Created on Monday, 06 March 2023 23:31
The International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme, an initiative funded by the European Union, is organising a study visit to Sofia for representatives of the city of Semarang City, Indonesia, from 13 to 15 March 2023. The visiting delegation also includes representatives of Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI). The visit aims to promote cooperation between the two cities in the field of sustainable urban mobility. Previously, the Sofia visited Semarang City in June 2022.
The Indonesian city is interested in how to develop its public transport system, especially the tram transport which is considering to introduce, as well as in best practices of Sofia, such as charging facilities in public transport, the SofiaCoin mobile app created under the INOAIR project, measures to improve air quality, initiatives to encourage more citizens to use public transport.
The programme includes meetings with Mr. Barbalov, Deputy Mayor for Transport, representatives of Sofia Municipality, Sofia Electric Transport, Urban Mobility Centre, Sofia Development Association and other stakeholders and will include a number of visits to mobility related sights.
Sofia, one of the 100 European cities aiming to be climate-neutral by 2030, will share its experiences, achievements and challenges, innovations it is testing for the first time on a European scale, such as on-demand transport under the INOAIR project, and discuss opportunities for continued cooperation in the field of mobility with the forth most populous country with a rapidly growing economy.
Funded by the European Union, the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme promotes cooperation between cities on sustainable urban development and builds partnerships between EU and non-EU cities. Participating local governments are enabled to implement pilot projects engaging research, civil society and business partners. IURC contributes to the objectives of the UN New Urban Agenda, the Agenda 2030 (SDGs), the Urban Agenda for the EU and the European Commission’s priorities for a “Stronger Europe in the World” with the European Green Deal and the NextGenerationEU (post COVID-19 recovery plan). IURC is implemented in nine countries in Asia and Australasia: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Bulgaria, IURC is pairing the Bulgaria’s capital Sofia with the two Asian cities, namely Sejong of Republic of Korea and Semarang City of Indonesia.
Created on Thursday, 02 March 2023 12:25
During the past month, 70 people used the services of the Bureau of Information and Services for Foreign Citizens. Of all the services offered, the greatest interest in the month of February was in the service offering connections with other non-governmental organizations, followed by services for submitting requests for financial assistance. Language courses are once again among the services sought by foreign citizens.
On the official website of the bureau, a program is offered every month, in which the various services are described by days and hours. The content of this program is in several languages: Bulgarian, English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic and Persian.
· You can find the program for March in Bulgarian HERE.
You can find the program for March in Ukrainian HERE.
You can find the program for March in English HERE.
You can find the program for March in French HERE.
You can find the program for March in Russian HERE.
You can find the program for March in Arabic HERE.
You can find the program for March in Farsi HERE.
CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
Created on Thursday, 02 March 2023 10:00
The first online meeting of the thematic network on poverty and inclusion, organized by IFKA Public Benefit Non-profit Ltd as a partner of the SI Plus project, was held this week on the Zoom online platform.
The first meeting of the thematic network focused on the presentation of the main challenges of poverty and inclusion on the European level and the leading EU policy trends including social innovation to mitigate them.
The meeting began with a presentation of the European frameworks by Katalin Szatmari, expert of the European Commission’s DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Experts of IFKA then gave a short introduction into the poverty- and inclusion-related priorities of the Human Resources Development Operational Programme Plus (HRDOP Plus). Zsófia Batta, representative of the Ministry of Interior of Hungary, presented the dedicated social innovation priority of the Hungarian ESF+ programme.
After the policy-focused parts of the programme, the emphasis was put on the practice. Participants of the meeting got an insight into member state-level good examples of social innovation initiatives targeting the mitigation of poverty and inclusion-related issues.
Speakers on the subject were Stefani Doynova from Volkshilfe Wien, Austria, Iskra Stoykova – Program Officer of the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation, Bulgaria, and Nikoletta Luptakova from TENENET NGO, Slovakia. The meeting ended with a moderated discussion about the services to be developed in the future, different cooperation opportunities and the next possible steps forward.
The project is funded by the EUROPEAN UNION, the European Social Fund and European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.
Created on Monday, 27 February 2023 16:00
On February 23, 24 and 25 the Sofia Development Association held three interactive trainings under the title „Digital Gardening – Implementing Strategies to Counter Hate Speech Online“.
The workshops were intended for teachers, trainers, civic activists, specialists in working with children and also journalists.
The participants got acquainted with the general parameters of the LEAD - Online project, within which the training were held, as well as the different definitions of hate speech and specifically that in the online space.
These were followed by exercises on recognizing hate speech in various simulated situations drawn from real-life cases, and a discussion on the different possible reactions and when they are needed.
The final panel of each of the trainings was devoted to debating different scenarios and ideas for HateOut! - an online game that is being created within the framework of LEAD - Online and aims to help reach messages about countering hate speech online among students and young people.
Since a large part of the participants were professionals who on a daily basis have direct contact with children and teenagers, they were able to contribute to the process with objective and useful feedback on what has been built so far and to give interesting and practical ideas for the necessary corrections and additions to the game.
Finalizing HateOut! and publishing it is close, so the process of promoting and reaching as many young people as possible is not far away as well.
The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme. SDA is the lead partner and coordinator of the project with Asociatia Divers, Forma.Azione, Future Needs Management Consulting LTD, Hellenic Open University, ZARA - Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit and Udruge Centar za Mir, Nenasilje i Ljudska Prava as partners.
Created on Thursday, 23 February 2023 16:27
On February 24, we mark the first year since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. As a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and all those people fleeing the military conflict that has torn apart millions of families, as well as in recognition and gratitude to Sofia citizens who have joined the process of their integration into the city, Sofia Municipal Council has decided to open the doors of the Municipal Cultural Institute “Scientific and Educational Children's Center "Muzeiko" and Sofia Zoo for all children under the age of 18 on February 25 and 26.
The two-day campaign will be held under the theme "Support a friend, start friendship". The promoters are municipal councilors from different political parties, and the organization was initiated by the chairman of the Commission for Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity in the Council Mrs. Malina Edreva, Sofia Development Association and the Bureau for Information and Services for Third-Country Nationals.
Created on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 10:00
IN(Visible) City is Portuguese animation director and arts scholar Pedro Serrazina’s animation masterclass. Serrazina is coming to Sofia on the invitation of the New Bulgarian University under the Erasmus+ programme, between 8th and 11th March 2023.
The theme of his masterclass is integrating urban spaces through animation. During the class participants will focus on Sofia’s urban landscape, rather that concentrating only on different characters, as most animations do. For the purpose of the masterpclass two iconic locations in Sofia have been chosen – “Malko Tarnovo” street and Sofia’s Central Mineral Bath.
Through this we will question the spirit of the place (genius loci) that many architects discuss and we look at the city with a critical eye. The end result will consist of animated interpretations through which we will rediscover emotions and the personal view point in the urban space.
The first meeting of Pedro Serrazina with the participants will be held in the SofiaLab space on March 8, and for the next 3 days we will take place in the "Laboratory of Animation Cinema" at the Radio-Television Center of NBU.
Partners in the project are New Bulgarian University, Universidade Lusófona de Lisboa, the Sofia Development Association and the "Culture" Program of Sofia Municipality.