Democratic culture is about individual liberty and the ability to participate in the production and distribution of culture. People from rural areas have fewer opportunities for education as they increase in age; they develop low self-esteem and lose motivation to participate in civic engagement actively. Therefore, we want to motivate citizens from rural areas through education and inspiration by the history of local places to promote democratic values of commonalities and differences.
Villages of Poljica: Kostanje, Zvečanje, Čišla, Gata, Dubrava, Sitno, Srinjine at Dinara mountain
Croatia is a young member of the European Union and developing rapidly. People with little education from rural area find themselves not adapting to the progress of development and does not understand the culture of diversity. Their chances of development are very few because they lack skills and education. Also, their self-esteem gets lower as the surrounding develops more with them not been part of the event. As a result, they do not support any changes and differences that are the basis of a democratic society. The result is that young people eager for new experiences are increasingly leaving rural areas, and foreigners very rarely decide to move to these areas regardless of the beauty of nature.
The project focuses on members of families who are unemployed as those that provide the most resistance to change. The education of 30 people from several villages that make up Poljica will raise the level of awareness of the values of democracy as a traditional heritage of the inhabitants of Poljica, who were among the first in Europe to introduce democratic principles. We will connect with local cultural associations that know local problems and contribute to raising awareness of democratic values through education and knowledge of historical heritage and encourage active participation. We will look at the problem from several generational perspectives: the youngest ones, parents and retirees. We will be working with local authorities to spread educational material.
The first step is to motivate neighbors by talking, the next step is their engagement to motivate relatives, in parallel we will activate network of local cultural and artistic NGOs. With the help of the story of the old Statute of Republic of Poljica, we will create the book We draw the democracy # Now & Again, which we will advertise to the general population through all possible marketing channels.
We expect more open-minded people and an environment that supports the democracy and individuals. As the area is mostly inhabited by an elderly population who find it difficult to accept change, our project would bring them closer to the values of social, cultural, national, racial and economic diversity of tourists who increasingly want to explore rural areas away from urban agglomerations. The project would significantly facilitate the development of rural tourism that would enable young people to stay in the rural region. In addition, we would publish a book that would be delivered to the elderly population, the population of young people who stay and tourists who would visit these areas, and thus spread awareness of the acceptance of diversity in rural areas.
Starting from the assumption that ignorance is the root of all fears, including towards democracy, we want to motivate the people from the rural area through education and inspiration by the history of local places, not only to accept but also to promote democratic values of commonalities and differences. We will use the historical fact of the existence of the medieval Republic of Poljica in the 13th, which was governed by the people, who elected their leader through a democratic voting process. By studying old Poljica Statute, participants will become aware of the values of a democratic society as their traditional values. They will have less resistance to novelties and participation in the creation of a renewed and modernized statute that will break down barriers to today's democracy.
It is important to us because we believe that a significant change will happen if small changes are countlessly happening. And that people should never stop evolving. Also, because we have visited the villages of Poljica several times, and we have seen the beauty of nature and the visible cultural uniqueness of the area. We know the historical values of it. But the beauty is in the population as well, and not only in the landscape and we want to get to know it and we do not want such places to be abandoned.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Аdministrative costs – 2000 €
Personnel costs - 16 000 €
Equipment (a laptop, multimedia projector, screen for the multimedia projector) - 2500 €
Travel and accommodation costs – 5500 €
Designing and printing books (for kids and adults) – 16000 €
Training materials – 3000 €
Public relations – 5000 €
We would like to get more stories where history affirms democracy as the only sustainable form of shared values so that we can jointly enrich and support active participation in civil society. We also want to expand the common network to spread democratic values.