Integrated Project for Social Inclusion of Roma and Other Vulnerable Groups in Montana municipality

Project completed

The goal of the project “Integrated Approach for Inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable Groups in Montana Municipality" is to support the Bulgarian Government to implement the National Strategy for the Integration of Roma in Bulgaria (2012-2020) which aims at improving their living conditions through better access to services and rights for the Roma community and at empowering Roma through strengthened cultural integration and identity, improved acceptance and enhanced Roma participation in decision making/policy institutions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bulgaria
Improving social security
01.04.2016 - 30.04.2019
CHF 1'113'130

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background The share of Roma in the district of Montana is the highest one for the country, reaching 12.7% of the population. The main part of the Roma population lives in the two neighbourhoods of Koshamik and Ogosta in the tov*/n of Montana, as well as in the villages of Gabrovnitsa, Bezdenitsa and Virove. The main problems are: i) lack of childcare facilities such as kindergarten, ii) low attendance of Roma in the kindergartens, iii) low academic achievements of students from 1 to 4 grades, excessive drop-outs, and inability to continue their éducation after the 8th grade, iv) pregnant women do not attend the prenatal consultations regularly, v) part of the Roma population is not insured or have cancelled their health insurance for lack of funds, vi) those who are covered by the health insurance (chiidren 0-18 and pensioners) are not registered with a general practitioner and vii) most of the diseases are the result of bad hygienic conditions and poverty.
Objectives

The goal is improving living conditions of marginalized and socially excluded Roma people and other vulnerable groups in the city and periphery of Montana, as well as strengthening sustainable social and cultural intégration of Roma people and other vulnerable groups living in this area. Main outcomes are:

  • Roma children have full access and use to quality education from the age of 3 to 10 years old (kindergarten and primary education);
  • The skills and understanding of educational needs of Roma parents are enhanced; parents support the education cursus of their children;
  • Disadvantaged people have equal access and use to primary healthcare services, and in particular obstetrical and pediatry medical services;
  • Roma people have increased their knowledge about the right to health and are able to change behavior towards health;
  • The municipal authorities and citizens demonstrate improved acceptance towards the Roma community; the influence of Roma in decision making is increased.
Target groups

Roma and other vulnerable groups

Activities
  • Education: measures for reducing dropping out of school with prévention program for Roma chiidren; construction of a new kindergarten in Kosharnik to provide equal access to pre-school education and strengthen füll enrollment of Roma children in mainstream schools; work with Roma parents to enhance their motivation for education cursus of their chiidren through trained education mediators; improving the qualification of teachers and principals for work in multicultural environment.
  • Healthcare: 3 new health mediators recruited, trained and employed; development of better quality services through enhancing the capacity and skills of mediators; heaith awareness campaign conducted and health education material distributed; new health center in Kosharnik built and 2 health centers refurbished in the neighborhood of Ogosta and in the village of Gabrovnitsa; improved communication between Roma and the medical staff through training of health Professionals for effective work in multiethnic environment and teamwork (medical specialists, health mediators and social workers).
Results

Achieved results:  

  • Over 200 children aged 2-6 attend a newly built kindergarten in a well-equipped building corresponding to standards for early childhood development (mainly Roma population) as per national standards. In another kindergartden another 110 children (between 2-6) are together with another 20 children from villages Kosharnik and Ogosta.
  • Regular bilateral meetings with parents institutionalized. Large offer on extra curricula activities.
  • 3000 persons (mainly from Roma families) benefitted from medical care visits
  • Health mediators are recognized by the institutions and the community
  • Regular motivational and culture sessions organized by educational mediators and teachers reaching 713 parents 
  • Additional teaching of the Bulgarian language for 335 children aged 3-10 
  • 94 primary school teachers were trained by the ZOV capacity building trainers.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'113'130 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   640'745
Project phases Phase 9 01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 8 01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)

Phase 7 01.04.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)

Phase 6 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 5 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 4 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)