Uniting citizens and organizations in the first festival “Mosaic of democracy: Civil society’ stage”

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Home / Causes / Uniting citizens and organizations in the first festival “Mosaic of democracy: Civil society’ stage”

Uniting citizens and organizations in the first festival “Mosaic of democracy: Civil society’ stage”

On the 17th of September, we transformed the Largo of Sofia into a colorful mosaic that brought together citizens, civil society organizations, and institutions. Altogether, they shared their contributions to promoting civic and youth participation, the inclusion of people from vulnerable groups, youth policy formulation, and engagement in democratic society. 

Together with the National Youth Forum, we organized the first festival “Mosaic of Democracy: Civil Society’ Stage”. The event was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sofia Municipality, and the Regional History Museum – Sofia. 

In the festival’s first edition, we united more than 400 citizens and over 30 civil society organizations to highlight the mission of the civil sector in Bulgaria and to present the causes of the organizations that are working towards a positive change in our society.

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Rositsa Dzhambazova, Chair of the Citizen Participation Forum, gave the opening remarks for the event. The festival went on with in-depth talks about important issues facing democracy. The discussion, which was facilitated by Dobrina Cheshmedjieva, featured participants from the following organizations:

  • Kristian Vigenin – Vice-President of the National Assembly.
  • Dimitar Iliev – Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Bulgaria.
  • Daniela Dasheva – Vice-Minister of Youth and Sports.
  • Tanya Pavlova – Head of the Political Cabinet.
  • Anna Adamova – Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
  • Tanya Chuntova – Public Relations Department, European Parliament Office in Bulgaria.

The heads of the hosting organizations, Georgi Petrov – Director of the Citizen Participation Forum, and Miroslav Tsekov – Chairman of the National Youth Forum, also actively participated in thematic discussions, which were related to the Citizen Participation Index, the place and role of youth policy and youth participation at the local level.

Representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports participated in a discussion on the future of the law on volunteering in Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law held a discussion related to the update of the Strategy for Civil Society Development and the priorities to be set in it.

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The Student Council of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia Student Council, and European Youth Card introduced the role of student self-government, the problems, and decisions of the student councils, and the voice of Bulgarian youth in Europe.

The NGO Club Targovishte presented the opportunities for citizens’ participation in public councils at a local level and the European Citizens’ Action Service presented a topic related to the protection of citizens’ rights in the European Union. 

Various workshops were held in the halls along the main space:

  • Art workshop, presented by the “Chovekolubie” Association.
  • Competition for children held by Knigovishte.
  • “Sources of motivation or how to achieve our goals”, organized by ABLE.
  • First aid with the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth.
  • Climate mural from ManEco Environmental Manifesto.
  • #YouImpact – a joint workshop to counter misinformation through impactful storytelling about the work of CSOs and community centers, organized by Citizen Participation Forum, Proinfo Foundation, and Modern Community Centres Association.
  • Storytelling for youth work by The Future Now Association.

The visitors had the opportunity to walk between the stands and talk with representatives of the organizations AEGEE-Sofia, Community Centre “Luyben Karavelov-1897”, European Institute, “For You” Association, Sofia Student Council, Time Heroes, Open Space Foundation, AIESEC Bulgaria, Center for Art, Culture, and Education “Sofia”, “The Future Now” Association, NGO Club Targovishtе, ABLE, “You are not alone” Association, “Caritas”- Ruse, “Chovekolubie” Association, Bulgarian Red Cross Youth – Sofia, ManEco, “FRI” Foundation, Association for Support of Persons with Mental Disabilities – Varna, “Zharava”, Association “Family Center – Maria”, Center Amalipe, Children’s Society Foundation, “Vasil Levski” Association, UN Association in Bulgaria, and Bulgarian Platform for International Development 

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From the very beginning, the goal of “Mosaic of Democracy: Civil Society’ Stage” was to bring civil society organizations closer to the citizens in Bulgaria. We are happy to share that the goal was fulfilled – we received valuable advice from experts, exchanged ideas, were introduced to worthy causes, and motivated citizens to work towards a positive development. 

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who attended the event on behalf of the Citizen Participation Forum and the National Youth Forum. Continue to live as active pieces of the mosaic. 

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