Community events Bulgaria

The Start-up Public Evening

Jan. 21, 2012

We held our first public evening on 21 of January 2012 in Berkovitsa, Bulgaria. We decided to have this evening on that date because at the same time there was a meeting honoring the memory of four of the most prominent citizens and heroes of our region.


At the meeting were present: “Berkovitsa Patriotic Society “, “Philanthropist” Association, “National Leader “ – an association of the retired teachers; “The club of the retired citizens ” in Berkovitza; “Club Friends of Radichkov”, “Club of the Veterans”, “Club Patriot” from the village of Beli Mel”, choir “Zdravets”and the Chief of Stuff of the Bulgarian  Air Force. The participants were residents of the town of Berkovitza, as well as the villages such us Kalimanitsa, Bursia, Yagodovo and Slatina. Аabout 250 people were present , catering was organized and a brochure summarizing the  purpose of Big Foot was passed out.

After the official part - telling the biography  and marking  180 years of the birth of the first mayor of Berkovitsa , 150 years of the birth of his son ,who also lost his life in the world war one  and  120 years of the birth of the  first Bulgarian pilot of  military air-craft , and after the songs of the  of choir “Zdravets” , we had the opportunity to tell the audience about our Big foot project.


First we defined the aims and objectives of the project, as we underlined the point of Big Foot to create an “intergenerational community service learning’, where seniors’ experiences will be turned into relevant and transmissible knowledge thought an interactive collaborative dialogue with the members of the local community. It was stressed out that in particular Big Foot strives at actively involving senior citizens in a LLL process using their knowledge in heritage in 3 different macro areas: tourism, handicraft, and ecology of production and consumption.

It was explained that besides seniors and youth, other Intended stakeholders of the above actions are travel agencies, tourism offices, farmers, handicrafts businesses, local schools, training agencies, restaurants, biological farms, agri-tourism structures. We also clarified the fact that Big Foot wants to use tools such as (discovering the territory, storytelling, basic digital technologies) which will be usable to any situation, so that mountain senior people can capitalize on their cultural heritage to achieve sustainable development built on cultural traditions.

The partners of Big Foot and their organizations were introduced and the project implementation phases were identified. In particular it was explained that during the mapping phase families for each testing area will be selected and involved in the participatory mapping process of the local intangible heritage and that during the testing phase senior mountain citizens for each involved areas will be targeted and occupied in the implementation of Intergenerational Community Service Learning approach.


It was described to the audience that based on the result of the mapping phase; each testing partner will identify seniors with different traditional knowledge and skills that will act as “heritage trainers”.  All the participants were asked if they had any interest to be involved in the project and if they had any suggestions of how to capitalize on our heritage in order by producing handicrafts, and deriving economic value from other cultural traditions.

The fact that the elderly people besides acting as trainees of the younger people, also  will acquire basic digital competencies, such as communicating though internet and social networks, producing and manipulating digital contents with different tools such as mobile phones was stressed out. The key elements of the Big Foot dissemination plan were commented on and it was explained that by the end of the experimentation phase some of the families involved in the participatory mapping will share their experiences in another testing country, such as Greece at the “families meet the families” event. Interested participants were identified and their information was taken down by the team.


Some of the generated ideas from the participants were about producing handicraft from pine cones; mapping, identifying, taking the gps coordinates and noting the history of certain localities in the mountain for the use of tourist ; producing homemade vinegar from wild apples; selling dried nettle and producing soup and other dishes from nettle and many others. Many   participants were thrilled by the fact to be able to increase their knowledge of using digital technology, and identified this issue as very important to them.

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