Project: “Active civil advocacy for the INvulnerability of young people in the municipality of Dupnitsa”

Project status: completed

Implemented in: Dupnitsa Municipality

Program: Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria

Implementation period: 01.10.2021 – 31.08.2023

Project Promoter: Association “Amala – Priateli”

Partners: ECIP Foundation

The population of Dupnitsa Municipality is about 46,000 inhabitants. 5675 of them are young people aged 18 to 29 years. The Roma community in the town of Dupnitsa lives the outskirts of the town and the villages of Dzherman and Kraynitsi. Roma youth continues to be the poorest, most uneducated and most isolated part of public, social and economic life. Through the implementation of training activities for encouraging advocacy skills of the young people involved in the project the initiative will benefit local Roma communities and local authorities in the face of public and state institutions, providers of social services, health and education services, NGOs. The project aims at encouraging the civic activity of representatives of the local Roma communities; building local capacity for advocacy campaigns and initiatives; Improving the skills of vulnerable groups to exercise their rights to participate with dignity in decision-making processes, and to reduce economic and social disparities.

Budget: 44 020 EUR

Summary of results:
The inclusion of young people in the project activities contributed to increasing their self-esteem and confidence. The space provided to share their own experiences, experiences and ideas made them feel accepted and heard. They are motivated, inspired and encouraged to turn their ideas into real action. The participation of young people in the four-day training modules on key competences: “Social and Civic Competences”, “Advocacy and Empowerment” contributed to increasing the capacity, knowledge, self-esteem and confidence of young people to express an active civic position and inclusion in public life and in public policy decision-making processes. The implementation of the advocacy campaigns initiated by them had a direct impact on strengthening their role and active participation in the socio-economic life of the local community and helped their self-organization and empowerment.

The implementation of the project contributed to stimulating the civic activity of young people from Roma communities, building local capacity to conduct advocacy campaigns and initiatives, improving the skills of representatives of vulnerable groups to exercise their rights, to participate with dignity in decision-making processes, as well as to reduce economic and social disparities. Young people feel empowered to dialogue with local authorities and decision makers. The partnership with the EKIP Foundation provokes participants to provide ongoing support and systemic work in the community based on advocacy and empowerment. In the long term, the results of the project will benefit local Roma communities and local authorities in the form of public and state institutions, providers of social, health, educational services and NGOs.

Within the framework of the training, the participants independently prepared concepts for conducting 4 local advocacy campaigns. The local authorities committed themselves to solving some of the problems that the participants in the working groups put forward, such as taking steps to issue housing tolerance certificates, counseling and assistance in issuing property certificates, tax assessment, etc. Placement of containers in the Roma neighborhoods, improvement of one of the neighborhoods. The project created effective communication channels between the Roma community, institutions, NGOs and local authorities. We expect the commitments made by the Municipality of Dupnitsa to be implemented.

The project contributed to building capacity for assuming leadership roles and responsibilities among young Roma, increasing their civic activity, public engagement and awareness of the problems of the Roma community. The intersectoral interaction of the educational, social and housing system has improved. Conditions were created for social inclusion and empowerment of the community. The process of self-organization accelerated.

“As a result of the activities carried out under the project, a good practice that we would like to share is the mechanism created for the participation of young people in the development of local policies, the innovative practice introduced to protect the rights of the target group, expressed in self-organization and empowerment to carry out a dialogue with the local authorities and decision-makers.”

Summary report of a survey conducted among the representatives of the youth community from the city of Dupnitsa and the villages of Krajnici and Jerman, as well as with the representatives of local authorities and institutions regarding the spheres of life that need additional protection and the degree of motivation of participants for inclusion in project activities (in Bulgarian):

Contact: Yulia Liubenova
phone: +359 894340774
address: 2600 Dupnitsa, “St. Ivan Rilski” Str. №29

Related articles in the press:
The Roma want their children to study in integrated and not segregated schools (in Bulgarian language)

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