Toolkit of GOOD PRACTICES on Citizen Participation!


Bazaar of NGO


Country: Slovenia

Context

Bazaar of NGOs is organized by the Regional NGO Centre for the South Eastern part of Slovenia, which works in cooperation with the Association for Developing of Voluntary Work Novo Mesto. The organization hosts Bazaar 3 times a year at various locations in the area covered by the activities of the Regional NGO Centre (Novo Mesto, Črnomelj and Kočevje). At the Bazaar, NGOs have the opportunity to present their work and activities to a wider audience, as well as informing and socializing with each other. This may lead to future cooperation and joint action and, of course, friendship.

Measure

Associations and private institutions active in the fields of culture, social care, youth, sport, tourism, cultural heritage and civil protection all participate in Bazaar of NGO. The latter is devoted to the practical and illustrative familiarization of visitors with the work they perform for public benefit and the role they play in local communities. The average citizen is poorly informed about what non-governmental organizations actually are, in what fields they work and what they do, since without their work living in a community could not even be possible.

Target Group

The general public - people from cities where the Bazaar is organized. There are visitors who deliberately come to the bazaar or passers-by who are attracted by events.

Methodology

Greeting of the mayor, dynamic and interactive program, over a thousand visitors. There are around 70 stalls arranged around the central stage, with about 300 representatives of NGOs, who accompany visitors in groups of three and involve them in various activities. Visitors can view products and promotional material on stalls, accompanied by a variety of presentations and live workshops : e.g. simulated experience of victims of violence, cycling ground for children, face painting, healthy lifestyle, Scout skills, breast self-examination on a model, game of chess with large chessmen, test Thai boxing, training in the Feldenkrais method, "reading" the Living Library, etc.
Colorful three-hour events that take place in the form of simultaneous music, dance and sports performances on the main stage.

Stakeholders

The main stakeholders are NGOs engaged in activities and presentation of their work to the wider audience. Local authorities, CSOs, citizens are also stakeholders. The Bazaar is very important as a place to connect for a lot of NGOs and as an opportunity for future cooperation and joint actions.

Assessment

With this measure we achieved the communication and interaction among all the stakeholders, NGOs, CSOs, citizens…

Impact

The Bazaar aims at stimulating knowledge, cooperation and networking of NGOs and the promotion of the non-governmental sector. The Bazaar aims at familiarization, information of citizens on the functioning of NGOs, and the possibility of inclusion in NGOs. Above all, the intention is that the general public realizes how to prompt a change in the functioning of authorities through the action of NGOs at all levels - local, regional and national.

Swot

1. Strengths:
Diversity of activities represented at bazaars: culture, sport, health care, social care, youth, tourism, cultural heritage, civil protection, etc.
Encouragement for individuals to engage in activities of NGOs and consequently larger active participation in NGOs
Creating wider options for social networks
Very high number of visitors (over a thousand)
 
2. Weaknesses
Very complex organization and coordination
Lack of resources

3. Opportunities:
Opportunities for social networking
Very high number of potential visitors because the bazaars are organized in open public spaces
The possibility of equal participation for NGOs
Great opportunity for future cooperation between NGOs
Local people can get informed about NGO activities and get actively involved in them

4. Threats:
Higher costs for renting equipment and for infrastructure
Lack of interest from general public (it is very unlikely to happen as the number of visitors is increasing)

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