The power of working together – we continue our work in the city of Veliki Preslav

The power of working together – we continue our work in the city of Veliki Preslav town

Our work continues in the city of Veliki Preslav, this time with the support of the Embassy of France in Bulgaria, under their program – Eco Municipality – Еко Община.

Yesterday the winners of the “Eco-Municipality” competition of the Embassy of France in Bulgaria were announced. The project we developed and presented with the initiative group, named “I cleaned this” from Veliki Preslav is ranked among the three winners and it will be financed with the amount of 3000 BGN.

A little infromation about the group itself and its story:

After a training courses, which Open Space Foundation held in Veliki Preslav, an initiative group of young people from Veliki Preslav mobilized to work together to change the environment in which they live. Following the trainings came the subsequent planning and implementation of their personal initiatives, which were realised at the time table between November 2018 and March 2019. The youngsters share said they felt motivated and inspired. “We see a meaning in doing something about the city and about ourselves as part of this community. We believe and we are ready to do many things together. “

Within the program that our organization finances and supports logistically and technically, young people have rebuilded premises in the city and are now conducting workshops for children and youth, including folk dance clubs, video processing, sharing books, and encouraging their fellow citizens to read and share books with the rest of the people in the city.

While the initiatives that we supported were going on, they set up their club, which they called “I cleaned this” and have already organized several actions to clean-up places in the city and the surrounding area that have been turned into unregulated landfills or are so overlooked that one cant even recognize the places, let alone use them as intended.

They’ve created a Facebook page to invite their fellow citizens to publish similar activities, but above all to motivate more people to clean-up, preserve, and at least not pollute the terrain around them.

For the short period of its existence, the group has accomplished:

  • Cleaning of an unregulated landfill near the village of Tuzesz (13 January 2019);
  • Cleaning a fountain from 1981 – January 20th and 26th, as well as donating building materials for the repair of the facility. It is due to be repaired;
  • Organized book collection for the city library fund. Up to now: Over 200 books collected;
  • Cleaning the city stadium and renovating the benches on the stands;
  • Cleaning of the area between the Regional Hospital and the Roma neighborhood – 18 March 2019:  link
  • Cleaning an exhibition hall in the already empty Hotel Balkantourist in the city, which hosts an exhibition of authors from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Greece from the 4th to the 7th of April under the title: “Memories of the past with the call never to repeat again”: link

The group works on a voluntary basis, self-organizing and attracting people from the city.

The project, which will be supported by the French Embassy, ​​is to continue the job of restoring the adjoining sports grounds of the city stadium. Our desire is to turn them into working multifunctional playgrounds as they were in the time, and to provide an accessible sports venue for people in the city. Oportunities for the locals to play football, volleyball, tennis, yoga, basketball. But the interesting thing is that the young people themselves initiated the restoration of the terrain and are working on its recovery and maintenance.

The challenge will be the subsequent maintenance of the terrain, but we also believe that they will be able to also handle this task. More importantly, they realised that there is a need for a place where people not only play sports together, but also to work in a team. At a time when people’s activity is mostly on social networks and its mostly consist of criticism, doing something real, and building it and making it worthwhile for people deserves more of our attention. The Open Space Foundation team is pleased to support their work and stand by them in this endeavor.

Coming soon – news about the development of their idea.