Community development, Law, advocacy and policy

Take off the bounds, your opinion counts!

Activating the citizens in the disadvantaged areas of Lovech region/province and improving the quality of life in the slums, by improving the work of the neighborhood councils.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Galina Georgieva

Ecomission21-st Century Association

https://www.ecomission21.com

Bulgaria

Who is joining forces?

ZONA LOVECH ASSOCIATION

https://zonalovech.blogspot.com

Bulgaria


Idea

Idea pitch

The project will be implemented in 5 disadvantaged settlements in Lovech region. The target groups include citizens, students and young people from the slums. The challenge will be to improve the work of the neighborhood councils and to motivate the young people living there to get involved in the community life and be the agents of the so needed change. Achieving closeness between citizens through learning, gaining experience and be active, will lead to a better environment and dignified life.

Where will your project idea take place?

Lovech, Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Direct beneficiaries of the project results will be citizens living in the slums of five settlements in Lovech region, Bulgaria, which are in social isolation, marginalized communities, Roma ethnic groups, young people and students. In some of the activities will be involved, citizens who are active and not in social isolation, members of the neighborhood councils and different specialists. In the working process we will strive to achieve civic cohesion and engagement. We will involve local authorities, municipalities, businesses, local entrepreneurs, NGOs, youth councils, experts. Through regular meetings, trainings and introducing the complex reality in the slums we aim to provide ways of solving problems by empowering people from these communities.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target groups are disadvantaged people from the slums in 5 settlements of Lovech region. Challenge for us is the low civic activity, marginalization, different lifestyles, education, access to information, engagement with other citizens. Their distancing is caused by low level of education, unemployment, lack of desire and motivation to achieve more in life, relining on social benefits, in an environment of economic and health crisis, emigration of young people, aging population… Physical survival is top priority. Neighborhood councils formally exist. At local level people's problems are well known. The activation and involvement of local government, business and NGOs by common problem solving are guarantee for increasing civic activity and improving life of these communities.

How do you plan to get there?

The first step Study the level of civic activity, define the problems and find methods to solve them. The research areas are the slums in five settlements in Lovech district. Step Two Through advocacy campaigns with target groups and stakeholders such as neighborhood councils, local authorities, business and school principals, to reach agreement and find ways to change for a better life there. Third step Work with young people from the community and representatives of the municipality to identify problems - civil, economic, social, with the improvement of neighborhoods, unemployment, education, empowerment of marginalized communities. Intergenerational meetings. Step 4 Create a website for the project with them "Tell the mayor!". Representatives of the target groups and citizens can publish their ideas, suggestions and recommendations for improving the well-being of the community. Step Five Training of target groups - citizens, youth, local government, business - in several modules: Empowering citizens - through new skills for knowledge, motivation for civic participation how to shorten the path between citizens and the mayor - "Why and how" - Law for local government. Step Six Workshops for developing proposals and recommendations to local authorities. Closing event Debate - Meeting of different thinking citizens - "Remove the borders, your opinion counts!"

What are the expected results?

Involved in activities- 500 citizens, 100 young people, 75 volunteers; Five advocacy campaigns;100 citizens with different social status and age surveyed;Study of the civil service on civic activity;15 work meetings ;Training with 60 participants ; Achieved intergenerational connection with young people;Created a web site to inform; 5 ready recommendations to government for improving the collaboration with citizens and improving people’s living standards. Debate on civic cohesion; Long-term goals:The established networks and the acquired knowledge and experience for solving the problems in the slums in the municipality by supporting the neighborhood councils will lead to a significant change civic status of the target group.Ppromoting their folklore and culture in the community.

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

Our idea will strengthen active citizenship at the local level. Our team has experience in motivating through local initiative groups, through adequate trainings and education. We are developing volunteering among young people with ideas for changes in the community. We will provide knowledge about the structures of local government, decision-making, the right to participate as citizens, cohesion between different communities. Through the connection between the generations we will activate the neighborhood councils, and where they do not work, we will support the choice of the citizen. So the people from the slums will reach local authorities. As a result we will achieve empowerment of the marginalized through education and so solve problems in the community and will bring a better life.

Why is this idea important to you?

Our team includes a leader, a civic education expert, research and analysis expert, coordinator with local communities and group mentors. We know the region well, its economic, social and civic problems. At some places there is low level of education, unemployment and unacceptable living conditions for the 21st century. What motivates us is the lack of change in the last 10 years. There is non-observance of fundamental civil rights, neglect of the problems of marginalized communities and lack of hope for change. As an NGO, we are the guarantor that the mission to make this change is possible. Our initiative will be sustainable, because of the good partnership with the local authorities and our already implemented projects for good governance, civic participation and volunteering.

€ 34500,-

Total budget

€ 34500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Funding requested from Civic Europe - EUR 34,500
Main expenses:
Office expenses - 3000 EUR
Travel and accommodation costs - 6000 EUR
Public relations - 1500 EUR
Staff costs - 17 000 EUR
Costs for creating a website and others supplies - 3000 EUR
Services for implementation of project activities - 4000 EUR

Team

ecomission21

Idea created on April 21, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

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