Bratsigovo

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Closed
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Petko Petkov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Tanya Yorgova - Chief expert on Protocol and PR / Tatyana Simeonova - Chief expert on Social activities / Dancho Asenov - Health mediator
Facilitators: 
Yuksel Yasharov
Total population: 
4 646
Source: 
National Insitutute of Statistics in Bulgaria
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 100
Description of the Municipality: 

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Bratsigovo is a municipality in Southern Bulgaria, in Pazardzhik Province and manages 7 localities. The population numbers about 8.800 citizens, 2.000 out of them being Roma who live predominantly in Bratsigovo and Isperihovo village. In the last years there is an active migration towards the big cities of the country and abroad, resulting high level of local unemployment and less number of children in schools. Approximately 30-40% of Roma people have left / migrated from Bratsigovo municipality. Roma people mostly live and work in EU countries - Greece, Germany, France, England and Spain. Roma abroad work mainly in the sphere of agriculture, construction, caregiving, canning factories and industrial enterprises.
 
Approximately 1.100 inhabitants are of Roma origin and about 400-500 of them are at risk of poverty. Only 10-20% of Roma can afford to pay for utilities, 80% of Roma are employed in seasonal agricultural work and almost all of them rely on social benefits and child allowances. The average number of Roma households is 5-10 persons. The main problem is the community is the illegal construction of houses - about 70 % of the houses are built with no construction papers. About 10 % of the Roma lack IDs, as they do not have permanent address registration certificates.

Approximately 50% of Roma neighborhoods lack infrastructure, asphalted streets, sidewalks, sewerage, water supply and street lighting. There is no Health Center in the municipality of Bratsigovo, the only health center nearby is located 10 km away. The medical doctor in the village of Isperihovo visits Roma families only in emergencies.
 

The ROMACT Process

Bratsigovo municipality joined ROMACT in August 2017 with the signature of the letter of agreement by the Mayor. Shortly after, in December 2017, a Municipal Taskforce for Roma Inclusion was created.
 
The main problems identified by the CAG are:
 

Identified problems
Problems with houses built with no construction papers
Problems in the process of getting certificates for permanent address registration
Many people immigrate abroad
Many people lack health security
Many of the Roma parents cannot afford to pay the taxes for the kindergarten
Early dropout rate among Roma girls because of the low social status of the families and the early marriages.
Problems with the local water supply company

Based on these needs, the Joint Action Plan (Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion) was updated and unanimously approved by the City Council on 30 May 2018.

Several trainings were provided:

The Taskforce was trained/coached on:
- Incorporating the priority needs of the community in Local Development Strategy
- Monitoring and evaluation of the Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion

The CAG was trained/coached on:
- Advocacy with Local Authorities for addressing social exclusion and marginalization
- Planning and preparing concrete actions to implement short and medium term activities
- Partnering with Local authorities in implementing short and medium term priorities
- Participating in the process of municipal budget planning
- Combating discriminations

The local authorities were coached/trained on:
- Identifying solutions to illegal constructions and lack of ID

The following measures to solve problems in Roma community were taken:
• Roads refurbishment in three streets of the Roma neighbourhood in Isperihovo village.
• Connection of houses to water supply and sewage in the Roma neighbourhood
• Construction of a supporting landslide in the Roma neighbourhood
• Renovation of the “Slantse” kindergarten of Isperihovo village
• Building of a sports ground in Isperihovo village
• Set up of new street lights in the Roma neighbourhoods in Bratsigovo and Isperihovo
• Hot lunch provision
• Implementation of a project on education integration - "Different Ethnicities but Equal in Dreams” (OPSESG)
• Organisation of the sale of municipal plots of land to Roma families
• Recruitement and training of a health mediator
• Negotiation with the Water Supply Company for reducing the debts of the Roma families from 10  to 3 years back and payment by instalments

The Municipality benefited of ROMACT expertise for the following project:

Pilot Model for Socio-Economic and Educational Integration of Vulnerable Groups in Bratsigovo Municipality- OPHRD-OPSESG- Approved- Budget:  453 783€

 

Timeline Points

23 Aug 2017
Step 1- Becoming Commited- Signature of the letter of agreement
26 Oct 2017
Creation of CAG
8 Dec 2017
Creation of Taskforce
15 Feb 2018
Step 2- Agreeing on needs and plans- Community priorities list finalised
30 May 2018
Step 4- Funding, implementing, monitoring, Project proposal for Concept of municipality Bratsigovo for social inclusion of vulnerable groups- ESIF
30 May 2018
Step 3- Translating priorities into measures- MAPRI updated and adopted by City Council
31 Jul 2019
End of ROMACT process
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