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 Fund for Innovations Becomes Best European Practice


Sofia Public-Private Fund for Innovations, established in 2014 and managed by Sofia Development Association, has been adopted as a good European practice and is now published in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform good practice database. Policy makers around Europe will be able to consult our good practice online and contact SDA team through the Policy Learning Platform for further exchange of experiences and scaling up our innovative Sofia initiative.

"The practice is an interesting example of how regional public and private actors can join forces to provide funding for high risk creative and cultural industry projects. It can serve as inspiration to other regions interested in boosting innovation within the specific sector. The practice should have a good potential of transfer thanks to its adaptability,” says the review of the thematic expert Carl Arvid Dahlöf.

Visit the database to see our good practice and the expert opinion written by one of the thematic experts: https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/275/sofia-public-private-fund-for-innovations/

The INTEGRA partners are delighted to share that their City Integration Audit Toolkit is already available in English!


The City Audit Toolkit offers practical, tested guidance and inspiration to help cities to assess their progress in key areas of third country nationals and migrant integration. The toolkit is designed primarily for people working in local authorities. It contains methodologies for a series of participatory, multi-stakeholder activities like focus groups, photovoice, city integration checklist, aiming to provide a current picture of the city’s main success and challenges to integration, and to indicate concrete issues to be addressed. The toolkit is ready to be shared and adapted by the diverse range of actors and people that want to make their cities more integrating and inclusive.

SDA SUPPORTING THE “BIG TO ME” COMPETITION FOR THE SEVENTH YEAR

For the seventh year, Sofia Development Association is supporting the “Big to Me” competition at 134 Middle School “Dimcho Debelyanov” in Sofia. By tradition, the competition focuses on the collaboration between the students and a close friend of theirs (parent, sibling, schoolmate) over 16. The goal of the competition is to help 5th, 6th, and 7th graders develop their computer skills. Participation is free and open to all students from Sofia.

This year’s edition of “Big to Me” will take place on May 1, 2018.
 
Registration is open between 13 and 23 of April.

Details about signing up and rules of the competition are available HERE.

For more information, go tohttp://www.bigtome.info/

STAKEHOLDER INTEGRATION GROOP MEETING IN PRAGUE


On Thursday, April 12th, 2018, the first meeting of Stakeholder Integration Group of the INTEGRA project took place at the premises of Prague Integration Centre (ICP). The meeting was attended by five group members, including representatives of the Prague municipality, the Czech Academy of Sciences, the NGO sector and migrants. During the meeting, the participants were introduced to the INTEGRA project, its objectives and activities, as well as to ICP employees in charge of the project and to each other. They were also acquainted with their roles within the project and the possibilities of involvement in the planned activities. The participants were encouraged to take part in the upcoming activities, namely the focus groups, city safety audit and the photovoice project and to provide tips for other potential participants. The participants showed much interest and enthusiasm towards the project and agreed on getting together for another SIG meeting at the beginning of November 2018.

Positive Messengers Coalition was joint by new members in Athens

The Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech forth partners meeting took place in Athens, Municipality of Agii Anargiri on 27 – 28 March 2018.

On 28 March we were warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Agii Anargirii and Deputy Mayor who debated with us the different aspects of combatting hate speech and the role of the local stakeholders. The department of Social Services of the Municipality team joined the discussions and shared with us their activities integrating vulnerable groups.

Stakeholders from National Electronic Crime Division on hate Speech, Greek Centre for Safe Internet and Arsis presented their activities in combatting hate online and offline.

Partners showcased main Hotlines since Campaign has started.
Thanks to the interesting tools we produced and stakeholders we involved have already reached more than 30 000 target audience.

Positive Messengers Held Experimental Workshop in Second Chance School of Agii Anargiri

A Second Chance School in Greece is an innovative public adult education school of two academic years’ duration. A certificate equivalent to secondary school diploma is provided after successful attendance. The school’s curriculum differs from that of the normal education, it is more flexible and it follows an adapted teaching methodology and assessment of the trainees. The programme forms part of the Operational Programme “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and it is co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and national funding.

On March 27, 2018, the Positive Messengers project partners visited the Second Chance School of Agii Anargiri and held an experimental workshop with the students and faculty. The students - aged between 18 and 76 - used the psychodrama method to understand and learn to resolve interpersonal and societal conflicts caused by hate speech, gain new knowledge and skills to deal with life and fulfil their personal potential. The students had also engaged in participatory photo hunt on the topic, and the best photos were selected via popular vote.

“The policy of our municipality is to be active, to take part in projects tackling sensitive issues. Projects like Positive Messengers raise awareness among our citizens, bring societal results and prepare our administration to be in the front row of developments”, said Mr. Nikos Pantelias, Deputy Mayor of Agii Anargiri.

The experimental workshop was a great example of interregional learning and strengthening the transnational coalition of Positive Messengers to counter online hate speech.

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