Active Communities for Development Alternatives

“Provoke the People with Interesting Ideas”

Friday, 06 March 2015

A few days before the sixth edition of Contest AGORA we remind you of the winning initiatives of last year. In a series of five interviews we are going to talk to representatives of the Chitalishtes who submitted initiatives in Contest AGORA 2013 in order to learn more what change has happened and how it developed their local communities.

In Contest AGORA 2013, Chitalishte "Zarya 1902", Vakarel received the award in the field "Art and Culture for Development" for their initiative for creating a digital library "Vakarel - Past, Songs and Hope".

The library contains digitalized and systematized information about the local cultural heritage, the local community, the owners of holiday properties in the vicinity, as well as for the people related with the village by origin and representatives of the diaspora in Zadunaevka village, Odessa region, Ukraine. Besides, the discovered documents, articles, letters and photos within the initiative with the support of more than 50 volunteers, authentic for the region songs have been recorded and a film for Vakarel has been made. One year after the receipt of the award, we talk to the Chitalishte team to learn more about the enhancement and development of the digital library.

1. How did the community welcome the news of the award and was it provoked to start a new initiative?

We introduced a new service with high quality provision for our population with the start of the project "Creating a digital library Vakarel - Past, Songs and Hope" at the library of Chitalishte "Zarya 1902". The creation of a web site with organized e-content for the local cultural heritage and history, unknown till now to the people from Vakarel, turned out to be a good information channel between the Chitalishte and the local community and not only that. We attracted various auditory to the Chitalishte cause. What is more important, the people from Vakarel have identified themselves; they know their history, disseminate it and definitely have a lasting interest in it. We collect and process new information provided to us by locals. The second edition of „Antropogeografski studies of Vakarel -1933" by Guncho Gunchev in a fact with the support of Paun Atanasov - a patriot with deep roots in Vakareslko. A second disk will be issued with authentic songs from Vakarel. As far as the filming of the second part of the historic documentary devoted to our home town is concerned, we have difficulties to find sponsors. Meanwhile, original books of Stoyan Vatralski have been presented to us by Marin Stoev that will be uploaded on our website in full text format after digitalization. All those positive news have been shared in the social networks, the local and municipal media.

2. Will you share with us, what was the effect of the award of Contest AGORA 2013 and how it was used?
With the award provided by Communication Agency ProWay and Contest AGORA 2013, we purchased a DSLR digital camera (incl. body and lens) for 890 BGN. Our contribution is 390 BGN. Thus, we already have the necessary technique for high quality and modern presentation of our product meeting the demands of our clients. Especially, when it comes to digitalization and presentation of photos, postcards, artifacts, books, etc.
3. What can you recommend to fellow colleagues who intend to develop and involve the local communities in significant civic initiatives?
Provoke the people with interesting ideas, make them empathetic. Involve science and institutions in the process. Do not stop to remind what your cause and ideas are. Dialogue, flexibility and patience.

Tags: contest