Botevgrad

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Ongoing
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Ivan Gavalyugov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Adrian Angelov - Ethnic and Demographic Issues Expert
Facilitators: 
Anna Rizova
Total population: 
33 175
Source: 
Census 2011
Roma living in the Municipality: 
6 000
Description of the Municipality: 

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The Municipality of Botevgrad is a small municipality in the western part of Bulgaria, in Sofia administrative region. Botevgrad municipality includes 13 settlements – Botevgrad, Bojenitza, Elov Dol, Gurkovo, Kraevo, Lipnitza, Litakovo, Novachene, Radotina, Rashkovo, Skravena, Trudovetz and Vrachesh. The town of Botevgrad is the administrative center of the municipality.

The Roma population represents 9% of the entire population in the municipality, according to the official data. Unofficially, they are about 6.000 people, about 18% of the entire population. They live in separate neighborhoods and they are concentrated in 5 settlements - Botevgrad, Vrachesh, Skravena, Litakovo and Novachene.

Some of the main issues they face are:

  • -Poor housing conditions
  • -Lack of sewerage
  • -Lack of water supply
  • -Lack of electricity
  • -Lack of infrastructure in the Roma neighborhoods or in a very bad condition (streets, sidewalks, streetlights etc.)
  • -Segregated schools and high dropout rate
  • -Early marriages & pregnancies

The ROMACT Process

Botevgrad municipality joined the ROMACT program in February 2017 with the signature of the letter of agreement.
 
The Community Action Group (CAG) identified some of the short/medium/long-term problems:
 

Identified problems:
Lack of trained teachers to work in a multicultural environment
Tackle the segregation in kindergartens and schools
Prevent dropping out of school
Solve the lack of health services in the villages
Open an integrated health and social service
Hire more Health Mediators in the municipality
Legalize the status of the houses built illegally
Bring sewerage in all neighborhoods
Improve the capacity of the existing plumbing or build a new one
Pave and lighten the streets
Organize training for labor rights
Organize meetings with employers for lobbying to hire people with lower education
Organize literacy and vocational trainings
Establish Maternity Clubs and trainings provided to young mothers
Reduce the number of early marriages
Construct a sport and a children playground in Roma neighborhood
Honoring the 8th of April in the villages of the municipality
Lack of school mediators

In December 2017, a Municipal Taskforce for Roma inclusion was created and in May 2018, the Local Council approved the Joint Action Plan (Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion).

Several trainings were also provided:
 
Trainings/expertise provided for the local administration:
 
Training on Local Government and Administrative Services
Training Approaches to work in and with Roma communities
Legal support for legalize the situation of the houses built illegally
Initial consultation and practical support for the LA related to lack of ID cards
Expert support for addressing unemployment among Roma through development project proposal to OPHRD for establishing social enterprise
Consultation elaboration of the Local Development Strategy of LIG - Botevgrad under procedure Second admission under BG06RDNP001-19.001 - Sub-Measure 19.2 of Measure 19 Community-led Local Development: Selection of community-led local development strategies of local initiative groups
 
Activities involving the community action group:
 
Regional training on Human, Social and Health Rights
 
The following measures to solve problems in Roma community were taken:
 
Three new health mediators, six educational mediators  and six guards were appointed from the community in 5 schools starting with 2018.
 
Activity: Repair the street infrastructure in the Roma neighborhood - Botevgrad
Number of beneficiaries: 3.500
Funds (origin + amount): Municipal budget - 25 000 euro
Timeframe:  October 2017 - December 2017

The Municipality benefited of ROMACT expertise for the following projects:
 
Concept for social inclusion of vulnerable groups- OPHRD-OPSESG
Beneficiaries: 33 745
Budget: 281 223 €
Status: approved

Strategy for community-led local development for the period 2017-2023 of non-profit organization Local Initiative Group Botevgrad- RDP
Beneficiaries: 33 175
Budget: 3 883 570 €
Status: approved but on reserved list
 
 "Adaptation and Implementation of Social Innovations for Employment of Marginalised Groups through Public Procurement" - OPHRD Transnational cooperation
Beneficiaries: 19
Budget: 85 387 €
Status: approved
 
“Education and employment – for the future of the local community in Botevgrad“- OPHRD-OPSESG
Beneficiaries: 1 020
Budget: 424 091 €
Status: approved
 
“Colorful dreams” – Botevgrad Kindergarten “Detelina”- Ministry of Education- COIDUEM
Beneficiaries: 50
Budget: 9 947 €
Status: approved

 
Strategy for community-led local development for the period 2017-2023 - non-profit organization Local Initiative Group Botevgrad
Budget: 3.883.570 euro
Beneficiaries: all the inhabitants of the municipality out of which 3.000 Roma
Status: under evaluation
 

Timeline Points

27 Feb 2017
Step 1- Becoming Commited- Signature of the letter of commitment
24 Apr 2017
Creation of CAG
25 Oct 2017
Step 2- Agreeing on needs and plans- Community priorities list finalised
11 Dec 2017
Creation of Taskforce
29 May 2018
Step 3 - Translating priorities into measures and projects- Adoption of the Joint Action Plan
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