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Spaces of inclusion and participation | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

Spaces of inclusion and participation

Encouraging sustainable development of the local community by creating a place for intergenerational solidarity in which it is possible to renew and promote community renewal to increase the quality o


Who is behind this?

Mirjana Mizdrak Mišanović

Udruga žena Vukovar


Who is joining forces?

Udruga žena Vukovar


Idea pitch

Improving cooperation between civil society and the local community in the use of public spaces and increasing the use of public spaces for social life at the local level through cross-sectoral cooperation, to provide services of general interest to citizens that improve the quality of community living for community-led local development.

Where will your project idea take place?

Vukovar, Eastern Croatia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Social isolation due to the COVID-19 virus has significantly affected the mental health of all of us. The development of social capital plays a key role in this situation, and understanding for the needs of others is now paramount. Older people are isolated, insufficiently informed about their rights, have low pensions and are a vulnerable social group that requires special care, but also their active involvement in the life and work of the local community. Change does not happen overnight, but the human strength of the community is key to the development of togetherness and solidarity. Our goal is to direct community forces to use the resources that surround them for the development and social inclusion of older people, creating for them a place of shared learning, development, solidarity

Who are you doing it for?

The target group of this project are the elderly living in single elderly households, people of low socio-economic status, people retired or without it, singles or family members from the area of Vukovar and the surrounding area between the ages of 57 and 85. The target group is 90% women and 10% men, and we want to encourage mutual respect, cooperation, non-discrimination, development of new skills, through the joint creation of a unique place for learning, participation and personal growth. This project will also promote intergenerational solidarity through the importance of actively involving young volunteers and encouraging cooperation with local authorities to use the neglected space to create a community center for the elderly. It is planned to include at least 1,000 elderly people

How do you plan to get there?

Mapping of neglected public spaces. Methods we will use: Participatory meetings with local authorities, to identify public spaces that have not been rebuilt since the 1991 war. Submission of proposals to the city authorities for their inclusion and participation in the revitalization of space for the needs of the general public with an emphasis on the elderly. Public actions of informing citizens and collecting proposals for activities that are not available to them in the community. Creating / revitalizing spaces for participation, socializing, learning, skills development and knowledge for older people in the community. Creating a calendar with a proposal of services that will be provided and available to the elderly in the community center. Mobilization of volunteers for active contribution to the implementation of the project through intergenerational solidarity, mutual learning old-young, young-old (creative work, lectures, health care, sports and recreation, etc.) Through the community center, we will contribute to reducing the exclusion of the elderly and prevent them from going to a home for the elderly and infirm. In addition, we will encourage the active involvement of the elderly in various activities that will be available to them in the center through various information channels (radio, leaflets, public actions, facebook).

What are the expected results?

A space of participation has been created for older people to better involve them in the life and work of the community. Increased social capital of the elderly, their empowerment to actively participate in the democratic process. An opportunity to build mutual support, develop a sense of active citizenship. Supported social context in which teamwork and effective collaboration can be experienced. Cooperation with local authorities in the use of neglected public spaces. Volunteer contribution through intergenerational learning. Designed program of the center that will be used by elderly people from the local community, for better connectivity. The long-term result is the development of the center in accordance with the needs and interests of the elderly in our community

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

Older people in our society are neglected and need extra care to show them as valuable members of our society how they can act independently in their community and how they can influence decision makers who are important to them. The participatory space aims to empower older people to take on the role themselves and to be involved and informed about important decisions for them, providing them with knowledge, processes and rights through workshops, counseling and information. We will work with a team of experts to increase their knowledge and skills by keeping them informed of all the important processes going on in the community so that their voice is finally heard. In one place they will have the opportunity to participate and give suggestions and ideas to improve the quality of life.

Why is this idea important to you?

The Vukovar Women's Association has been working for 23 years to improve the quality of life of the elderly in the local community, and we recognize the needs of this population from working directly with them. The elderly themselves point out that they need a gathering place where they will get information, knowledge, but they will also be able to actively participate and be involved in one place. We provide free legal aid, home help, transportation to institutions, we develop inclusive volunteering and the elderly are the focus of our activities. Our team consists of 5 employees and our biggest motivation is the elderly who are important members of our community and who we believe can actively contribute to the changes that are important to them.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Participation space, adaptation / revitalization of the space: 25,000.00 EUR
Office costs: 500 EUR
Electricity, water, telephone: 1,500.00 EUR
Project management and coordination (personnel cost): 5000,00 EUR
Promotional activities: 2,000.00 EUR
Refreshments for meetings, workshops, trainings: EUR 1,000.00

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We welcome other people’s ideas and suggestions and are open to improving our ideas to socially include and empower older people. By working together and networking, we can always achieve more for the benefit of our communities



Idea created on April 26, 2021

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