Strengthening community spirit by strengthening its democratic identity and shared culture. Democratic identity is understood as culture of togetherness, caring about others, interaction with fellow citizen and proactive attitudes to the local agenda through participation. It also presupposes catalyst role of local and other leaders who inspire dreams and provoke energy for the process of taking the path of activities and construction of one’s life.
The project will be implemented in the village of Durankulak and Shabla municipal centre, Bulgaria.
Like any small place, Durankulak as part of the Northeast Bulgaria is also becoming depopulated and changing. It is transforming from a large prosperous village with developed agriculture into a shrinking village with growing seasonal sea tourism and large-scale agriculture. The great preconditions do not materialize in a better quality of life for the community as a whole.
• There are fewer traditions remaining that bring local people together
• Lack of events to mobilize horizontal relations
• Lack of common goals between local people among themselves and between them and the expanding community of new owners residing during the summer. Instead of integration in the name of a common goal and image building, encapsulation and alienation are experienced.
The project creates an opportunity to intensify horizontal relations within the community. Building a collective image through shared memory stimulates a sense of responsible belonging to the community:
- interview with local leaders, different residents of Durankulak, municipal center of Shabla and new owners of houses;
- the project develops a consolidating website of the villages based on the information of the research that gives floor to the collective memory of the past, milestone events in different periods of history of this area, profile of remembered figures and moments of pride from the past and the current;
- workshop on best stories and happenning of two public events where ideas for publication are discussed, voices of leaders and ordinary people are raised and heard;
The project serves each member of the community as an individual, the community as a whole, as well as local government institutions, cultural centre and new youth leaders. The results of the project are multiple: The project engages different types of participants who have no reason to meet and interact outside the project. The locals are at the same time the primary source of information, but above all they are the participants themselves. The process of participation in the project traces the infrastructure of events and interactions that help strengthen the community. The selection of interviewees face to face are from all categories without exception.
The project idea envisages different stages for its implementation.
Stage I October - April: (1) formation of a youth research team under the leadership of the project manager; (2) recruitment of expert consultants for all components of the project - modeling of the research, conducting desk research, analysis and outlining items to be communicated as a project result; (3| website and design concept; (4) brochure and translation project;
Stage II The field work will take place from May to September 2021. Research team members are students during their summer stay in Durankulak local and regular visitors, employees from the community center. Conducting workshops and two happenings.
The results of this project are multi-layered. Above all, the results are for the people themselves - for their better self-confidence, understanding and conviction of the fact how much depends on each of them to have a better quality of life, a better environment, and awareness of one’s status not just public as a viewer, but participants in the life of the community.
The results are important for improving the pan-European online environment, because there will be another place in the web for information and communication of topics relevant to many people beyond the topographic boundaries of the community.
If one would ask people from a small place like Durankulak how their place and they themselves are important for Europe they would hardly have an answer. This is the main reason to apply with this project idea. The people of every place are equally important – their self-esteem, their responsible behavior as citizen who care about the inherited past and the future they secure for the next generations. Having such a place visible for the rest of this tremendous European community contributes for the integrity of the EU. It connects people, helps for the awareness about each other, scope of the problems, ability to understand better each other, it strengthens communication and opportunity for dialogue.
Good knowledge of the object of our research, professional experience and emotional closeness are natural drivers for the development of a project.
We assume that catalyst leadership is very much needed for a place that declines in almost every aspect of life – no community center, no web sources, rising gap between generations in terms of memory and technology.
Democratic values go beyond voting in parliamentary and local elections. It is much more as a process of discovering others, interaction with them in the name of good environment and better life for everyone.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project management, personnel, consultancy 11,500
Webhosting, web construction, content, digitalization 11,000
Equipment for the project implementation 3,500
Expenses for two events – happening type 2,200
Translation and printing 4,000
Total Requested from Civic Europe: € 39,900
Participation In-kind (working office space and halls ) 4,000
Asking critical questions to intended activities would be helpful for the better structure of implementation of the project and improving its capacity to conduct it in specific action plan.