The Pleven Community Fund “Chitalishte”
Association Pleven Public Fund - Chitalishta was established in 2001 as a result of grassroots advocacy initiative applied as a tool for civic participation in the processes of decision making supported by DEM NET and the American Democratic Institute. The Fund is an association of Chitalishta, not-for-profit organizations, citizens and local authorities (Pleven Municipality). Thus, the idea to establish a public organization that is a community institution in the Pleven municipality and that works for civil society development through the Chitalishta especially in the villages where it is the only not-for-profit organization was realized. Great achievement of the Association is the involvement of the local authority into the organization's membership and what is more the resource allocation and responsibilities delegated to the civil sector.
The main goals of the Public Fund - Chitalishta are:
- Institutional capacity building of the Chitalishta as local community centers with cultural, informational, social and mostly civic functions;
- Realization of strategies and programs directed towards problems solving of isolated groups (children, youth, lonely elderly people, and ethnical minorities) and other specific local problems aimed at overcoming the underdevelopment of small settlements.
- Introduce innovative democratic practices ensuring civic participation in the rural communities and their multiplication through the Chitalishte network.
The accents of the Association's long term strategy, approved at the General Assembly meeting in 2006 are as follows:
- Build up new partnerships and collaboration networks on local and regional level;
- Capacity development of the organization as a social services provider;
- Introduce the "civic monitoring" as a tool for monitoring the work of local authorities and institutions on local and regional level;
- Ensure environment for youth participation development on the territory of the municipality and the region;
- Enhance the activities of the village Chitalishta related with the personal development and protection of children's rights in the rural municipalities.