Edited on11 May 2020
Starting July 2018, the Town of Pregrada began its journey of transferring the Good Practice from the Town of Athienou, Cyprus, the town which was awarded the title of European town of Good Practice in volunteering in 2017. The tradition, solidarity, love, care for the weaker members of the community, and volunteering are the main characteristics of this small Cypriot town. By taking part in the project Volunteering cities, the Town of Pregrada heads in the direction of strengthening the participation of its citizens, volunteers, in decision-making process, strengthening the inter-generational solidarity, involving the youth in creating and executing of local policies, volunteering, and involving local entrepreneurs in finding solutions for social problems in the community.
The biggest contribution of this project is certainly founding the URBACT Local Group (ULG) in the town of Pregrada. Involving all the important stakeholders in the area in the ULG, the Town got the notion of size, strength, knowledge, and effects each member of ULG has to contribute to strengthening cultural, social, sports, and educational aspects of life in the local community. In today’s modern, technologically conscious, and in a some way asocial environment, working on strengthening the inter-generational solidarity, volunteering, and social entrepreneurship is more than important to create a safe and desirable environment in the community.
The closeness and cooperation of the ULG members grew through time, due to regular meetings, coordination of local activities, and creation and realisation of ideas. Today we witness many common projects, activities and cooperation between the members of ULG. What is important, there are no more barriers, which are replaced by the comprehension that we are led by common goals to tackle social problems in the community. This way we have made strong foundation of our own MCV Model. The idea to go on with that kind of collaboration and contribution to our community is getting stronger every day. So the main goal is to give our ULG a formal configuration. That is what we are planning to do by the end of this project. Our stakeholders will continue to work together as advisory body to City Council on the social issues, as we all have agreed that this would be the best way to bring together main stakeholders in community and local government. By accomplishing that we will fulfil the aim of the project to transfer a more participative governance model for social cohesion in our community.
Finally, participating in this project on international level, we started a bigger one locally. We created a solid foundation of the Town of Pregrada as a modern European town for everyone, starting with the little volunteers in our kindergarten, volunteering clubs in elementary and high school, the Children City Council, the Youth Council, non-institutional support of public services, town’s associations, and the local government.
The key to everything is that only together we can do a lot, every member of the community is equally important, the Town and the other members of the community have to support one another in every situation. Volunteering, taking care of the others, sensibility towards the elderly, children, youth, and disabled have to be a priority of every healthy community.
We did not create something new with this project, but we did awake what we already had, which is plenty. We have awoken our own potentials and what we can do, so every member of the community feels safe, like a part of the community, and taken care of.
Submitted by s.georgiou on