European Youth Water Parliament,
Youth for Water and Democracy in the Europe of Transition
Motivated, intelligent youth leaders (age 16-18)
from European countries in transition - youth and youth trainers
with high leadership potential and specific interests in water and
sanitation sector and democratic development.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Geneva
Municipality of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
The European Youth Water Parliament, Bulgaria
2003 will bring together the efforts of youth, local authority,
school authorities and NGOs in the municipality of Stara Zagora
on one hand, as well as a number of partners from developed world
and European countries in transition on the other, in the process
of raising youth leaders’ awareness for the essential need of democratic
tools in strategic decision-making in water and sanitation sector.
Youth delegations will gather in Stara Zagora Spa resort for the
Parliament and the Feast from 1 Sep. to 7 Sep. 2003.
A model distance youth leaders’ participatory
training program will be implemented as a starting point for ‘learning
by doing’ and ‘learning by sharing’ strategy applied via a Snap
Shot Survey of water management practices.
The project will make a real step to raise youth
awareness for active civil position and participation and foster
youth cooperation among youth water and sanitation groups from countries
in transition and Western Europe.
The project could be considered a follow-up of
a number of initiatives, surveys and campaigns in water and sanitation
sector implemented by a group of young people, volunteers of Earth
Forever Foundation, in collaboration with NGO International Secretariat
for Water, Quebec and NGO Solidarity Water Europe, Strasbourg and
their network of youth and water and sanitation associations and
schools from all over Europe; as well as local partners of Earth
Forever: Municipal Administration and Municipal Council of Stara
Zagora and Romain Rolland Language School, Stara Zagora.
The concrete idea has been proposed by Raymond Jost, President of
International Secretariat for Water, Quebec, Diana Iskreva, Executive
Director of Earth Forever Foundation and Christine Bismuth, Executive
Director of Solidarity Water Europe. The project has been designed
with the support and valuable inputs of Dr. Evgeniy Zhelev, Mayor
of Stara Zagora; Mrs. Mariana Stoilova, Head of Strategic Development
and European Integration, Municipality of Stara Zagora; Mr. Stefan
Georgiev, Executive Director of Water Supply and Sanitation Ltd.,
Stara Zagora; Mrs. Vanya Sotirova, Headmaster Romain Rolland Language
School, Stara Zagora; Ms. Maria Zheleva, President, First European
Youth Water Parliament, Espalion and young volunteers of Earth Forever.
The youth volunteers of Earth Forever Foundation has shown enormous
interest and creativity working for water and sanitation. The group
has established working relationships with a number of youth groups,
in the context of the network of Solidarity Water Europe, and participated
in First (France, 1999) and Second (Hungary, 2000) Youth Water Parliaments.
A member of the youth Bulgarian delegation – Ms. Maria Zheleva,
has been elected a President of the First Parliament. The activities
of the Youth Municipal Water Council, Stara Zagora has been presented
at the Second World Water Forum, The Hague, 2000 and attracted the
personal attention of Prince Willem of Orange, Mr. Prodi, Mrs. Mitetrand,
Mr. Gorbachov, etc.
The results of the youth water and sanitation projects implemented
by Earth Forever Foundation have been presented at three venues
at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg,
2002, with great success.
Earth Forever is a partner of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative
Council (WSSCC), Geneva. The organisation was a key player for CEE
in the preparation and implementation of Vision 21, Water for People.
This was a genuine exercise involving common efforts of institutions
and people for integrated water management and supports the right
of participation of all stakeholders in decision-making in water
and sanitation sector. At the moment Earth Forever serves as a regional
secretariat of WSSCC for the countries in transition.
Concrete results and impacts expected by the end
of the project
* WebSite in Bulgarian, English and French as
tools for coordination, cooperation, communication, networking for
youth leaders in water and sanitation sector;
* Snap Shot Surveys involving youth groups from
countries in transition on river basin management practices in the
Europe of transition;
* Internet Forum on water and sanitation management among youth
water leaders of SEE network with assay and poster contests and
awards (French and English);
* European Youth Water Parliament on democratic
tools in river basin management strategic decision-making (3 days)
with 60 participants from European countries in transition; organized
in active intercollaboration of SEE, WSSCC, Municipal Council and
the Language School;
* Youth Water Feast (3 days) 60 participants from
European countries in transition; organized with the active intercollaboration
of SEE, WSSCC, Municipal Council and the Language School with exhibitions,
hearings, special evenings, river bed clean-up, historical and cultural
* 2 booklets (Bulgarian, English, French, 500
copies each), 3 posters (500 copies each), 1 video; a number of
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Activity 1 : Identification of participants
Coordination network will be established among
all the participants in the project.
WebSite of the project will be designed and built; e-forum of participants
will be started.
The detailed basis and rules will be set for the successful collaboration
and networking; new interested groups and NGOs in the countries
of transition and EU will be contacted and involved to set a broad
base for cooperation and communication during the project and further.
International consultant of SEE will be involved. National and local
media will be informed for the start-up of the project.
* WebSite of the project; it will be enriched
and maintained in the future; and will serve as a basic communication
and networking tool;
* press-conferences to present the project goals
and planned activities;
* e-forum for participants will be designed and
started, to facilitate all the ‘non-formal’ discussions and exchange
Activity 2 : Snap Shot Survey on river basin practices
in decision-making in the Europe of transition
The youth participants and their trainers will
design and conduct a survey on water and sanitation management democratic
practices. By its methodology this is going to be a model distance
participatory training. In this process the youth and their trainers
will work together, using new high information technologies, exchanging
with their peers, within the network of Solidarity Water Europe
and WSSCC. The 3 youth groups will be democratically selected as
winners during the event, and each will be provided with 500 EUR
to disseminate the results of their survey.
This process will allow the youth leaders to learn by doing and
participation; it will built capacity, as well as bases for better
understanding, fruitful cooperation and friendship among participants.
Competition, involving European youth, for best water and sanitation
management essay and water and sanitation management poster will
be designed and conducted via the WebSite of the project (languages:
English and French). 3 best assays and three best posters will be
awarded and published to be disseminated during the European Youth
Youth Water Management Forum, via the WebSite of the project, will
be designed and maintained to better prepare all the potential youth
participants for the European Youth Water Parliament.
This is a key practical activity that ensures hands-on participation
and full understanding of public participation in decision-making.
The participants will start real cooperation and exchange with peer
groups of different nationalities. This phase will be a logical
connection to the next major activity of the project.
* a booklet (in Bulgarian, French, English, 500
copies) depicting the results of the Snap Shot survey on water and
sanitation management practices in the represented countries of
transition, focussed on public participation in strategic decision-making
in the represented river basins;
* a booklet, 3 best water and sanitation management
assays written by teenagers chosen via competitive process published
in French and English (500 copies);
* 3 best posters designed by teenagers chosen
via a competitive process and published in (500 copies each);
* Youth Water Management Forum maintained via
the WebSite of the project;
* press conference to present the results of the
Survey and further actions to be undertaken by the project.
Activity 3 : European Youth Water Parliament,
Youth for Water and Democracy in Europe
The youth and youth trainers involved in the previous
phases of the project will be able to meet in person to present
results of survey and various competitions, to exchange knowledge
and experience, to plan future common projects and actions.
This will be the major event of the project involving youth and
youth leaders and water and sanitation professionals. The major
actor in the process of organization will be Solidarity Water Europe
via its network of youth groups working for public participation
in water and sanitation decision-making.
The event will consist of various parallel activities which will
provide an opportunity for the participants to learn more about
water and sanitation management legislation and practices in Bulgaria,
but also in other European countries; to learn more about each others
traditions, languages, cultures; to meet their peers from other
countries that they have been in contact via the WebSite and e-forum
of the project; to organize fun activities in their free time; to
meet old friends and find new friends forever.
The core activity of the event will be the Parliament (3 days) with
official speeches, reports and papers for water and sanitation management
and public participation in strategic water and sanitation management
decision-making with examples from Bulgaria and other European countries.
For 3 other days there will be a Youth Water Feast with an exhibition
of the posters and assays contests that would have happened earlier
during this project; the brochure with awarded assays and awarded
posters will be disseminated; evening of the nations will be organized
which is traditional for SEE fora; competition of drawing on T-shirt
and sales will be organized in the central city garden of Stara
Zagora; clean-up event along the Bedechka River will be organized;
tour to Stara Zagora Spa Resort will be organized with historical
overview of ancient Roman hot mineral water and sanitation in usage
from 3 century BC to nowadays; a video show evening to present videos
on public participation in water and sanitation decision-making
produced by the youth groups will be organized.
During the event Municipal Council of Stara Zagora and Romain Rolland
Language School will very actively participate, and support Earth
Forever and SEE.
European Youth Round Table(3 days) will take
place in Stara Zagora with the participation of 60 participants;
* Press conference;
* Youth Water Feast with a variety of parallel events will take
place (3 days):
* Exhibition posters;
* Hearing assays;
* Evening of Nations;
* Drawing on T-shirts and sales;
* River clean-up.