Integrated approach for social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups in Plovdiv Municipality: “All together-improved education and health”

Project completed

The project Integrated approach for social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups in Plovdiv Municipality: “All together-improved education and health“ will support the Bulgarian Government to implement the National Strategy tor the Integration of Roma in Bulgaria (2012-2020) which aims at improving the 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
Prevention
01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019
CHF 467'432

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

Background

Out of a total population of 308 866, the Roma population in the Municipality of Plovdiv is 9‘438. 16'032 people declared to be Turks. Many Roma prefer to identify themselves as Turks or Bulgarians in order to avoid stigma and discrimination. Unofficial data of research centres and NGOs claim that Roma in the neighbourhood of Stolipinovo are close to 50'000. In the town of Kuklen (5436 inhabitants), 2265 are Turks or Roma.

The main problems are: i) lack of childcare facilities such as kindergartens, 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 education 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 (children 0-18 and pensioners) are not registered with a genereal practitioner and vii) most of the diseases are the result of bad hygienic conditions and poverty, vii)fragmentary knowledge of Bulgarian language as a major impediment to integration.  

Objectives

The goal is improving living conditions of marginalized and socially excluded Roma people and other vulnerable groups in the municipalities of Plovdiv and Kuklen, as well as strengthening sustainable social and cultural integration of these groups in this area. Main outcomes are:

  • Roma children (3 to 10) have an enhanced access to sustainable and improved education services corresponding to their needs;
  • Roma parents better understand, and are actively engaged in the education process of their children;
  • Children, young mothers/families and pregnant women have equal access to, and use of primary healthcare, in particular obstetrical and pediatric medical services;
  • Roma people have improved their knowledge of their rights to healthcare and have adopted healthier behavioral patterns;
  • The municipal authorities and citizens demonstrate improved acceptance towards Roma community.
Target groups

Roma and other vulnerable groups 

Activities

Education: repaired of a kindergarten, building of an educational center to strengthen full enrolment of Roma children in mainstream schools; measures to reduce drop-out (classes and activities in Bulgarian); work with Roma parents to enhance their motivation for education cursus of their children through trained education mediators; improving the qualification of teachers and principals for work in multicultural environment.

Healthcare: 3 new health mediators recruited in Stolipinovo (2) and Kuklen (1), trained and employed; health awareness campaigns and prevention activities conducted; new and equipped medical offices in the health center next to Stolipinovo neignborhood.

Empowerment: organization of cultural and sport activities; measures for publicity and information to disseminate the results of the project, the good practices and a positive image of Roma community.  

Results

Achieved results:  

  • Catch-up and Bulgarian language classes for more than 500 children
  • More than 250 parents are engaged in various educational and culture activities
  • An innovative reading room for kids and parents has been set up in a kindergarten (helps to develop language and social skills)
  • 1000 persons were reached through health campaigns and individual consultations of health mediators
  • Over 2000 persons from the vulnerable groups had medical 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   467'432 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   93'272
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)