Active Communities for Development Alternatives

A Straw Bale Center KOPRIVA Constructed by Volunteers from Bulgaria and Abroad

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

"People come at Koprivshtica to search for the past and meet the future" - were the first words of Mrs. Penka Alexieva, Chairperson of Chitalishte "H. Nencho Palaveev - 1869", Koprivshtica who shared the last developments around the ecological initiative for construction of house with natural materials (straw bales).

The straw bale house construction was one of the many challenges KOPRIVA Association faced in 2009 when AGORA Platform and America for Bulgaria Foundation supported the initiative in the framework of the project "Activating Communities through the Chitalishtes in Bulgaria". The funding received from AGORA and the additionally raised funds in combination with the local resources were insufficient to finalize the house.

"Do not worry, we are going to finish it with volunteer labor" were the comforting words of Victor Markov, the Chairperson the Association. So it happens. In the autumn of 2011 the youth from the Association prepared clay material and plastered the house themselves. Later on, participants in an international youth seminar in Koprivshtica together with their local peers washed and prepared the wool for house insulation.

In March 2012, the eco house in Koprivshtica attracted the attention of youth from a technical college in Germany. Twelve young people came to Koprivshtica, bought materials and worked on site for four days. In the beginning of May 2012, The World Bank gave its contribution to the Koprivshtica's straw bale house by implementing their community benefit activities in the framework of a specialized seminar. The thirty participants in The World Bank seminar decided to support the construction of the Eco Demonstration Center "Kopriva" by preparing clay and plastering the inside walls of the straw bale house.

"By sharing the above, I would like you to witness how a civic initiative could bring many people together because of its grassroots origin, getting support and being justified by the community." is ending her story Mrs. Alexieva.

"Thanks a lot for your input volunteers",
Chitalishte "H. Nencho Palaveev - 1869" and KOPRIVA Association, Koprivshtica