In this project, we strengthen civic engagement of residents of the Purda Municipality, support democratic culture and help local leaders to implement their ideas. We support leaders and people engaged in the activities of local NGOs. We show them how to educate residents, how to cooperate with the Municipality Council and the residents, and how to develop civic engagement in the community. From our experience we observe that the community of the Purda Municipality do not engage in the processes and events that are important for the development of a democratic society. Residents do not participate in elections, do not engage in public consultations, and do not attend sessions of the Municipality Council. There are 5 Rural Housewives’ Clubs in the municipality, and 25 people serve as village heads. These persons are active and highly motivated to act, but they lack resources to implement their ideas. The Purda Municipality is dominated by areas formerly belonging to State Farms, with no institutions supporting civic activities. On the other hand, in each village there are active people who could become leaders activating rural communities.
As part of the project, we conduct workshops, set up a Forum of Village Heads and provide the leaders with individual counseling. We help young people to implement three social initiatives that are important to them. The workshops are attended by 25 Village Heads and the Village Councils members, 20 members of the Rural Housewives’ Clubs and 15 students. The workshop topics include democratic mechanisms (public consultations, elections), tools of public participation (a petition, a motion, public information), but also motivation, volunteerism and ideas on how to engage people in acting for the common good. Thanks to the project, we will strengthen Rural Housewives’ Clubs and Village Councils, improve documents regulating democratic practices in the functioning of villages and other municipal institutions, as well as spread knowledge of the civil rights of adult residents and youth.