Active Communities for Development Alternatives

The Final Forum in Nikopol

Monday, 01 March 2010

During the final community forum held on February 26th, 2010 in Chitalishte "Napredak 1871" we came to the conclusion that the community problems are problems of the individual citizen, too. The 'big capital of the small town" rests in its own people and when we jointly search paths and participate with labor, ideas, commitment and donations - we become an active community because united we can achieve more!

This development is due to the implementation in the last five months and a half of the local community initiative "Nikopols' Spiritual Leaders - the Big Capital of the Small Town". The initiative focused on two issues of public interest pointed out by the local community: to support the design and create a memorable plate of the Nikopol's spiritual leaders and to renovate the children's section of the library. It should be noted that both issues are achievable, lead to visible results and at the same time the cause attracts public opinion and encourages citizens' participation.

Besides, the local authorities, school, private and municipal companies and publishers form all over the country have been engaged in the initiative. Our partners were the publishers of the following newspapers: "Posrednik", "Posoki", "Forum sever", Chitalishten vestnik" and "Nikopolski horizonti". Directly over 350 people were involved in the initiative's activities and 220 of them were children and young people. The initiative influenced about 10 000 people via the informational newsletters and boards, newspaper subscriptions, viewers of the many public events, Internet users. The fundraising campaign resulted in the involvement of 190 donors (individual and legal entities) from 21 settlements in Bulgaria and one individual donor from Australia. The children's section of the library has a new entrance and has been renovated with the joint efforts and work of volunteers, project team, the Chitalishte staff, a subcontractor and partners' representatives - local authority administration and school "Hristo Botev". The initiative was promoted with 15 full-color posters and announcements for the upcoming activities (total 300 copies).

Further, an action plan for the operation of the Children's Center "Friends of the homeland and guards of the historic and cultural homeland memorabilia" was approved and the developed Municipal Program for Celebrating the Day of Bulgaria's Spiritual Leaders would be submitted for approval to the Permanent Commission on Education, Culture, Tourism and Religion".
Evidently, the initiative activities provided real opportunities for active citizen participation in the preservation of the historic and cultural memory in the Nikopol municipality. Essentially, an environment for restoration and manifestation of spiritual, cultural and community values (cherished by the Nikopols' spiritual leaders who were the first teachers and enlighteners, founders of the Chitalishtes and publishers) has been created. The initiative engaged the children and young people in activities related with the homeland and involved the Chitalishtes in the municipality in the process of planning and implementing a Municipal Program for Celebrating the Day of Bulgaria's Spiritual Leaders.

We succeeded due to the grassroots origin of the initiative! We will continue to work on the creation of a memorable plate of the Nikopol's spiritual leaders and with the support and involvement of the local authorities we will achieve our goals.

The information was prepared by Mrs. Nikolinka Hristova, Project Coordinator and Secretary of Chitalishte "Napredak 1871", town of Nikopol.


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