Active Communities for Development Alternatives

The New Handbook "Empower the Change"

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Following its two years work on activating local communities and strengthening the civic image of Chitalishte, Platform AGORA gathered and described its experience in "Empower the Change" handbook. All that happened within the project "Activating Communities through the Chitalishtes in Bulgaria", funded by America for Bulgaria Foundation and realized with the valuable support of partners and friends, who believed and worked for achievement of the project goals. The title of the handbook "Empower the Change" speaks for the change that happened within the described communities and it is driven by the people.

The stories described in the handbook speak about how change in the living environment could happen with the joint efforts of locals from small villages and towns as well as form larger towns around the country.

"Empower the Change" is a qualitative summary of the constructive and creative actions people have done and continue doing at the settlements all over the country. It is a practical illustration of the joint efforts of AGORA, its partners and colleagues and the residents of 33 settlements.

The practices described in the handbook are grouped in a few impact areas and provide information about where, when and how things happened within the settlements, the voluntary support, donations and the successfully established partnerships. The achievements have been made in seven diverse areas: entrepreneurship behavior, cultural and spiritual identity, the culture as a factor for change and development, access to agora, the balance with the nature and encouragement of solidarity.

Following the tradition of the published Guides for Chitalishtes so far, the good practices handbook presents the accomplishments as a result of application of 'AGORA approach' - approach for stimulation of citizen participation and achievement of positive change with community will, resources and efforts.

Here (only in Bulgarian language) you can find our lessons learnt and we hope those to inspire others to take their own path.