General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
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
Yuksel Yasharov
Total population: 
8 827
Local Administration
Roma living in the Municipality: 
2 000
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 8.827 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.
According to the figures provided by the local administration in 2017, 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

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

As of July 2022, ROMACT process is reinforced in Bratsigovo and a new agreement was signed by the Mayor. 

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

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
Budget : 453 783€
Status : approved 

Trainings provided by ROMACT experts :

Community Action Groups (CAG):
* Main concepts of advocacy, elaboration of an advocacy plan;
* 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;
* Legal frame for addressing discrimination;
Building the capacity of the CAG to create NGOs;
Understand and Participate in CLLD strategies;

Local Authorities (LA):
* Identifying solutions to illegal constructions and lack of ID;
* Participation in a public consultation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Bulgaria;
Legal consultation for resolution of documentation issues;
Including priorities and measures for Roma communities in the Integrated stratedies for territorial development;
Opportunities under the new Erasmus+ Program (2021-2027) in the School Education sector;

LA and CAG : 
Consultations with LA and CAG on the establishment of neighbourhood councils.

Taskforce :
* Incorporating the priority needs of the community in Local Development Strategy;
* Monitoring and evaluation of the Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion;
National programs 2021 - 2027 funded by the EU structural and cohesion funds in support of municipal policies for social inclusio.

The following measures were taken to solve problems in Roma community:
* 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.

ROMACT Small Grants Scheme :
ROMACT offers small grants scheme to support the efforts of the municipalities and Community Action Groups to respond together to the needs of the most vulnerable and to multiply the good practices across ROMACT municipalities.
Under the scheme of small grants, the following projects were supported by ROMACT between April 2020 - January 2021:
Initiative to counter COVID19 pandemic – Municipality of Bratsigovo
ROMACT supported the municipality with 2305 €, reaching +100 people with dire financial status from Roma community. The project provided hygiene kits and essential food supplies for the families most adversely impacted by the pandemic. Information campaign on Covid19 was held to raise awareness in the community. Volunteers from the community took part in the implementation of the project and actively assisted with the distribution of the food packages.
Light for All – Municipality of Bratsigovo
ROMACT supported the municipality with 2000 € to install streetlights in Isperihovo neighbourhood. The project improved the living conditions of the neighbourhoods where around 1200 Roma community reside in poor conditions. Streets lights provided a safer environment for children returning from school during winter, improved the living conditions of inhabitants and reduced petty crimes in the neighbourhood.

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 3- Translating priorities into measures- MAPRI updated and adopted by City Council
30 May 2018
Step 4- Funding, implementing, monitoring, Project proposal for Concept of municipality Bratsigovo for social inclusion of vulnerable groups- ESIF
31 Jul 2019
End of ROMACT process
8 Jul 2022
Start of ROMACT reinforced process with the signature of a new letter of agreement
30 Sep 2023
End of ROMACT Reinforced process
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