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 with the signature of the letter of agreement. 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

The Municipality benefited from ROMACT expertise to apply for the following projects :
The expertise provided by ROMACT for municipalities involves training and guidance on preparing project proposals and implementing inclusive policies aimed at improving the living conditions and social integration of vulnerable populations, including the Roma.

"Socio-economic and educational integration of ethnic minorities in the municipality of Isperih"- Funded by the OPHRD- OPSESG.
Beneficiaries: 880
Budget: 454 047 euros
Status: approved

"Accessible Kindergarten for all children in the municipality of Isperih",  Funded by the Roma Education Fund
Beneficiaries: 650
Budget: 100 000 euros
Status: rejected

"Educational integration of students from ethnic minority groups at municipality of Isperih"- Funded by the OPSESG
Beneficiaries: 650
Budget: 170 000 euros
Status: approved

Preparatory activities under submeasure 19.1 "Community - led local development", Funded by the RDP
Budget: 2 653 175 euros
Status: approved
Building and equipment of Roma Community Center in Vazovo village - Funded by the RDP
Beneficiaries: 500
Budget: 49 696 euros
Status: approved

"Establishment of a social enterprise for maintenance of public infrastructure in Isperih municipality"- Funded by the OPHRD
Beneficiaries: 40
Budget: 200 000 euros
Status: cancelled

Patronage care in Isperih for the improvement of life quality- Funded by the OPHRD
Beneficiaries: 60 people with disabilities and lonely elderly people
Budget: 89 928 euros
Status: approved

Socio-economic integration of marginalized communities in Isperih municipality-  №: BG05M9OP001-2.033-0001- LDS- Funded by the OPHRD
Beneficiaries: 80 sick and elderly persons at risk of exclusion
Budget: 102 536 euros
Status: approved

Empowering Women from Vulnerable Communities by Extending the Network of Mother Centers in Isperih Municipality, №: BG05M9OP001-2.033-0002- Funded by the European Social Fund.
Beneficiaries: 100 Roma women from 4 different settlements
Budget: 102 463 euros
Status: approved

Vocational School of Agriculture, "My culture in sound and picture", Funded by the Centre for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (COIDUEM) 
Budget: 5 097 euros
Status: approved

Let's lend a hand- Funded by the IRIS Fund
Status: rejected

Covid-19 and misinformation, Funded by the The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, German Marshall Fund
Budget: 14 500 euros
Status: approved

Kindergarten “Zora”, Children’s Art Club “Together with the Art” - Funded by the COIDUEM.
Budget : 7 675€
Status : approved

Primary School “Lyuben Karavelov, Success is in the UNITY of parents, teachers and pupils" - Funded by the COIDUEM.
Budget : 9 945€
Status : approved

Trainings provided by ROMACT experts :

Community Action Groups (CAG):
* 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; 
* Training session on capacity building for addressing drug use in the Roma neighbourhoods;
Addressing drug delivery and use in the Roma neighbourhoods;
NGO management and organisational development;
Role and meaning of NGOs for active civil society. Work for public benefit;
Project planning and management;
Harmonizing activizm with professionalism

Local Authorities (LA):
* 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 Municipal Development Plan and expert support to identify ways to integrate MAPRI’s priorities in it;
Expert consultation of project elaboration for addressing unemployment among Roma through social enterprise;
Partnership management for planning and implementation of municipal policies for social inclusion;
Opportunities under the new Erasmus+ Program (2021-2027) in the School Education sector;
Approaches for working with and within Roma community. Working in intercultural environment;
Social and Emotional Development and Language Culture through Lego Education;
Preventive measures to tackle challenges of inadequate behaviaour.

LA and CAG : 
Grant procedure for financial assistance through the selection of project proposals BG05M2OP001-3.019 "SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS FOR ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION”;
Presentation of Erasmus+ Program - KA1 Learning Mobility for Individuals; KA2 Cooperation between Organizations and Institution;
Development and implementation of partnerships for prevention and intervention of drugs use in Roma communitie.
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.

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 project was supported by ROMACT in Isperich during April - July 2020:

Initiative to counter COVID19 pandemic – Municipality of Isperih
ROMACT supported the municipality with 2040 € reaching 90 families within Roma community. The project covered information campaign on COVID19 and provided masks, disinfectant products, informative flyers to raise awareness in the community. Food supplies were also provided for families with dire financial situation.

Timeline Points

12 Oct 2015
Step 1- Becoming Commited- Signature of the letter of agreement
18 May 2016
Step 4- Funding, Implementing, Monitoring- Project proposal was submitted to the Roma Education Fund
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
10 Nov 2017
End of ROMACT Process
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