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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Sofia Development Association presented Regional Action Plan in accordance with the Social Impact Investment Community Strategy for the Danube region

On March 9 and 10, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia, representatives of the partner organizations and policy makers from the 12 partner countries of the project Finance for Social Change met. They discussed the draft version of the Social Impact Investment Community Strategy for the Danube region, which is being developed in the framework of the project. Some of the partners, among which SDA, presented their Regional Action Plans.

During the meeting, the partners exchanged good practices for social impact investments and discussed the development of the social enterprise ecosystem, as well as the first steps they will take to further develop the Strategy. In addition, the forthcoming communication activities regarding the organization of the educational programme and the competition for social entrepreneurs, which will be officially announced and open for applicants shortly, were discussed.

The project Finances4SocialChange is co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI). More information about the project is available at http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/finance4socialchange

 

      

InnoBridge First Annual Partner Meeting

The InnoBridge project first annual partner meeting took place in Bolzano, Italy, on February 18-19, 2020. Project partners from eight different European countries: the Regional Government of Lower Austria, the Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol; Pannon Novum West¬Transdanubian Regional Innovation Non¬profit Ltd., Council of Tampere Region, the Regional Development Agency of Alentejo, the Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region and Sofia Development Association and Applied Research and Communications Fund had worked together since 2016 to assess and improve their regional instruments that foster better university-business knowledge transfer and utilization of R&D results for local SMEs. Through interregional learning partners had designed their 2-year Action Plans with concrete measures to make their regions more competitive through innovation and SME support.

At the first annual meeting subjected the partners presented and monitor their Action Plan implementation, the improved policies and instruments, new projects and better management structures and processes.

Sofia Development Association presented the latest Sofia municipal developments in that area: the Sofia Start-up Accelerator, the scheme in support of Sofia Smart Specialization Strategy of the Municipal SME Guarantee Fund, the programme for social innovations, the innovation competitions (hackathons) and SofiaLab as a vanue equipped and programmed as a living lab.

In September 2020 the project will have its final high-level conference in Sofia.

InnoBridge is funded by the INTERREG EUROPE programme, cofunded by EU’s ERDF.

   

Sofia Joins Forces with 8 Local Authorities and Social Partners in the EU to Improve the Integration of TCN

The first Steering Committee meeting for the project UMN – UnionMigrantNet and Cities Together for Integration - took place Feb. 13, 2020 in Brussels. The action, coordinated by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), aims at exchanging and transferring knowledge, experiences and (best) practices on integration between 9 UnionMigrantNet (UMN) members and 8 local authorities from five EU countries, namely, the municipality of Liège - Belgium, Sofia municipality, Dolna Malina municipality, the municipality of Athens - Greece, the municipalities of Milan, Trieste and Pordenone – Italy, and the municipality of Ljubljana - Slovenia.

Mr Ludovic Voet, Executive Secretary of ETUC, opened the meeting with remarks on the recent changes in the migration situation in Europe and the new challenges that need to be tackled in the implementation of the action such as fair labor mobility, collective bargaining, and labor protection issues for mobile workers.

Building on the already existing European network of trade unions providing services to third country nationals (TCNs), the project will seek to enhance the network by fostering partnerships with local authorities, key actors in the reception and integration of TCNs. SDA is one of the project partners from Bulgaria, together with the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, and will focus on the integration of TCNs in the local labor market. Workshops, experience-exchange and training sessions are planned for the next 2.5 years of the project implementation.

The project is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.

    

SDA TRAINING COURSE FOR HIGH-SCHOOL TEACHERS “MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY” AS A PART OF MEDIA LITERACY DAYS IN BULGARIA

The training course, organized by Sofia Development Association, was the opening event of Media Literacy Days in Bulgaria. The course took place on 5th of February in SofiaLab and provided 39 teachers with both theoretical knowledge and practical assignments.

The lecturers of the training were experts from the media, digital agencies and NGOs. The participants were trained how to discern and counteract fake news, online hate speech and online bullying. They were shown how to use the compulsory study content in order to develop students' media literacy and digital skills. Furthermore, the teachers got acquainted with various digital tools for content creation, which will help them present their subjects in an interesting and innovative way. The participants also learned through practice how to make podcasts, video and radio interviews and how to use platforms for publishing of media content. Overall, the teachers evaluated the training as very useful and they plan on putting the knowledge into practice in their everyday work with students.

All of the participants who completed the training successfully were certified and received various educational materials and resources. The training will be of use for the upcoming civic hackathon when students teams will compete and design campaign actions on media and information literacy.

The training program and the resource materials have been developed by an international team of experts within the framework of INclusion Communities through Media Inclusion and Critical Thinking EDUcation (IN-EDU) project, co-financed by the EU Erasmus + Programme.

      

SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION ORGANIZES A TRAINING COURSE FOR HIGH-SCHOOL TEACHERS CALLED “MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY”

Sofia Development Association organizes a training course for high-school teachers on Media and information literacy. The training will take place on 5th of February in SofiaLab (1, Serdika str, fl. 3rd) and it is a part of the programme of Media literacy week. Among the partners of Media Literacy Week are The Coalition for Development of Media Literacy of Bulgarian children, The Embassy of the United States in Bulgaria and The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The training program and the resource materials for the course were prepared by an international team of experts in the framework of INclusion Communities through Media Inclusion and Critical Thinking EDUcation (IN-EDU) project, co-financed by the EU Erasmus + Programme. The lecturers of the training will be experts from the media, digital agencies and NGOs. The participants will receive various resource materials both theoretical and practical – from written explanations for leading the training to links for digital instruments for content creation.

In order to participate in the training, it is necessary to make online registration in the period from 13 to 31 January 2020 at: http://bit.ly/36R8T6t.

INTEGRA PARTNERS PARTICIPATE IN THE CONFERENCE GO LOCAL: SUPPORTING REGIONS, CITIES AND RURAL AREAS IN MIGRANTS’ INTEGRATION

The conference took part Dec. 3, 2019 in Brussels. It was organized by the Committee of the Regions, which recently launched the initiative Cities and Regions for Integration, together with other Commission departments. Enhancing the dialogue with local and regional authorities is a priority for the work on integration at EU level. Cities and regions are key actors in putting in place effective integration policies on the ground. However, many local authorities, especially small ones, have difficulties in accessing the resources available at EU level both in terms of knowledge and funding – a challenge recognized and tackled also by INTEGRA.

The conference gathered over 400 representatives from local and regional authorities to inform them about the support available at EU level and give them an opportunity to exchange their practices and experience.

INTEGRA partners from Sofia, Prague, Košice and Osijek took part in the conference. In recognition of the project success, Sevdalina Voynova from SDA was invited to moderate one of the conference workshops, Narratives matter. The session focused on the public perception of migrants and refugees in Europe and its relationship with facts and the reality, the role of opinion makers as well as local politicians in influencing the attitudes of citizens towards immigrants.

The conference was organized also in cooperation with other Commission departments active in the field of integration, such as the Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Education and Culture, Regional and Urban Affairs and the Joint Research Center.

      

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