Integrated project for Social Inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups in Sliven

Project completed

The goal of the project “Integrated Approach for Inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable Groups in Sliven 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
01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019
CHF  1’400’035

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


According to the data of 2011 Census, provided by the National Statistical Institute, the share of minorities in the Sliven Region and, in particular, the Sliven Municipality considerably exceeds the country’s average: 22.6% (173 206) against 14.4% (20 478). Roma are the second largest ethnic group. The Nadezhda (meaning “Hope”) Roma neighborhood, where the project will be implemented, is entirely segregated. According to official data, over 10 000 people live in it (20’000 according to the NGO sector and international organizations. The main challenges are i) lack of childcare facilities such as kindergarten and schools, ii) low academic achievements of students from І to ІV grade and drop-out of students from the education system, iii) inability of students to continue their education after the 8th grade iv) a part of the Roma population is not insured or have cancelled their health insurance , v) those who are covered by the health insurance (children 0-18 and pensioners), are not registered with a GP, vi) most of the diseases are the result of bad hygienic living conditions and poverty, which cause various infectious diseases and vii) the highest infant mortality rate in Bulgaria in 2011 was seen in Sliven – 17,6 per thousand live births (for Bulgaria: 8,5 and EU:4,3)


The overall objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of Roma and provide for the sustainable integration of marginalized and socially excluded Roma people and other vulnerable groups in the city of Sliven. 

This project foresees the implementation of an innovative, comprehensive model of public service delivery by opening a kindergarten and a health/educational center aimed at creating conditions for improving the lives and sustainable integration of marginalized Roma.

Target groups

Roma and other vulnerable groups

  • Establishing of  Kindergarten and premises for an educational center in the "Nadezhda" neighborhood in Sliven
  • Selection and training of newly hired staff for work in the kindergarten and training of a competent team for the kindergarten
  • Increased public awareness of the benefits of education by setting up of educational-informational happenings among the Roma community in "Nadezhda", as well as cultural events
  • Conducting socio-educational counseling to parents of children, who do not attend regularly kindergartens
  • Establishing of a health consultation center next to the kindergarten premises in the "Nadezhda" neighborhood in Sliven
  • Creation of a database for people, who are not registered with general practitioners (GP) but have health insurance and a database of persons without health insurances. Health awareness campaign etc.

Achieved results:  

  • Educational complex (nursery, kindergarten and medical center) completed 
  • Over 1'000 children benefitted from newly established groups in kindergarden and nurseries
  • Over 6600 children participated in cultural and sport events
  • Over 900 parents consultations took place.
  • 5 educational experts employed for activities with children and parents            
  • 5000 people accessed medical care
  • Over 5000 were reached in prevention campaigns and the same number by health mediators.

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    1’400’035 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    271’671 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    1’647’100
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)