we want to strengthen and unite the community, to provide a safe space for young people to share and express their opinions, to be proactive, to engage in a dialogue with authorities, to shape policies. We also focus on the right of access to culture, art, sports and education of young people with fewer opportunities, which is also an important aspect of democracy and inclusion.
The mission of SEED and of all our activities is connected to youth empowerment, social inclusion and cohesion, to the promotion of youth participation. This project is in line with this and encompasses a comprehensive set of activities which will all contribute to these main goals, and especially to the promotion of active participation of youth in decision-making on the local level, as well as to the effective inclusion of vulnerable young people in educational, sports and cultural activities in 2 municipalities. We will develop the activities that we already organize for youth, will organize more of them and will build on what we already have – a good connection with the community and the local authorities, experience and expertise in youth work and a functioning youth space.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Staff costs for project management and coordination - 11,000 EUR
Groovy Office - 4,000 EUR
2 festivals - 10,000 EUR
25 events in "Hub-a" - 6,000 EUR
Improvement of a public space - 5,000 EUR
3 sports events - 10,000 EUR
Office expenses - 2,000 EUR
Training - 1,000 EUR
3 meetings - 1,000 EUR
We would be happy to get feedback from the community about what we are doing. It would be great to hear from anyone that does something similar in another place as well, in order to exchange ideas, experience and best practices.