Sredets

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Closed
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mr Ivan Zhabov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Ms Zumbula Marinova - Chief Expert of the department “Education, Healthcare, Culture, Social activities, Integration and Sport”
Facilitators: 
Ms Dora Petkova
Total population: 
14 934
Source: 
2011 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
2 063
Description of the Municipality: 

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The municipality of Sredets (Средец) is located in the Burgas region in South-Eastern Bulgaria, it is one of the largest territorial-administrative areas in the country. The municipality has 1 administrative centre (Sredets) and 31 villages. According to the latest census data, the Roma population in the municipality represents around 14% of the total population. The Community Action Group (CAG) estimates an alternative figure of 33% Roma as a total of the population. Most Roma live within the Sredets municipal centre (2 200 persons), or in Pobeda (Победа) neighbourhood, while three villages DE belt (Дебелт), Drachevo (Драчево) and Orlintsi (Орлинци) also register important Roma populations.
 
While electricity is available to all households, some of the dwellings in Roma neighbourhoods are not connected to the municipality's sewage system.  Lack of access to sewage for some of the housing is largely due to the fact that the houses were built without property titles and necessary legal documentation.  These houses, along with no basic sewage and hygiene facilities also often suffer from overcrowding with several families living in one apartment. 
Municipal social housing in Roma areas is often insufficient and in poor condition, and, similar to other Bulgarian rural municipalities, road infrastructures in Sredets is either in very poor condition or non-existent.  The Roma in Sredets also face a number of other serious issues, among them high unemployment rates, high levels of school drop-out and early marriages.
 

The ROMACT Process

Sredets joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015 with the signature of the Letter of Agreement by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivan Zhabov.
Prior to local elections in Bulgaria, the Community Action Group (CAG) formed and began formulating the priorities of the Roma community in terms of short-term and long-term priorities.
 

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3
InfrastructureRepair and pave the main streets in the neighborhoodPlace waste containers in the neighbourhoodOrganise regular garbage collection and close illegal dumpsite in Pobeda
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
HousingAdapt the urban planning of the municipality so as to include currently illegal Roma dwellingsProvide decent housing solutions for Roma family in need
EducationReduce the school drop-out ratesReduce the number of early marriages
EmploymentPrepare emergency measures to reduce unemployment

The taskforce (Public council for Social Inclusion) was created on 9 November 2016. Shortly after, the proposals of the CAG to update the existing MAPRI were approved by the Local Council.
The creation of a monitoring mechanism for the MAPRI was decided by the Local authorities and established in June 2017.

Several trainings were provided:

CAG was coached/ trained on:
•Advocacy
•Public speech and communication
•Participation in the local consultative process
•NGO establishment and management
•Local self-governance
•Basic aspects of project management cycle
•Community development and community-based approaches

Local authorities were coached/ trained on:
•Identifying available funding opportunities and how to  linking them with priorities;
•Inclusive Roma Policies and Project Planning under EU Operational  Programmes
•Setting up the Municipal Taskforce;
•Solutions to reduce illegal housing
•Identifying ways to integrate the priorities  of MAPRI  in the Municipal Development Plan (MDP)
•Planning the short-term and medium- term activities
•Developing a new Urbanization plan

Taskforce was coached/ trained on:
• Monitoring and evaluation and implementation of the JAP and policy-making on Roma issues
• Communication techniques and skills with a specific focus on establishing  cooperation between local stakeholders

In terms of implementation of the MAPRI, the following activities were implemented:
• Renovation of a community centre of the Roma neighbourhood (B-CH funds);
• Recruitment of two educational mediators and a manager for the Roma Community centre (B-CH funds);
• Reconstruction of main streets of the villages Zagortsi, Svetlina and Fakia (ERDF)
• Asphalting of two streets in Podeba neighbourhood (Municipality);
• Purchasing of lands where houses are illegally built (Municipality);
• Screening for cardiovascular disease, diabetes examinations (B-CH funds);
• Campaign against drop-out (B-CH funds);
• Screening for gynaecological diseases and family planning initiatives including uninsured women (B-CH funds);
• Campaign for immunisation against measles (Regional Health Inspection);
• Additional Bulgarian language classes (Ministry of education, COIDUEM program);
• Psychological and speech therapy for pre-school children (Norwegian cooperation programme);
• Celebration of 8th April international Roma day;
• Spring cleaning in the Roma neighbourhood (CAG and the municipality) - closure of illegal dumps, 20 new containers provided.

Projects were also successfully submitted with ROMACT support:
• "Concept of municipality Sredets for social inclusion of vulnerable groups", submitted under Integrated procedure of OP HRD & OP SESG - 282 000 €
• Preparatory activities under sub measure 19.1 "Community - led local development" under ERDF - 1 388 353 €

 

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
15 Nov 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
20 Nov 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Sredets joins the ROMACT programme
9 Nov 2016
Creation of Taskforce
30 Nov 2016
Step 3- Translating priorities into measures and projects- Adoption of Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion
28 Sep 2017
End of ROMACT process
31 May 2018
Step 4- Step 4- Funding, Implementing, Monitoring- Project proposal was submitted under Integrated procedure of OPHRD & OPSESG
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