Active Communities for Development Alternatives


Thursday, 08 April 2010

On March 24th, 2010 in Chitaslihste "H.N.D.Palaveev", Koprivshtica the model for solution of local problems through public forums with the assistance of Chitalishtes and realization of diverse local initiatives was presented to Chitalishtes from the region (Hisarya, Karlovo, Bania, Pirdop, villages Kamenica, Chavdar, Smolsko, Stoletovo). Specifically, the civic initiative KOPRIVA (Club for Preservation of Nature Resources and Research of the Possible Alternatives) the following groups in Koprivshtica were activated:

  • Farmers, interested in organic farming;
  • Citizens who would like to eat healthy and organic food;
  • Children and youth aware of the need and significance of their ecological behavior.

The KOPRIVA Team researched and gathered good practices through Internet, Bulgarian and foreign specialized literature and by examination of local practices through questionnaire. The results were presented during the three trainings held with local farmers, to the students (as customers and future young farmers) and summarized in a Guide. KOPRIVA provided technical support for establishment of the first bio-cooperative in Koprivshtica. Also, programs for incorporation of training activities on organic farming and environmental protection in the curriculum of the school and kindergarten (initiative partners) were developed.

The exhibition "Art from Trash" was opened in the foyer of the Youth House exhibiting children and youth art works made from waste materials.

The closing forum started at 3 pm in the meeting hall of the Municipal administration Koprivshtica. The participants were greeted by representatives of the Co-operation Memorandum signers - Chitaslihste "H.N.D.Palaveev", Koprivshtica Municipality, "Luben Karavelov" school and "Evlampia Vekilova" kindergarten. Mr. Lyubomir Tcekov, Mayor of Koprivshtica Municipality expressed his support and admiration for the activities of the children and youth sections of KOPRIVA and encouraged their responsible civic eco behavior.

The children from the first section of KOPRIVA Club (age - up to 13), organized by Ms. Elena Chumpova had a presentation narrated in a fairytale style. It is about a mountain hike and the great disappointment of the children from the polluted nature. They had the opportunity to voice their ecological messages to the town's governance and its citizens and propose specific actions for environmental protection.

The young people from the second section of KOPRIVA Club (age - over 14) with the municipality support had planted 500 common locust sapling within the landfill area, cleaned up the river beds of Topolnica and Biala reka, researched the methods of building an organic house from natural materials and will start its construction in spring.

Mr. Viktor Markov, Chairperson of KOPRIVA Association presented the steps leading towards the bio-cooperative establishment, the design and development of KOPRIVA's web site www.kopriva.org , the organized meetings with representatives of the Regional Service for Agriculture Advisory, study visits at organic farm and the International Agricultural Exhibition AGRA 2010 in Plovdiv and outlined the development perspectives.

Before the forum closing remarks Ms. Emilia Lissichkova, Chairperson of AGORA Platform awarded the Chitalishte Chairperson, Mrs. Alexieva with Certificate for Civic Initiative on behalf of AGORA, wishing her realization of many future community initiatives in Koprivshtica. In addition, Chitaslihste "H.N.D.Palaveev" announced its own fund for support of youth civic initiatives (up to 1000 BGN). On May 11th, 2010 during a Public Youth Forum the developed project ideas will be presented.

In the end, the forum participants walked along the ecological alley positioned in the park in front of the Municipal administration building, made by the young members of KOPRIVA and tasted the eco bites. The hand-made wood information panels in the shape of: cart with fruits, horse, deer and tree displayed photos from activities, information about biodiversity and advices on development of organic farming.