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Small communities - strong voices! | Civic Europe

Small communities - strong voices!

Trained, connected and engaged


Who is behind this?

Andreja Kotnik

U ime obitelji / In the Name of the Family


Who is joining forces?

Slavonija za život / Slavonia for life



Idea pitch

Civil society in small communities has the prerequisites, but lacks training and experience to be engaged and vibrant. Thus, local stakeholders from 8 municipalities in Slavonia will be trained and implement local projects consisting of a public lecture, press conference, survey of local public opinion on the topic of the depopulation crisis, and advocacy for a solution before the local authorities. The project will empower local stakeholders for continuous activity in the local civil society.

Where will your project idea take place?

The municipalities: Bilje, Čepin, Sarvaš, Petrijevci, Vođinci, Ivankovo, Bizovac, Tenja.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The main problem of the Slavonia region is severe ongoing depopulation - young people moving abroad for work, which leads to a serious demographic crisis. The region possesses the prerequisites and natural resources needed to start a business or a family farm, but lacks perspective and is neglected by the authorities. Local civil society in Slavonia, especially in the municipalities, is not prepared to address this challenge, although it can improve prospects and empower people to pursue a life in that region, but it needs to be trained and gain experience, which is the aim of this project - to lay the foundation for continuous engagement of civil society for the benefit of the local community in Slavonia and the resolution of their problems.

Who are you doing it for?

Project participants will be local people of all backgrounds who want to become civil society leaders in their communities. In the local projects they will engage all citizens of their municipality by surveying their opinion on specific issues related to the depopulation crisis and their voices and opinions will be relayed to the local authorities. Also, all the citizens will be able to participate in the activities of local projects.

How do you plan to get there?

1) Assemble the project team.
2) Present the project in 8 municipalities, invite people to apply for training via webform, evaluate the applicants, choose a minimum of 3 participants per municipality.
3) Hold 6 theoretical and practical training sessions for the participants and a workshop.
4) Assign a mentor to participants’ teams which design a project for their respective municipality.
5) Participants’ teams carry out their projects by holding a public lecture, press conference, local public opinion survey and advocacy activities before local authorities.
6) Participants jointly reevaluate their project activities and research.
7) Participants share the results via a public lecture and in media appearances.

What are the expected results?

If our idea is selected, a min. of 21 people who have an affinity for civil society activity will become leaders in their respective 8 communities, addressing the needs of their communities, especially regarding depopulation. By having trained and experienced leaders, civil society can continue to grow, problems can be solved and citizens can be heard through democratic and advocacy means. This project will bring power to the local community to take the responsibility for their local problems and jointly work on their solution, by giving them the means and the expertise on how they can search and advocate for the best solution. Local projects which the participants’ teams will carry out will be a concrete example of how civil society can contribute to the community needs and solve problems

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

Our idea is to bring training and experience to local stakeholders who have an affinity for civil society engagement so they can become leaders and be continuously active at the local level. Project participants will first gain knowledge on how to better organise, lead a campaign, fundraise, communicate with the media, engage their audience, after which they will put the lessons learned into practice by implementing a project they have designed, under the supervision of their mentors. All of the local projects will be related to the depopulation crisis in Slavonia and will consist of elements that are essential for social advocacy: a public lecture, press conference, public opinion survey, engagement of citizens and presenting a solution to a problem to the local authorities.

Why is this idea important to you?

The mission of In the Name of the Family is to strengthen and motivate citizens to be active in the society, participate in democratic processes and take responsibility for their communities. We have seen how trained individuals can bring change to their communities and therefore we want to pass our knowledge and experience to the local volunteers so they can become leaders. It is important for us that our projects meet the needs of the local community and have concrete results, which is why we are applying for this tender.

€ 42200,-

Total budget

€ 35400,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs 14,600 EUR; travel and accommodation costs 9,800 EUR; PR 7,600 EUR, education and public lecture organisation costs 5,500 EUR; equipment costs 2,700 EUR; communication, office and overhead costs 2,000 EUR.


U ime obitelji

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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