Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

Volunteering–positive life lessons for the future

Due to Covid 19 there is an increasing need for ”good deed making". We will raise volunteering culture among children. By working on specific ideas, participants achieve vital knowledge and skills.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Stiliana Todorova

NGO "Safe playgrounds"

https://www.facebook.com/safeplayground.sofia

Bulgaria

Who is joining forces?

Association Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

http://www.sbhb.org/

Bulgaria


Idea

Idea pitch

In Bulgarian schools sustainable “good deed making”/ voluntureeing has not been encouraged and children don’t know how to organise such initiatives. We will increase their volunteering knowledge, encourage youth ideas and develop participants' skills for active citizenship. 5 children teams, with a mentor, will get to know local institutions and will meet like-minded people. Each team will organise 4 activities according to their interest and local community needs.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will take place in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Lovech, Stara Zagora and the surroundings.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

A great social challenge is to educate curious, proactive, empathetic and confident children. While the social isolation grows, it becomes more difficult to find appropriate methods of active learning to keep youngsters' attention. Volunteering in an interactive way, through learning by doing improves behavioral skills, critical thinking, develops entrepreneurship and values. Often children aren't free to be proactive and thus make them passive users. We will “empower” them to be accountable and make good decisions, give them the tools and knowledge they need to act upon their own decisions. By sharing responsibility, they will develop active citizen self-confidence. An intolerance of the different is a significant challenge we face. SBHB contribution is a positive step in this direction.

Who are you doing it for?

- Students/Children (6-19 years). During this period, social skills are consolidated, values and significant people change, concepts such as civic responsibility emerge, personalities are formed. 5 teams will reach even wider range of stakeholders with their volunteer activities. We will include children with special needs, to support their social inclusion and empowerment.
- Representatives of local authorities - the project will raise the awareness that everyone has a role in the process of promoting active citizenship and volunteering.
- Schools - we will involve and support them in using a learning by doing approach to citizenship education.
- Parents and Citizens - we will raise their awareness of the need for shared responsibility for society and “good deed making”.

How do you plan to get there?

Team building - Mentors will build the teams consisting of min. 5 children and at least one child with special need. Team participants will be chosen by a cover letter, a statement of responsibility, and a statement of parental consent.
Introduction to the topic of volunteering - The mentor will choose the topics and training techniques, in accordance with children’s interests, needs and age. Online and/or in-person trainings will include: introduction to basic concepts - citizens` rights and responsibilities, voting, time management and setting priorities etc., and practical issues like how to find supporters, budget management, how to pitch ideas etc.
Teams motivation - Getting to know the participants in the team, short training for teamwork, organising meetings with the local administration, getting to know good examples - children and/or adults who have participated in volunteer activities, getting to know inspiring stakeholders.
Planning, organizing and carrying out volunteer initiatives - 4 actions per team, a total of 20 volunteering actions, selected independently by each team.
Selection of the best volunteer idea to be rewarded - all ideas will be presented on a popular platform among young people where they can vote for their favorite volunteering activity.
Dissemination of the idea and results at each stage of the project.

What are the expected results?

Our children-volunteer program will include more than 20 different initiatives based on participants' own ideas in 5 local areas in Bulgaria. This will bring immediate positive change for the local communities.
Min. 5 children with special needs will take a part in our volunteer program. They will help them to show their abilities, to share experience with peers and to become full and active members of the local society.
Our project aims to empower at least 30 children from all over the country who will take part in our volunteer program by providing them with competences, knowledge and skills in order to be able to plan and organise their own volunteer initiatives in the future.
The volunteering initiatives will positively impact all locations included in our idea.

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

Local mentors will support the children in their volunteer initiatives, specific according to the intertwining of the children’s interests and local community needs. It means it will raise the awareness of shared responsibility for the place they live. The children will undergo practical training in civic education and volunteering led by their mentors. They will spread the good deeds making idea among their families, friends and will share the experience of learning while achieving it. We have planned meeting with local authorities, community`s opinion leaders and business to share their vision and to learn how to pitch their ideas, how to debate, and to fail or get successfully done. Media, schools and parents will be actively engaged to support the children.

Why is this idea important to you?

"Safe playgrounds" has received recognition for its effort to encourage the citizen's personal engagement in the maintenance of children's environment. We have organised successful campaigns aimed to increase civic control in the maintenance of children's play and sports areas. We have supported many civil activities and presented experts` opinion to various draft legislation.
SBHB has been working hard with its youngest members the recent last 2 years on the topic of changing the play and sports environment.
We came together to benefit from each other's experience in a common effort to make active, conscious future citizens who want to contribute to society. We will work with mentors with extensive experience in working with children and organising initiatives at local level.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Mentors (20 working hours per month х 20 EUR х 12 months) = 4800 EUR per mentor х 5 mentors = 24000 EUR
Organisation of the volunteering initiatives (travel costs, materials etc. 1000 EUR х 5 initiatives) = 5000 EUR
Running costs – 500 EUR
Administrative costs (Agreements, accounting, etc.) = 1500 EUR
Management of the projects (coordination of all initiatives and activities, reports, documentation, final reports etc.) = 4000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We want to receive feedback if the planned results are realistic. Also whether there are suggestions for more effective work of the mentors with their teams, as well as how to better ensure the sustainability of the project. Whether the set regions are adequate to the objectives of the program.

Team

SafeplaygroundsSofia

Stiliana

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

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