Learn more about the joint initiatives of Equal BG during 2020, under the motto #ItDependsOnUs
#ItDependsOnUs / Human Rights in Action is a joint initiative of more than 30 civil society organizations that believe that the better life depends on each and every one of us.
We united around the idea that we want to live in a society defined by solidarity, respect of free speech and diversity of views, promotion of dialogue between different social groups, respect of human dignity and by the creation of opportunities for full expression of all people, regardless of their differences.
The society we want to live in also needs active civil society organizations to set good examples and uphold the values of democracy and human rights.
Many people work for positive social change every day, but sometimes society sees very little of what has been achieved. That is why, all these civil society organizations, which do not seek to be excused, but to offer answers and solutions, have come together.
We are as different, as are the different groups of society and we work in different areas such as:
- Media and freedom of speech (“Blue Link” Foundation, Association of the European journalists – Bulgaria, Association for human rights “Marginalia”, Media Democracy Foundation);
- Voluntary service (“Big brother, big sister” Association, Association for volunteers CVS Bulgaria);
- For a better future and well-being of children and parents (“Right of Childhood” Foundation, “Education and Future”);
- Support of refugees and migrants (“Mission wings” Foundation, “Center for legal aid – Voice Bulgaria” Foundation);
- Rights of LGBTI+ people (Youth LGBT organization “Deystvie”, “Ivor” Foundation);
- Environment and climate change combat (Ecological association “For the Earth”, “EcoMission 21” Association);
- Culture and art (“VT Events” Association, Foundation for new culture);
- Youth activism and leadership (“Generation” Foundation, “Forum for glocal change” Foundation, “Youth and Civic initiatives in the Rose Valley” Association, “Young researchers for youth development” Association, “Young, active, creative”);
- Education and Learning (Association “Knowledge”, Community center “Umenie-2003”);
- Support for overcoming addictions (“Bulgaria without smoke” Association, “Only today” Association);
- Gender equality (Rodopchanka Women’s Club, Gender Alternatives Foundation, Bulgarian Fund for Women Foundation).
Here are just a few examples of thematic local and national campaigns implemented in the autumn of the turbulent for all 2020, under the common motto “It depends on us!”:
The Glocal Change Forum created the first and so far only Guide to Youth Civic Participation, which filled a gap in Bulgarian language resources on youth civic participation and stimulated public discussion on the full inclusion of young people in democratic processes.
From “Young, active, creative” kneaded bread with the slogan “Let’s knead to mix” and showed that accepting differences, diversity and intercultural dialogue through outdoor community activities promotes a tolerant attitude between children of different social and economic status. By kneading the dough, they showed that we are all equal in front of the bread, and making bread is a therapy for the soul.
The joint campaign of “Mission Wings” and “Right to Childhood” drew public attention to the rights and needs of children and called on professionals from different fields and institutions to put children at the center of their activities and emphasize the role of the adult in the life of a child. The initiators of the campaign, but all of us as well, we want to increase the sensitivity on the topic and to make the adult realize their significant role in a child’s life.
“IVOR” produced the first informational video, which points out the reason why the number of HIV/AIDS victims has decreased in half over the last decade. Apart from the fact that the video became viral on social media, the most important thing is that it informs what is ART – antiretroviral therapy, the treatment that controls HIV. In plain language, it is clear that an HIV-positive person who complies with their treatment will live as long and productively as an HIV-negative person. And did you know that Undetectable HIV = Non-Transmissible HIV?
The Bulgarian Fund for Women presented an album called “The Eternal Hits of Bulgaria“, which brought to the top of the charts and public attention the painfully familiar “songs” and compilations where we heard monologues presenting well-known and less understood types of violence against women. The campaign “The Eternal Hits of Bulgaria” systematizes and intensifies them to a degree of pain, so that they can be heard by more people. The hits did not fail to reveal the nuances that usually escape us and therefore how we often blame the victims for not being able to escape.
The community center “Umenie-2003” took the first steps in establishing their new home and began to create a cozy cultural center for people of different ages and ethnicities in Yambol to continue to work and convince the local community that civic organizations and in particular the community center, works for the protection of their human rights, for the support of the family and each person.
In a creative video, presented by Youth LGBT+ Organizarion “Deystvie”, it is shown that all gay people want is equality. The equality from which they are separated by at least 300 rights. Change is possible. Everyone has the right to a family. While it is true, that change will not happen now and immediately, every day we get closer by being together and in action.
Media Democracy Foundation conducted a survey “Media and Citizens: What Depends on Us?” with intellectuals, artists, people with influence and attitude towards public life in the country. They shared personal and expert opinion on the challenges in the media environment and possible ways to tackle them. Media Democracy Foundation aims to engage public attention on the topic and to stimulate civic thinking in the direction of improving the situation in the country.
“For the Earth” Association launched their campaign with a video showing easy steps for individual action to reduce the use of plastic, drawing people’s attention to a petition against plastic pollution signed by 19, 377 people; instructions on how to do a brand audit and a little-known problem for the general public – the presence of a plastic layer in the advertised as an alternative to plastic cups such as cardboard.
DOBROcast podcast of CVS Bulgaria created “for volunteer service work” is a fresh, well-intentioned and necessary shared space for the exchange of charitable dynamics, inspirations and positive examples. A place where inspiring big hearted people and stories meet together. You can listen to #DOBROcast in Spotify, Soundcloud and Google podcast.
The Association of European Journalists gave visibility to the work of independent journalists and media across the country, who work in the public interest despite the deteriorating media environment. They tell 34 stories about media and journalists. Тhe choice of the number is not accidental – this is the highest place that Bulgaria ever took in the ranking of media freedom, unlike the current 112th. The campaign also contains an explanatory element on how citizens can support free journalism in the country.
The campaign also created many useful online resources to help teachers work with students on their civic education; young people helped living alone elder women; we shattered myths about the civic sector; civic nominations and awards for activists were organized; meetings between young people and politicians; training of young people on the topics of volunteering and their involvement in volunteer actions; participation of young people in the local parliament in the town of Lom and raising civic culture; the risks and necessary legal changes related to smoking were explained; the challenges for people struggling with addictions and the professionals who help them were presented; cultural and creative activities were carried out in an urban environment, which represent the work of civil society organizations; legal assistance was provided to people without status and documents in Bulgaria.
All of these achievements make us proud and united by our common actions, under the motto #It Depends On Us.
Media partners of the project are Darik Radio, Offnews and Club Z.
You can check out all of the campaigns on the webpage of the Ravni BG coalition.
Equal BG coalition is funded by Civitates
Campaign visual: Maria Donchevska