General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Beysim Rufat
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Galya Ivanova – Head of Projects Department
Kadrin Hasanov
Total population: 
21 952
Census 2011
Roma living in the Municipality: 
2 500
Description of the Municipality: 

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Isperih municipality is located in northeastern part of Bulgaria, part of Razgrad region. The municipality consists of 24 settlements, the administrative center being Isperih. Isperih municipality is the second largest municipality in Razgrad region, with a population of 21.952 inhabitants (census 2011). The Roma population is about 9 %, from which 30% lives in the municipal center and the other 70% in the villages.
The Roma community in Isperih municipality is mostly from Horahane group (Muslim or Turkish speaking). They live in two neighborhoods:

  1. Tyutuneva slum, with good infrastructure, electricity, legally built solid houses, running water, street lights and regular garbage collection.
  2. West/Zapad neighborhood is without road infrastructure, no garbage collection, no sewage, with illegal built houses; some of the families from this neighborhood have no electricity and water.

In the villages, Roma live in separate slums, with poor or missing road infrastructure, without sewage system. Roma from Isperih municipality work in many different areas such as trade, construction, crafts, collecting waste materials, work abroad etc.

According to the CAG, the main issues faced by Roma are:

  • - bad quality of education in schools
  • - wide spread functional illiteracy
  • - illegal buildings
  • - poor condition of the roads
  • - unemployment

The ROMACT Process

Isperich municipality joined the ROMACT program in October 2015. In February 2015, Isperih municipality adopted the Municipal Action Plan for Roma Integration 2015-2020, which was
updated in December 2016.
The long-term priorities identified by the Community Action Group are: 

Identified problems
Improvement of road infrastructure
Improving the quality of education in Roma communities
Full participation of children in kindergartens
Overcoming functional illiteracy
Increasing the number of Roma students in university
Overcoming the problem of early marriages and births
Establishment of a community center in Isperih
Legalization of illegal buildings

Several trainings were provided:
Trainings/expertise provided for the local administration:
- Capacity building of local authority on EU operational programs: Review of the JAP and linking the priorities to announced calls for proposals; preparation of project ideas to address the agreed issues
- Develop local authority understanding on elaboration concept for an integrated project proposal
- Consultation on the elaboration of a project concept towards inclusion of vulnerable groups under an integrated procedure of OPHRD and OPSEIG
- Assisting the LA to review MDP and expert support to identify ways to integrate JAP’s priorities in it
Expert consultation of project elaboration for addressing unemployment among Roma through social enterprise
Activities involving the community action group:
- Training session for CAG on local self-government;
- Coaching to participate in a Local Council meeting;
- Training session with CAG members on communication/ negotiation with the LA and institutions. 
So far, the following measures to solve problems in Roma community were taken:

  • - Hiring educational mediators;
  • - The kindergarten fees in the Municipality have been eliminated by a municipal council decision;
  • - Enlisting parents in school committees and community council groups working for the schools;
  • - Enlisting parents in classes for adults who have not yet finished their primary and secondary education;
  • - Creating interest clubs and societies based on preferences of students that are part of a minority;
  • - Ensuring transportation to and from school for the students under 16 who live outside the city of Isperih;
  • - Health screenings – oncology, diabetes etc;
  • - Starting the registry of illegal settlements in Zapad neighborhood;
  • - Creating community/youth centers in or within close proximity to Roma neighborhoods;
  • - Constructing recreational and children’s play facilities in Roma neighborhoods;
  • - Organizing educational courses for the unemployed;
  • - Creating a social project that finds long-term employment for the unemployed/inactive women;
  • - Education in entrepreneurship, focusing on Roma women;
  • - Social innovation for social inclusion of Roma women - creation of 3 centers for mother and child.

Project: Educational integration of minority students, extracurricular activities, working with parents
Number of beneficiaries: 350 students from ethnic minorities out of which 250 are Roma students and 300 parents
Donor: OP Science and Education for Smart Growth; Educational integration of pupils from the ethnic minorities and/or pupils seeking or received international protection
Budget: 170.000 euro
Status: ongoing
Project: Concept of Municipality of Isperih for implementation of measures for inclusion of vulnerable groups
Number of beneficiaries: 100 preschool Roma children and 200 parents, 40 Long-term unemployed Roma, 250 Roma adults
Budget: 282.000 euro
Donor: Integrated procedure of OP Human Resource Development & OP Science and Education for Smart
Status: ongoing
Project: Building and equip the Roma Community Center from Vazovo village
Donor: Rural Development Program, sub-measure 7.2. Investments in the creation, improvement or expansion of all types of small scale infrastructure
Budget: 49.696 euro
Status: ongoing

Timeline Points

12 Oct 2015
Step 1- Becoming Commited- Signature of the letter of commitment
5 Sep 2016
Step 2- Agreeing on needs and plans- Community priorities list finalised
1 Dec 2016
Step 3- Translating priorities into measures- MAPRI updated and adopted by City Council
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