Arts and cultural activities, Community development

"SPIRITUAL BRIDGES"

Fostering the dialogue between generations based on preserving the crafts and folk traditions for raising a knowledgeable and confident young generation which cherishes and respects cultural diversity

Creators

Who is behind this?

Elka Krasteva

Youth Alliance Varna Association

http://youthvarna.org/

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

Improvement of community life in small settlements in Varna region who live in poverty, social isolation and do not have access to cultural events and contacts outside their villages, restoring at the same time the connection between generations, meeting the needs of youth to feel the closeness and access the wisdom and traditions. Support the transmission and preservation of local traditions and endangered crafts and stimulate dialogue and tolerance between youth of ethnic groups.

Where will your project idea take place?

Varna region, northeastern Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Due to technologies the young generation grows up in alienation and lack of attention. The traditions and crafts that keep the community alive are unfortunately unknown to young people. Even if they know the characterstics of their own ethno culture, they know almost nothing about the culture of the other ethnic groups they live with. The elderly members of the families usually live in the countryside in solitude, away from their grandchildren and this is an obstacle to passing on their knowledge and experience to generations. There are art schools in Varna, but the students have nowhere to meet the living traditions and art of the ethnic groups. The connection between the generations is broken. Traditions, holidays and crafts of the different ethnic groups and the region are vanishing.

Who are you doing it for?

A social experiment conducted in a nursing home in Varna showed that elderly people feel much more confident and happy when young people visit them. The visitors were either their relatives or children from orphanages. They talked on different subjects, shared stories, communicated sincerely. Children also felt happier and loved after interacting with the adults. The restored connection between the generations changes lives and destinies. The elderly people in the villages used to gather in the community centers and make recovery of holidays and traditions. When asked why they don't do it now, they answered: “There is no one to do it for. No one is interested in us and what we can pass on”. Therefore, the target groups arestudents between 7 and 19 years of age and elderly people over 50.

How do you plan to get there?

1-2month-Preparation of the premises and the program for the workshops, design of posters and a list of craftsmen who will lead workshops, purchase of materials.
3-12-Conducting art workshops for students for preservation of endangered Bulgarian and other ethnic groups’ crafts.- once a month x 4 hours, in the community center/CC/.
3-12-Organizing recovery of celebrations on folk holidays, with the participation of the elderly from the villages and the students from Varna schools.
3-12-Filming of the creative process, editing, branding and production of short educational films, project webspage development and current uploading of information.The films will be handed for free to the schools.
3-12 - Organizing ethno corners /small museum collections/ in the community centers, where the elderly and students will be able to provide household items collected by their grandparents and provided to the CC to be shown to students, tourists and guests. The exhibitions of the works of the masters-craftsmen and their students as a result of the workshops will be opened, the educational films will be presented, meetings-conversations about the crafts, the traditions and the art will be held.
5-12- A mobile free app for Android ” Holiday Ethno Palette” will be designed. It will inform the broad public about the events in the CC and the holidays of the different ethnic groups.

What are the expected results?

-The process of permanent restoration of intergenerational relations in Varna region will be supported
-The activities of the community centers will be revived,with the participation of both the locals/usually elderly and lonely people/and the students-10events
-4 corners in the CC for youth creativity, meetings and communication will be established,
-New opportunities will be opened for young people for creative work and future professional realization-10 art worshops
-The preservation and promotion of endangered crafts of the ethnic groups from Varna region will be supported-5educational films about crafts will be shot and presented
Intercultural dialogue and the ties and relations between the ethnic groups will be strengthened-1 developed mobile application"Holidays’ethno palette"

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

The project creates conditions for: improving lives of local people; emergence of a new youth community of artists and craftsmen; development of the CC as a space for communication and exchange of ideas between generations; interaction between Bulgarian craftsmen and children and young people who will work together for the preservation of Bulgarian culture, traditions and historical heritage. The project provides valuable practical training for the young generations, supports their future realization in the creative industries. Educational live demonstrations of endangered crafts will be led by craftsmen and pedagogue with the participation of students. The mobile app will inform the broad public about the events in the CC and the ethnic holidays of the 5 ethnic groups in Varna region.

Why is this idea important to you?

Elka Krasteva-manager,social worker,teacher,project developer and project leader,human rights activist for more than 25years,working with ethnic minorities in Varna region
Daniela Yaneva-teacher in a school which students come from different ethnic groups.She shared the idea of intergeneration exchange and students’ visits to the community centers in the villages
Tsvetana Tsankova-social worker,director of a social center for children with societal and behavioral disorders”The Hug”,she lives in a small town near Varna and has years of experience working in small villages with Roma ethnic groups
The idea is very important not only for us but for the communities and schools in Varna region. It will help them connect and work together for improving their lives and preserving local culture

€ 30500,-

Total budget

€ 30500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs –9500 Е
Design of mobile app- 4000 E
Production of 5 short educational movies- 5 x 600E- 3000E
Travel- 2000 E
Materials for the art workshops and the folk events /craft appliances, materials, folk costumes, groceries for the culinary events, etc/- 10000E
Public relations- 1000 E
Office expenses- 1000 E

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

I will appreciate any advice or feedback about the implementation of similar activities in the countries of the Civic Europe online community.

Team

YAV Association

Idea created on April 25, 2021

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