One of the emblematic buildings of Varna – the Youth House, is about to cease its functions as a youth centre. Representatives of the civic sector in the seaside town have sounded the alarm.
“We are perplexed to understand that the Youth Home is to be moved to another building. At a time when youth policy is leading in all civilized countries, taking away the emblematic youth base in Varna is irresponsible to say the least,” said in a statement to the chairman of the City Council Todor Balabanov and municipal councilors, signed by 35 youth NGOs in the city.
The proposal to relocate the Youth Home to a building on the former “Zhilfond” street in Warsaw. “Saborni” 9A is to be submitted to the next meeting of the Municipal Council, Ecovarna.info has learned. According to youth leaders, the building is in a deplorable condition, with small rooms unsuitable for community youth events and initiatives. It in no way meets the needs of the youth community, much less youth with specific problems, the opinion of local NGOs states.
In the beautiful building renovated a few years ago on the Blvd. “The Municipal Children’s Complex, which in recent years has used part of its rooms for rehearsals, will be housed at 27 Tsar Osvoboditel Street will house the Municipal Children’s Complex, which in recent years has used part of its rehearsal halls.
The Youth House is an emblematic building for generations of Varna residents, where a number of creative groups have started their activities, and which has been an incubator of many youth ideas and initiatives, recall the representatives of the civic associations. Over the years, Varna has been famous for its active youth policy. Varna Municipality was the first in the country to establish a Youth Volunteer Service, announced a program for funding youth projects, built a Youth Forum for partnership with local government and a Youth Advisory Council to it, became a leader in the Structured Youth Dialogue at the national level. These initiatives were born in the Youth House, where NGOs, youth informal groups, school and student councils partnered with representatives of the municipal administration, the civil sector recalls. According to them, the youth of Varna recognise the house as their place where they can hold workshops, informal trainings, conferences, concerts and many other initiatives. It is a place where they can get advice from the experts of the Youth Activities Department.
All this, and the ambitious programme for the development of youth policy in the city, has been the reason why Varna has been named European Youth Capital for 2017, says Darina Ivanova, President of the Sea Friends Club and former municipal expert in the Youth Activities and Sport Directorate.
It is not to be overlooked the fact that the building on Blvd. “27 Tsar Osvoboditel is accessible to people with special needs, which is an important condition for the inclusion of these young people.
The representatives of the youth associations in Varna count on the upcoming session of the Municipal Council to discuss and solve the problem in favour of the youth of Varna.
Ecovarna.info made an inquiry to the mayor of Varna, whether he will propose moving the Youth Home to another building and what are the motives for such a proposal. We await the opinion of the Municipality of Varna on the subject, which we will publish. We are also open to other opinions and comments on the subject.