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.



PLOUTOS classes 2SDA has teamed up with the NGO Arms Wide Open to offer free Bulgarian language classes online to migrants and refugees. Three classes have started in the last two weeks of November and will continue until the end of February 2023. The language training focuses on business and financial vocabulary and will help third-country nationals and refugees, including those from Ukraine, improve their language skills and knowledge of the business and financial system in the country.

The business language classes will be followed by financial literacy classes; both language courses have been developed by language and financial experts to meet the needs of third-country nationals and to facilitate their labor market integration.

The initiative is part of the project PLOUTOS, a multi-partner action, funded by AMIF, which seeks to improve the access to financial instruments and services for migrants and refugees. Follow the website of SDA and the project PLOUTOS for updates on activities.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.


In the 30th month of working together, the AGORA partners got together for their final conference and capacity building. The event took place on December 6-7th, 2022, in Cluj-Napoca, the project lead partner, and online, as a hybrid event.

The final conference engaged all project partners, external experts and key stakeholders like national policy makers, operators, scientists and artists in an empowering exchange, knowledge transfer and networking.

The 10 territorial partners that worked on urban void regeneration policies and implemented pilot actions – with Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association among them, reflected on their experience, achievements, lessons learned from the pilots and future oriented strategies. Sofia presented its two pilot initiatives – linking Toplocentrala with the adjacent river (хиперлинк към видеото) and a renovated open-air stage in Sveta Troitsa Park (също хиперлинк към видеото). No matter how different the two may seem, what they have in common is the citizen engagement and empowerment process and participatory decision-making, the core approach of AGORA.

The final conference presented other transferable project outcomes as well – the matchmaking platform, tools and policy guidance developed by the scientific project partners – instruments and practices that will contribute to making the Danube region a more innovative and sustainable place.

CONNECTION project: CONNECTING Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.  





EUROCITIES working groups on Employment and on Migration, as well as representatives of CONNECTION project and interested cities, got together, hosted by the city of Riga, for a mutual learning event. The focus of the event was how to engage vulnerable women with migrant and refugee backgrounds in the labour market and how to mitigate the challenges they face.

Since the invasion, Latvia has taken in over 40,000 refugees from Ukraine, many of whom remain in Riga, where a refugee support centre was, at one point, seeing over 1000 people every day. The host city showed other good practices, including a Ukrainian school, NGO cooperatives working for integration of migrants, entrepreneurs. The Riga examples were presented by the city mayor and deputy mayor, the Ukrainian ambassador to Latvia, civil society organizations and municipal enterprises.

Participating cities were engaged in workshops, one of which – the gender dimension of integration strategies – was conducted by the CONNECTION integration champions. The mutual learning event was also attended by representatives of DG Employment, DG Home, OECD, UNHCR.

The event finished with a strategy development workshop, developing solutions that can be applicable to other cities working to integrate women from Ukraine, and outlining advocacy efforts at European level.



CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.



For second year in a row, Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, Caritas Sofia, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Foundation “Za dobroto” are organizing Awards for Responsible Employers of Refugees and Migrants. The awards will honor employers with contributions to integration, recruitment and support of refugees and migrants.

The event will take place on 15th of December at SofiaLab on Serdika Street 1, fl. 3 at 16:00.

If you are unable to attend the live event, you can join online at the following ZOOM link: .

The award event will broadcast online on the Facebook page of SofiaLab, as well as on the page of Caritas Sofia.

The awards are also part of the activities of the Bureau of Information and Services for Foreign Citizens, which was established and has been operating since October last year with the joint efforts of the SM, SDA, BRC, with the support of Market “Vazrazhdane” and UNHCR, co-financed by the EU through the Asylum Fund, migration and integration under the CONNECTION project.

CONNECTION project: CONNECTING Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.


We consider this year a successful one in the development and work of the "Information and Services Bureau".

Among the most frequently used services, in the last few months of this year, are the legal consultations offered by the "Legal Assistance Center - Voice in Bulgaria" as well as the "Foundation for access to rights - Far". Other frequently used services are humanitarian assistance, escorting to various institutions and medical assistance, language training and health insurance.

The most frequent users of services in the bureau are Syrian citizens, less in number are citizens of Ukraine, Iraq, Russia and other countries.

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.

Our statistics show that the site has been visited by more than 2,200 people for the last year and these people has been engaged with the posts and content more than 16,000 times.

Here you can see the program for the month of December:

          - You can find the program for December in Bulgarian HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in Ukrainian HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in English HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in French HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in Russian HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in Arabic HERE.
          - You can find the program for
December in Farsi HERE.

On behalf of everyone at the Information and Services Bureau, we wish you happy holidays!

CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.





Sofia municipality, Sofia Development Association, Sofia Urban Mobility Center, Modeshift Europe ltd., together with community association “United for Manastirski Livadi – West” oranized an information day to present the new electric minibuses and the on-demand service in the Manastirski Livadi neighbouthood.

The information day was held at the weekend, om December 3rd, 2022, to allow maximum citizens to get involved. Along one of the major streets, Mur Street, by the kids’ playground, the INNOAIR team put boards with maps of the neighbourhood, workshop materials and snacks and refreshments on the chill morning. The aim was to develop – together with the citizens – potential on-demand bus routes and more importantly – points of interest where citizens would like to get to, as well as preferred time zones for their travel.

The citizens were invited to try the mobile application BUSINN, to see how it works for the driver and for the dispatch back office. The app is based on AI calculating optimum routes to service maximum users and create minimum traffic and waiting times.

One of the e-minibuses was available for the residents to see, get to know its features – from Wi-Fi and power outlets to low floors and a ramp for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The last amenity is of particular importance to the residents since many of them have young children.

Many residents took a ride in the minibus in the neighbourhood and their experience was very positive.

The residents proposed measures how to make this innovative transport service more popular. They were also interested in the tariff and the use of public transport monthly and year cards. Around 20 residents of Manastirski Livadi volunteered to be test users of the app and bus in the coming days and provide feedback on features like ordering, waiting times, routes, etc.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.




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