INVEST IN OUR COMMON FUTURE – HELP TALENTED YOUTHS SHOW THEIR POTENTIALS
Given the current socio-economic situation in Bulgaria, young people aged 18-24 fall into the most vulnerable group considering the risks of long-term poverty, social exclusion and marginalization, and falling into a state of dependence with no real opportunities to show your capabilities. The aim of this project grasps the major goal of our association – to provide equal opportunities for young people, so that their personal development and life success depends entirely on their own abilities, but not on the finances of their families, the affiliation to certain religious and political groups, the possession of the “right” connections, etc. We will use diverse methods to make this vital change, empower the brightest youths, and add social justice in the system.
The current socio-economic processes in Bulgaria are characterized by severe impoverishment of the population, with the age group 18-24 exposed to the highest pressure considering the lack of job opportunities and chances to apply personal knowledge and talents in practice. The great unemployment rate is complemented by the fact that many youths have fallen out of the educational system, while even majority of those with higher education find rarely chances for realization. That deteriorates not only the social, but also the demographic situation, as many youths are forced to migrate away from their families just to earn something to live on. On the other hand, the significantly unfair distribution of opportunities, based rather on where you live or who you know, but not on what you know and what you can, brings additional instability in the system. All that often results in disastrous psychological effects in youths, such as lack of belief in possible positive changes and in a better future, loss of self-esteem and confidence in own abilities, unwillingness to engage in some kind of civil activity (social, political, entrepreneurial), etc.
We will organize various distinct activities to create better conditions for improving the perspectives for the youths: Roundtables, discussions, and seminars on hot topics, as well as workshops for gaining key skills; Proactive wide-range information campaigns complemented with the development of an online platform giving details, tutorials and explanations about actual programs, scholarships, and grants available for youths; Projects aimed at involving talented youths in practical work, as well as different specialized trainings; Organization of private consultations with experts in career development. All these activities will increase the competitiveness and leadership skills, stimulate informal learning of the youths, support the idea for equal access to education, development programs, projects, and other opportunities, and bring better chances for the future realization of those who deserve.
By providing the youths with new knowledge, information, capabilities and chances to apply their skills, we will fight the negative trends, thus creating the necessary base for gradual and sustainable social integration of young people. In long-term perspective the positive effects would be felt not only at personal level, but also in the whole society, as this mechanism would provide an opportunity for the latent social potential to be used. We also expect these activities generate a strong psychological effect among young people, incorporate certain values, and finally – make young people believe that they can be worth, that they can be “somebody”. That could really change our common future for the better!