02 Youth Municipal Water Council
The project was implemented thanks to the financial support received from the Small Grant Program of Democracy Commission, US Embassy, Sofia.
The project started with the identification of participants and institutionalization of the Youth Municipal Water Council (YMWC); organizing and conducting a civil campaign for access to information on water management; identifying printed thematic materials, consulting with experts, browsing the Internet for relevant information. The information collected was used for design and publication of two brochures. Additionally, a process was launched.
During the second phase of the project two videos were produced for water management in the Municipality of Stara Zagora; brochures had been published; WebSite was designed and constantly updated; strategy for youth participation in the water and environment management in the municipality was created and broadly discussed. The strategy was submitted to the Municipal Council. Open meeting of the YMWC took place. It was opened by the Mayor of Stara Zagora – Dr. Evgegy Gelev. The Chairman of the Municipal Council – Prof. Bojkov, took active part in the preparation of the meeting and the meeting itself. Students and teachers from neighbor municipalities attended the meeting, and got direct impression on the conducted activities and publications.
The outreach activities were targeted on publicity of the youth participation in local decision-making; transparency of the process of decision-making; involving different stakeholders in the water management at local level; as well as raising awareness that management on local level is civil society responsibility.
The youth participants (YMWC) and the staff of the project, as well as other members of the organization, established effective collaboration and communication. We especially appreciate the atmosphere of trust that has been introduced. Each of the participants is free to express his/her opinion during the discussion on each of the subjects. The participants feel their opinion is valuable and respected .The activities undertaken have a spirit of cooperation, tolerance and mutual understanding. They helped to deepen the previous contacts of the NGO, as well as to establish new effective and positive contacts with institutions, organizations, individuals.
The citizens, media and institutions of Stara Zagora have been kept constantly informed about the project. The project raised public awareness concerning the personal responsibility of each member of the community to participate in decision-making, and identify solutions to water problems. These solutions involve all of us, instead of being forwarded from one institution to another.
Consultations have taken place with the Chairman of Municipal Council, Municipal Councilors, the Mayor, municipal officers, representatives of water management companies and institutions. They were involved supported the development of specific procedure s for the participation of young people in the process of local, managerial decision-making. Earth Forever mediates the cooperation between YMWC, Municipal Council, local institutions and citizens of Stara Zagora.
The knowledge acquired by the participants through targeting and collecting project-related data is greatly valuable. The participants gained knowledge on local management decision-making made by local authorities and local council, and that though the problems might look difficult there is a way to solve them if every involved party does its best to collaborate with others.
The successful implementation of the project added to the positive image of Earth Forever in the community, providing proves again that it is an NGO that works for the benefit of the community in a transparent and democratic way.