Community development, Youth participation and empowerment


Interactive hub for inter-cultural dialogue and civic academy youth trainings


Who is behind this?

Angelina Vladikova

BRIDGES- Eastern European Forum for Dialogue


Who is joining forces?

Institute for Social Integration (ISI)


Irena Danailova



Idea pitch

Hub for trainings and Civic academy for tolerance, social inclusion and responsible citizenship in the society with the focus on basic human values and principles. Working with youth groups, we will use nonformal educational approach in four modules and directions: ecology, how to counter hate speech, emotional intelligence, active citizenship and social inclusion. Those trainings will give tools to the youth: to be more flexible, to communicate with empathy and build trust and togetherness.

Where will your project idea take place?

Vidin, Northwest Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Bulgaria is a post-socialist country. We are still facing problems with civic engagement and low human rights awareness and understanding, especially outside the capital city. North West is the region where people are less educated, there is high number of unemployment and people face poverty. Lower level of education and quality trainings lead to aggression, open doors for hate speech and tensions between different groups in the society,
We aim to tackle exactly those antisocial attitudes and behavioral patterns.
In addition, we will enhance their soft social skills and competences.
Another thing that is to be gained from this experience will be to establish an intimate spiritual relationship with this different community.

Who are you doing it for?

Our aim is to bring together 50 young people from the region and different parts of Bulgaria, of different ethnic/religious traditions, minority and marginalized groups, migrants. As we have good partner relations with Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Armenian, Jewish religious leaders and other partner organizations in the country, we will select our participants based mainly on their recommendation. Consequently, we would filter the selected list of young people through online interviews, questionnaire and application form. Certificates will be given to all those who accomplish the academy. Beneficiaries are all those young people and their local communities.
Other target groups in Vidin and region: journalists, teachers and social workers.

How do you plan to get there?

Our plan is to to set up a centre for trainings and civic academy hub "ViDa BRIDGE" in Vidin by following specific steps:
1. Form a motivated and strong team - leaders from partnering organizations
2. Having online meetings and team-building activities to set up our goals and time frame
3. Select young leaders from different religious and ethnic groups who are interested to be involved in the project;
4. Conduct trainings and schedule the site events
5. Media and social network covering during the time of the project
6. Dissemination and reporting the results
Participants in the training and academy will be building together bridges of tolerance, mutual understanding, acceptance and respect for the variety of faith traditions, generations and cultures. Along with that they will pass the Civic academy. During the academy participants will improve their communication skills, teamwork and conflict solving through non-formal learning methods - trainings, experiential learning, simulations and so on. Civic academy will be organized by Institute for Social integration (ISI).
We ourselves, operating in unison, are responsible for creating a better tomorrow, for bringing about a shift in the attitudes of others and for establishing a society whose members are not entrapped by prejudice beliefs. We can make the world a better place for us and the future generations.

What are the expected results?

Thanks to the project we will established a hub/centre which will continue to work offering non-formal and civic trainings for the youth from Vidin and the region with well equipped and trained local people.
As a result of this project we want to make an impact on two levels. Firstly, we hope that our participants will increase their knowledge about different cultures, that they will become aware of the needs of minorities and marginalized groups. Empathy and knowledge about good practices for intercultural youth work would increase.
Secondly, we hope that they will develop active listening skills, media/video production skills, organizational, project management and leadership skills and we will equip them with good skills for active civic engagement and interaction.

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

The project has as its main objective the creation of a more tolerant society. That would be achieved by teaching the participants how to tackle local challenges which have emerged as a result of prejudices and discrimination of religious and ethnic community members. We would double the desired impact by providing relevant transferable tools to the participants as for them to offer solutions in their respective communities – where they live, work and interact with others. The acquaintance with the different communication channels, in addition to representatives from the local authority, will have a positive effect on both the democratic vision and active citizenship of the locals.

Why is this idea important to you?

During the years BRIDGES became a leading organization for promoting interfaith dialogue and young people’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Besides that, the organization has earned a reputation for delivering on its mission to create an inclusive society, bring together men and women from different religious communities and aid them in recognizing and appreciating diversity. BRIDGES team: chair Angelina Vladikova has excellent organisational and leadership skills; Diana - PR; Laura - strong youth leader and educator. Partner 1: Stanka Balova - ISI chair is an excellent trainer, has experience in civic academy trainings; Partner 2: Irena Danailova - "Audio and video creative" - our anchor in Vidin and strong advocate for the problems the region is facing.

€ 36000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs - 16 000 Euro
Technical equipment and training materials - 4 000 Euro
Travel and accommodation costs - 8 000 Euro
Office expenses (together with accountant) - 6 000 Euro
Short video production and leaflets - 2000 Euro

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

If any other organization from the platform has conducted a similar project, we would appreciate recommendations for the better realization of ours. Sharing of good practices, comments and the like is more than welcome. We would be happy to establish partnerships with other organizations.


BRIDGES - Eastern European Forum for Dialogue

Youth leader - BRIDGES

Idea created on April 23, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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