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Last update 17/08/2016
The Municipality of Novi Pazar ( Нови Пазар ) is located in northeastern Bulgaria and occupies 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 population of the Municipality is 16 547 inhabitants (census 2011) while the Roma population in the municipality is about 11% (15% according to non-official data, around 2750 persons). The Roma community in the municipality of Novi Pazar is concentrated in "Druzhba" ( Дружба ) neighborhood where about 60% of the Roma of Novi Pazar is living. Although there is some minimal infrastructure in the neighborhood, it is currently in poor condition due to the lack of investment in maintenance over the years. The villages of Enevo ( Енево ), Mirovtsi and Mihaylovski also record an important Roma population. The majority of Roma live in single households for which they have property rights. A small number of families live in houses abandoned by Turk migrants when they left Bulgaria at the end of the 1980’s. This minority notably faces difficulties to obtain IDs and access to rights and utilities. The consequences linked with illegal housing, together with school segregation, the poor quality of education and the high rate of unemployment, connected with discrimination on the labor market are considered as the main issues Roma are faced with in Novi Pazar.
Novi Pazar joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015, through the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivaylo Kamadzhiev. Shortly after, the CAG started to organised and formulated its priorities:
|Short-term priorities of the CAG||Objective 1||Objective 2||Objective 3||Objective 4|
|Infrastructure||Construction 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;|
|Education||End 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;|
|Housing||Creation of a registry for individuals without ID's and property documents living within the municipality;|
|Health||Support 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;|
|Employment||Development of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises for long-term unemployed individuals||Development 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 CAG||Objective 1||Objective 2||Objective 3||Objective 4|
|Infrastructure||Construction of a multi-purpose building for celebrations in Druzhba neighbourhood;|
|Education||Provide sport activities en masse to Roma youth and with non-Roma youth;||Improve institutional control of school attendance within the municipality||Improve inter-institutional approach on prevention of school drop-out||Create a fund for students in a disadvantaged situation|
|Employment||Develop 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 updated and approved yearly and since the beginning of the ROMACT Process, local authorities have formally included the Community Action Group (CAG) in the updating 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.
The municipality has been so far very actively involved in improving the lives of the Roma community in Novi Pazar. As a result, it developed projects that meet the needs put forward by the CAG. The table below summarises some of the measures already taken by the municipality in this regard:
|Priorities||Measure implemented||Measure implemented|
|Education||Creation of a social soup kitchen for studying children||Engagement of children in extracurricular activities|
|Health||Conducting of immunization campaigns|
|Employment||Enrolment of a high number of Roma in qualification courses|
The municipality also prepared a project for the prevention of school dropouts and to tackle illiteracy of Roma pupils that was submitted to the programme "Science and education for smart growth" (OP SESG) with the support of ROMACT. It was shortlisted among the selected projects but was not financed due to the lack of funds for OP- SESG.