Social inclusion, Youth participation and empowerment

Voice of the youth

Fostering social inclusion and online media visibility for young people from disadvantaged groups.


Who is behind this?

Ivan Ivanov

Starry start of talents Foundation



Idea pitch

"Voice of the youth" is an initiative that enhances the trust between young people from disadvantaged groups and employment institutions and organizations in Sofia region. The aim of the idea is to give voice of the youth with fewer opportunities for speaking freely about the problems they encounter between employment and education, making them not only visible for offline and online world, but providing the chance to tackle those obstacles and overcome them.

Where will your project idea take place?


What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

According to recent statistics, unemployment in Bulgaria in September 2020 was 6.2%, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said on October 30, citing seasonally-adjusted figures. The increase in youth unemployment in Bulgaria was more drastic. In September 2019, youth unemployment in Bulgaria was 8.2%, representing an estimated 13 000 under-25s. In September 2020, the figure was 18.3%, representing 26 000 under-25s and a great number of these young people are coming from disavantaged background . Giving those numbers, we have developed an idea that aims to lower those numbers by engaging in civil dialogue the youth, institutions and employers both online and offline and in this way battling the problem from the bottom of the piramyd to its top.

Who are you doing it for?

We are focusing on several key target groups from Sofia region combined under one understanding - marginalized youth, between 15 and 30 years old. Those groups include: socially excluded young people like roma, unemployed, people coming from different background, LGBTQ, youth that have lost one (or both) parents, young people that have problems finding work through traditional search methods, those with social, cultural, economic, health or geographic obstacles. More than 10% is the youth unemployment in the smaller Sofia-region cities, most of which are coming exactly from those marginalized groups described above. The statistics are based for 2020 and coming from the National statistics institute in Bulgaria. We believe that there is a need to reach them in an innovative way.

How do you plan to get there?

For our project, the following action plan is planned:

1. Creation of "Voices of the youth" online platform that will be a combination between a online media show with host and job-providing website that aims to connect marginalized youth with future employers from various sectors.

2. Shooting regular online media broadcast show with host and youth from marginalized groups, giving them the voice to speak out about their problems related to employment, develompent and integration.

3. Hosting offline events in Sofia-region cities that will bridge together youth from marginalized groups with potential employers and the institutions responsible for tackling youth unemployment.

4. Demo-days where youth from marginalized groups will gain experience how to prepare for interview and how to find work through different search channels.

5. Practice - young people will be given the opportunity to work in real environment in the NGO sector.

Working methodology:

1. CANVAS business model;

2. S.P.A.ß. - Specific, Productive, Attractive, Self-Directed.

Approach & Steps:

1. Contacting various institutions, NGOs, accelerators and etc. with project presentation;

2. Sending invitations for participation in our online & offline events;

3. Shooting for our online broadcast "Voice of the youth" with representatives from all key players in the project.

What are the expected results?

Expected results:

1. At the end of the project we are expecting to raise the awareness about employment/self-employment opportunities, increase of the motivation and successful integration of at least 2000-5000 young people from marginalized groups coming from Sofia-region cities.

2. More adapted institutions and employers to the market needs and future employees's qualifications.

3. At least 200-500 marginalized youth, employed in various economic sectors.

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

Our project is based on an innovative methodology, which will give the opportunity for quick learning, adaptation and usage of ICT tools for personal development. The members of the community will have the opportunity to be directly engaged into the policy making with the help of online and offline dialogue with policy decision-making representatives. There will be several chosen leaders of smaller groups of youth that will have the task to represent their ideas before the policy-makers. Additionally, before giving the voice of the youth we have planned debating sessions in the demo days for the chosen representatives of the groups in our development center in Sofia-region, where we will provide them with knowledge about employment institutions, employers, EU, policies and etc.

Why is this idea important to you?

The people behind the project team are Grisha Petkov and Ivan Ivanov. Grisha Petkov is Co-founder and Head of "Starry start of talents" organization. He is passionate about developing talents of young people from smaller regions when it comes to music, dancing, concerts. Among various projects, he has continuously sent through different programmes talented youth (also marginalized) on Erasmus+, EVS, ESC programmes due to his connection with youth from smaller cities and villages. Ivan Ivanov is the Project development head of the foundation since 2014 and his mission is to help others become better in life. He is passionate about developing different skillset among young people, which he does for years. Ivan is multi-tasker, language nerd and international project coordinator.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Major expenses by category:

Personnel costs - 18 000 EUR
Web platform - 5000 EUR
Communication & media costs - 5000 EUR
Travel & accommodation costs - 1500 EUR
Office expenses - 5500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive constructive criticism and comments about how we can further improve the idea, what else we could potentially add, what other types of marginalized groups we can include in similar projects and how we could potentially add-on and upgrade this project into a larger-scale one.



Idea created on April 26, 2021

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