National Youth Forum of Bulgaria
The Youth Academy "Speak UP" will involve 80 young people aged 15-29 from all 6 regions in Bulgaria in a 3-stage training and multiple challenges. The Academy will empower youth by equipping them with the main competences needed for them to be an active part of sociopolitical life on local level and contributing to shaping their local community.
All 6 geographical regions of Bulgaria and at least 12 towns, spread across them, will be affected.
The main issues the project will tackle are poor local youth participation and active citizenship. Bulgaria has adopted legislation that ensures youth participation, but most of it is recommendatory only. Only 4 Bulgarian municipalities have a functioning Youth Policy Council, although it is recommended in the national Youth Law. Most municipalities don’t have a local youth strategy or allocated budget for youth activities. Less than 1 in 10 young people in Bulgaria take part in some type of organised form of participation in social and political life (NYF’s survey 2015). This results in young people not being able to take part in decision-making processes that affect them and being a wholesome part of their society and its development.
The Youth Academy "Speak UP" will contribute to the motivation and civic engagement of young people on a local level with the program aiming to develop specific skills, create a support network between the participants and engage them in solving specific challenges in their communities. The 3 consecutive trainings based on non-formal learning methods and the challenges in between them will increase the participants' understanding of democracy, its values and the forms of civic participation. They will develop their skills for negotiation, argumentation, identifying issues, as well as planning and implementing youth initiatives that involve different stakeholders aimed at solving these issues, through practical activities.
The project will include 80 people aged 15-29 from all 6 geographical regions in Bulgaria. This will include young people who are engaged in youth NGOs as well as unorganised youth searching for opportunities to engage actively in their communities’ lives. The project team will make sure to reach youth from all 6 regions, small and big towns, through the open and then make sure to include young people from different backgrounds and circumstances, as well as youth with fewer opportunities, as participants.
The project will be implemented through the following steps:
- Create a team inside the Organisation, responsible for executing, monitoring and reporting the project
- Methodology design by the NYF’s Pool of Trainers
- Open call for participants
- Selection process of participants
- Organising and carrying out the 1st training stage
- Implementing the first round of tasks and youth initiatives by participants on local level
- Selection process of 50 participants to continue to next stage
- Organising and carrying out the 2nd training stage
- 2nd round of youth initiatives
- Selection process of 20 participants to continue to next stage
- Organising and carrying out the 3rd training stage
- Promotion of the project activities throughout the whole project
The main results of this project would be:
- 3 consecutive training stages implemented
- At least 20 local youth initiatives aimed at solving a social problem or improving the relationship with local authorities carried out
- Acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes and developed competencies in 80 young people for their full participation in decision-making and socio-political life on a local level;
- 80 young people are empowered and equipped with the instruments necessary to strengthen democracy in their community and foster change;
- Connections between youth organizations and youth established across the country;
- Mechanisms for participation on a local level established;
Youth taking part in decision-making, youth empowerment and evidence-based youth policy are all at the core of European youth policy and therefore Bulgarian national youth policy. All of these processes encompass the main principles and values of democracy and the project aims to translate all of them into a practical dimension by providing young people with the tools needed to practically take part in democracy on local level which is also aligned with the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life. The competences acquired will serve them in the long term on national and European level and in this way the idea will contribute to shaping a generation of young people that recognises european democratic values as their own.
Our main motivation derives from our past experience in implementing the Academy. With 7 editions behind our back we are very aware of its impact and its contribution to strong democracy and youth participation, as well as building a community with the last 2 editions having been partially funded by donations from alumni participants. The Academy contributes to fulfilling one of our main goals, which is empowering young people regardless of their social, economical and other background and relates to our main strategic priorities: Youth Inclusion & Empowerment, Youth Work, Strong Youth organisations.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Accommodation and meals for the 3 trainings for a total of 150 people, respectively for 4 full days - 12,000 EUR
Travel expenses - 1000 EUR
Remuneration for trainers - 4000 EUR
Remuneration for lecturers - 3000 EUR
Materials for the participants - 2000 EUR
Advertising materials - 800 EUR
Staff - 3000 EUR
We would like to get ideas related to practical experience for motivating and engaging youngsters in the local community development. We would very much appreciate ideas and support on how to better the impact of our project and how to make it easier to monitor and evaluate the results.