We have “the guts” to implement an active citizenship project in the rural areas of Romania, in the poor and dry south part, where the toilets, water, gas and social services represent episodes of Star Trek series and where people lost trust in their neighbors, local authorities, government etc.. Our project approaches what are considered to be difficult topics in the rural areas we want to work: involvement in community problems, making one's voice heard, accepting diversity.
Our project will be implemented in 3 communes in the south region of Romania (Dolj & Olt Counties).
The south part of Romania is one of the poorest economic & social areas, framed into the category of "less developed" regions, being characterized by a GDP per capita less than 75% compared to the European Union average. In the villages most people are old, children have poor access to education and the school dropout percentage is increasing. Here we still lack sewerage, drinking water and access to information (correct information) or social & health services. “Capacity building” are our project key words. Many community strengths are not immediately obvious, and it takes some creativity to discover what skills and abilities are available in the community, and how they might be used. We want to help these communities to be more proactive and to take part in the community decisions.
Our project is simple and it has 2 pillars: 1st, we are doing our project with the support of the local authorities that will be taught how to work with NGOs that “serve” the same goals / objectives and have the beneficiaries and who will also learn how to listen to the voice of the communities the 2nd pillar is that we are bringing NGOs from bigger cities, with know-how, experience and who are open to work with us, with the local authorities in order to build active citizenship among our rural area beneficiaries. The main focus will be on education, on teaching the local people and not the least to encourage them to address the local problems (and find solutions to them), with focus on diversity, remaining tolerant towards different points of view, equal rights for women, children rights.
We are targeting the people from rural areas. With the support of local authorities and NGOs we’ll organize debates & meetings that will address everybody: meetings at school for teachers, students & their parents, meetings with the seniors, with the people that work in agriculture, etc. After the information is gathered and prioritized, mixed teams (local people, authority representatives, NGO stuff, volunteers) will be formed in order to solve the community issues. The idea is that people must know the truths, need to be correctly informed and educated before taking action. We have a range of ideas available for people to be involved in ways that are convenient and appropriate for them. Often particular effort is required to help ‘hard to reach’ groups and ‘silent voices’ to be involved.
1.Organizing meetings with stakeholders in the 3 communities: public administration, priest, family doctors, teachers, local business owners etc. A process of community development will start in order to clarify a list of unsolved & urgent problems in the community and to involve different members of the community - focus on diversity, tolerance towards different points of view, equal rights for women, children rights . 2.Local campaigns promoting active citizenship will be organized with the help of local NGOs, 3.Forming groups of local volunteers (20 will be recruited & trained in the field of community development). 4.Plan and help implement 3 local projects that help solve one of the previously identified problems. The project team will help the teams to implement the local projects.
If you speak to someone living in a rural area in Romania, you will probably hear expressions like “Who can help us? They do not know that we exist”, “They remember us only during election time”, “Real life is only in big cities”. The most important result of our project is proving to people that with a little help all our voices can be heard and that the hey to problem solving is working together with the community - local authorities - companies. Key important results: 40 local stakeholders trained and motivated to be involved in the community development and determined to use participative instruments when talking to the community, 60 trained volunteers understanding active citizenship, project management and local financed projects, 3 local projects implemented.
Sometimes is just simple to play with words like "democracy", "EU values", "community engagement"... The reality is that this terms are use by us, NGO people, people working in the corporations of our bug cities, maybe students are learning now something about it. The rural area needs our help to learn & understand all of it and we are here to do it and to help them. Only the results of this project will answer to this question.
This idea is important to us because we are tired to see how things happen just because they must and not because there is a real need. It's also important because NOBODY has EVER asked they how they feed or what they want or need. we know well that our project will be just a rose in a rose field but someone has to try it and we want to do it. When we established CSR Nest as an NGO we positioned as a bridge between the rich (let's say companies or the state) ant the poor (the people) and we believe that till today we have managed to keep the bridge safe and good things and good people are crossing it.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Human resources ( 3 pers. - part time) 10 X 2100 = 21000
Communication 8 X 120 = 960
Local community projects 3 X 4000 = 12000
Workshops 15 X 350 = 5250
Project website (content & visual + hosting) 1 X 1200 = 1200
Administrative expenses (rental and utilities, stationaries) 10 X 120 = 1200
Transport & accommodation 10 X 350 = 3500
Press conference (at the end of the project) 1 X 1000 = 1000
Advertising materials 1 X 3500 = 3500
An honest feedback.