Novi Pazar

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Ongoing
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mr Ivaylo Kamadzhiev
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Ms Maria Dimitrova – expert “Social Affairs and Healthcare"
Facilitators: 
Mr Asen Asenov
Total population: 
16 547
Source: 
2011 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 720
Description of the Municipality: 

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Last update 17/08/2016
 
The Novi Pazar (Нови Пазар) Municipality is located in the north-eastern Bulgaria in the eastern part of the Shumen district.  It borders the municipalities of Nicola Kozlevo (Никола Козлево), Shumen (Шумен), Kaolinovo (Каолиново), Hitrino (Хитрино), Kaspichan (Каспичан), Vetrino (Ветрино), Valchi Dol (Вълчи дол).
 
The municipality population is 16,547 (2011 Census) with the Roma population making up approximately 11% of that figure, though it is important to note that unofficial figures from the community put the population at 15%, approximately 2,750 people.
 
The Roma community in Novi Pazar is concentrated in “Druzhba(Дружба) neighbourhood where about 60% of the total Roma population are residents.  There is minimal infrastructure in the neighbourhood and it remains in poor condition due to a lack investment and maintenance over the years.  The villages of Enevo (Енево), Mirovtsi and Mihaylovski also have significant Roma populations.  The majority of Roma in the municipality live in single family households and they maintain property rights to these homes.  A small number of families live in houses that were abandoned by Turkish migrants in the late 1980s.  The Roma in Novi Pazar face a number of challenges, notably identification (IDs), access to rights and access to utilities. The consequences of illegal housing combined with segregation and poor education, high rates of unemployment and discrimination in the labour market are the main barriers in society that are experienced by Roma in Novi Pazar.

ROMACT Novi Pazar photo gallery
 

The ROMACT Process

Novi Pazar joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015, with the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivaylo Kamadzhiev. Shortly after joining ROMACT the CAG started to organise and formulated its priorities:

 

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 4
InfrastructureConstruction of playgrounds, recreational areas and playing fields in Roma neighbourhoods;Creation of a registry for households with no access to water and electricity;Preparation of project applications to address the issues of water and electricity;Removal of unauthorized landfills in Roma neighborhoods;
EducationEnd segregation of Roma children in schools;Increase the frequency of interschool activities;Include intercultural elements in the curricula;Prevention of school dropout; Ensure all Roma children have access to kindergarten;
HousingCreation of a registry for individuals without ID's and property documents living within the municipality;
HealthSupport of the FCC (Family Consultative Center)’s work;Employment of new health mediators in labour office;Awareness raising campaigns on health insurance rights and promotion of healthiness;Equal access of vulnerable Roma to emergency municipal funds for medical assistance;
EmploymentDevelopment of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises for long-term unemployed individualsDevelopment of projects for encouraging entrepreneurship amidst the Roma community and especially young Roma;Employment of Roma with suitable education in the municipality;
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 4
InfrastructureConstruction of a multi-purpose building for celebrations in Druzhba neighbourhood;
EducationProvide sport activities en masse to Roma youth and with non-Roma youth;Improve institutional control of school attendance within the municipalityImprove inter-institutional approach on prevention of school drop-outCreate a fund for students in a disadvantaged situation
EmploymentDevelop projects for employment, qualification and retraining in line with the needs of the labour market

The Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion (MAPRI) Novi Pazar 2012-2020 is reviewed and updated and approved annually and since joining the ROMACT process, local authorities have formally included the Community Action Group (CAG) in the review and update process. In April 2016, the CAG met with the Local Authority for the second time and submitted its proposals for the plan. It was agreed that municipal experts and CAG representatives would meet in a smaller group to finalize the action plan.
Since joining the ROMACT programme the municipality has been actively involved in efforts to improve the lives of the Roma community in Novi Pazar. As a direct result of participation with ROMACT, the municipality had designed and developed projects that meet the needs highlighted by the CAG. The table below summarises some of the measures already taken by the municipality in response to CAG input:

PrioritiesMeasure implementedMeasure implemented
EducationCreation of a social soup kitchen for studying childrenEngagement of children in extracurricular activities
HealthConducting of immunization campaigns
EmploymentEnrolment of a high number of Roma in qualification courses

With ROMACT’s support the municipality has also prepared a project to prevent school dropouts and to tackle illiteracy of Roma pupils.  The proposal was submitted to the programme "Science and education for smart growth" (OP SESG) and was shortlisted for consideration but ultimately was not financed due to the lack of funds for OP- SESG.
 

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
6 Nov 2015
STEP1 - Becoming Committed - Novi Pazar joins the ROMACT Programme
15 Nov 2015
Local elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
19 Nov 2015
STEP 2 - AGREEING ON NEEDS AND PLANS - First Joint Meeting between CAG and LA in Novi Pazar
25 Nov 2015
Application submitted for OP-SESG- Educational integration of students from ethnic minorities and/ or asylum seekers or granted international protection
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