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
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.


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 académie 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 prénatal consultations regularly, v) part of the Roma population is not insured or have cancelled their heaith Insurance for lack of funds, vi) those who are covered by the heaith Insurance (chiidren 0-18 and pensioners) are not registered with a gênerai practitioner and vii) most of the diseases are the result of bad hygienic conditions and poverty.


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

  • 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).

Achieved results:  

(by the end of 2018)

  • 112 children aged 3-6 attend kindergarten in a well-equipped building corresponding to standards for early childhood development
  • 47 gynecologists’ and 17 general practitioners’ check-ups were conducted
  • 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

Expected results:  




  • 100 preschool places (Kindergarten) are created in Kosharnik;
  • Up to 640 chiidren aged from 7 to 10 from segregated schools - integrated in mainstream schools;
  • Around 120 parents whose children do not attend regularly the kindergarten and up to 400 parents whose children do not attend school regularly  are consulted on developing parenting skills;
  • Approx. 160 children (7-16) included in programs for early dropout prevention;
  • 75 teachers and educators from 2 kindergartens and 3 primary school are trained and demonstrate better pedagogical capacities and effective teaching methodologies, including intercultural skills;
  • Representatives of the target group are informed about their health Insurance rights and obligations as patients and about the importance of health promotion;
  • More than 250 gynecological examinations, 2000 children prophylactic medical check-up and 1500 Visits to general practitioner are done;
  • 1 GP, 1 obstetrician and 1 pediatrician are regularly available in the health centers and provide effective care.

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)