The Re-Start project seeks a social change in the city of Rimavská Sobota and in the entire surrounding region. The “Re-Start” project is supported by the ACF – Slovakia program, which is funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. Naša Sobota civic association received a grant for the project in the amount of € 39,327. The aim of the project is to increase the interest of citizens in decision-making within the city, deepen their engagement in public affairs and broader social issues. The project also includes the involvement of local activists and public officials in the project activities.
Over nine months we have successfully organized four two-day educational trainings for civic activists/leaders and local public officials. Thematically, they focused on skills in involving local communities in public affairs and decision-making, communication in conflict, facilitation (meeting management) and recognition of manipulations in public space. A total of 72 participants took part in them.
Since August, we have successfully organized further public debates on various civic topics. These were: “Železný Gemer” (on industrial monuments and their new meaning), “Inteligentné mesto” (on the concept of Smart City) and “Otvorená samospráva” (on transparent self-government). „Nemotorové raňajky“ at the Main square, where we served refreshments for pedestrians and cyclists who used non-motorized means of transport to commute to their work, in which more than 90 active citizens of Rimavska Sobota took part in.
Furthermore, we also wrote the Principles of Participatory Budget for Rimavská Sobota, according to which its first year is successfully running. The Generally Binding Regulation on the Provision of Subsidies from the city budget was supplemented by them. We used the Act on Free Access to Information to find out how the process of updating the zoning plan, of Rimavská Sobota, approved by the deputies is progressing. Subsequently, we organized a workshop to update the zoning plan. The result of the workshop was submitted as an official civic initiative of the Naša Sobota civic association in cooperation with the civic association Odvážme sa zrýchliť to update the zoning plan. We are planning to launch the mobile application „My Sobota“ to inform and involve the citizens in public affairs in the town in January 2021.
The LídeRS programme has successfully taken place. It was attended by active students of the Gymnazium Ivana Kraska in Rimavská Sobota, was successful. Students identified problems in their surroundings and developed projects that tried to solve them. At the beginning, 17 participants signed up. Finally, nine participants, divided into three teams, implemented three small projects at the school over a period of five months: Eko-project, Valentine prom and The School Decoration Project. The Eco-project sought to raise awareness of the flooding with planet plastics, especially oceans with plastics. During this project, plastics were collected at school in order to reduce their volume at school. The Valentine’s Ball responded to the need of young people who wanted to have fun and spend time together. Most of the profit from the entrance fee went to charity and the second part as a basis for the next year of the ball. The aim of The School Decoration Project was to make the school space more beautiful, pleasant with motivational and inspiring quotes. Sources for the realisation were obtained from the sale of small items on the Christmas bourse in the school. Due to the tightening of anti-epidemiological measures (Covid-19 pandemic), the next term of the LídeRS program did not occur.