SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

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THIRD PLENARY MEETING OF CICERONE PROJECT


On November 21, 2019, partners in the Horizon 2020 consortium developing strategic approaches to circular economy in the European Union and beyond got together in Berlin to overview the research conducted so far, and to discuss its practical application: how the findings could be transferred into better policies and governance. Among the specific tools and instruments to that purpose are the yet to be developed strategic research and innovation agenda, the stakeholder engagement platform and EU policy and international cooperation recommendations in this important field. The CICERONE project is led by EIT KIC Climate, and Sofia Development Association is a partner together with program owners, businesses and leading research organisations to create a platform for efficient circular economy. This project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under Grant Agreement 820707.

DIGITALIZE YOUR FAMILY MEMORIES


Do you know where your family came from and can you name your predecessors? What legends do you know about them and would you like to share? Do you keep photos of your grandmother? Was she a "fatal woman"?

Bring an old family album and we will send it back to you in a few days in digital version! Our past is the basis of our future, let's try to preserve it in the era of new technologies. :)

Come and join us on November 21st at SofiaLab (1 Serdika Str.) to go back to our roots! Build a family tree, bring old things and photos, or just a good mood and a desire to share your family story.

The event is organized by Sofia Development Association in partnership with Sofia City Library - branch of "Serdika".

FINAL STAKEHOLDER INTEGRATION GROUP MEETING IN SOFIA: EVALUATION AND WAY FORWARD

On November 15, 2019 a final meeting of the INTEGRA local stakeholder group was held to evaluate the achievements and to plan follow-up activities for the integration of third-country nationals (TCN) in Sofia. The meeting was attended by the participants in the local stakeholders integration group (SIG), the public mediator of Sofia Municipality, representatives of municipal committees, representatives of UNHCR, BCRM, IOM, non-governmental organizations. Sevdalina Voinova, SDA Project Coordinator, presented the creative tools developed by the project partners - they include videos, handouts for organizing debates and discussions, electronic and paper versions of a card game on migration, calendars, and more. The resources are freely accessible and can be used by different target groups - municipal officials, NGOs, teachers, refugee organizations - for training, awareness-raising, involvement in civic initiatives. In Sofia, INTEGRA concludes the two-year project with a very good synergy between SDA, Sofia Municipality (SM), UNHCR, the academic community and a network ready to continue the efforts for migrants integration. The project team reports ongoing activities to maintain the established mechanisms for providing information and services to migrants in Sofia (by expanding the health services portal, myhealth.bg, supported by the municipality and available in Bulgarian and English), through the office of the public mediator, and others. In a European context, the project's methodology and results were highly appreciated and disseminated widely: INTEGRA is one of the finalists in the CLARINET network competition for the Best Public Campaign for Integration of Migrants; project partners are invited to participate in the exhibition accompanying the Go Local conference, organized by the European Committee of the Regions on 3 December, as well as in several conference panels.

In order to sustain and expand what has been achieved so far, after the completion of the project in December 2019, we will continue to work with all partners from the public and non-governmental sectors in Sofia, focusing on several key objectives:

            - Cooperation with the office of the public mediator at Sofia Municipality, to facilitate the access of the TCN to services through preparation of documents and application forms in English, setting up on-site meetings, etc.

            - Cooperation with the newly elected municipal council and committees that will have competence in matters of integration of migrants and refugees

            - Seeking opportunities to facilitate access for migrants and refugees to the labor market in Sofia through municipal enterprises, e.g. in the metropolitan transport system

            - Cooperation with UNHCR and the city administration to initiate changes in the policies for municipal housing, including refugees and migrants in the target group of eligible users

            - Continued work to increase the capacity of TCN and their organizations to be involved in civic initiatives and in the decision-making process at local level, through the small grant schemes under the municipal funding programs, Europe Program and Culture Program.

    

MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY TRAINING OF TRAINERS IN OSIJEK, CROATIA


The first media and information literacy training under the IN EDU project took place the 1-3 October in Osijek, Croatia. This training of trainers brought together 23 participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy and Slovenia with backgrounds in teaching, training, psychology, journalism and project management. The participants spent three days learning about media literacy theory, teaching tips and reviewing the curriculum lesson plans developed by IREX Europe and the French media literacy organisation Savoir*Devenir.

The training was conducted by Irma Velez, expert in media and information literacy from the Sorbonne University in Paris and member of Savoir*Devenir.

During the three days, participants also developed a training programme to be used to train teachers in each of their countries and will now go on to run their own training sessions in their local communities. Classes on Media Literacy will then be incorporated into classes in local schools, with the curriculum having the flexibility to allow teachers to pick and choose the topics they teach and fit them within their own school curricula.

Training for local teachers will run from December 2019 - January 2020. Teachers will be encouraged to begin using the curriculum as soon as possible and will also be involved in preparations for the Civic Hackathons which will be organized later in the year.

 

      

Participate in the conference “Go local: Supporting regions, cities and rural areas in migrants’ inclusion”


INTEGRA project, led by Sofia Development Association, takes part in the conference “Go local: Supporting regions, cities and rural areas in migrants’ inclusion”, organized by the European Commission. The conference will be held in Brussels on 3 December 2019.

If you would like to attend the event, you can apply here no later than 11 October 2019.

You may find the official invitation for the conference here.

Social Impact Investment Community Council Meeting


On September 18 - 19, 2019, social impact investors, representatives of local and national institutions, business support organisations and social entrepreneur networks met in Stuttgart, Germany, to discuss the pathways to foster social impact investments in the Danube region. The meeting took place in the framework of the project “Finance4Social Change”, co-financed by the EU funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI). Sofia Development Association is a project partners, together with 13 other organisations from 12 countries. Together with SDA project team was Aleksandar Sarafov, the manager of Start-up Accelerator Sofia and the Municipal Guarantee Fund for SMEs. 

During the upcoming months the project partners will launch a comprehensive training programme and a region-wide competition for social entrepreneurs, while at the same time improving their local policies in the area of social impact investment. 

More information in the project is available at http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/finance4socialchange.

 

      

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