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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CV CONSULTATION AND A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO SESSION FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOS FOR THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS

The integration of foreigners into the labor market can only happen if they know how to reach employers and remain noticed. However, these skills are not highly developed among third-country nationals arriving in Bulgaria.

For this reason and as part of the activities of the Bureau for Information and Services for third-country nationals, the Sofia Development Association in partnership with the Bulgarian Red Cross organize individual consultations for CV and professional photo session for portraits for third-country nationals.

The participants in the event will have the opportunity to get acquainted with good practices for making a CV, to receive practical advice, guidance and individual consultation, as well as to receive portrait photos taken by a professional photographer.

The event will be held at the Bureau (Sofia, 111 Hristo Botev Blvd.) on March 21, 2022 from 10:00 to 13:00 and is absolutely free and open to the public.

Share with friends and acquaintances (third-country nationals) for whom this training would be useful!

Register for participation by calling +359 879 651 346 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are expecting you!

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

TOGETHER FOR UKRAINE: NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, THE BUSINESS AND SOFIA MUNICIPALITY WITH JOINT ACTIONS IN SUPPORT OF REFUGEES FROM UKRAINE

A working meeting initiated by Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova on March 14, 2022, which included representatives of the non-governmental sector, business organizations and Sofia Municipal Council, outlined concrete steps to improve the coordination of support measures to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

"We have been working for many years for the integration of third-country nationals in the labor market in Sofia. What the people of Ukraine are going through right now is something none of us expected. The fact is that NGOs and citizens were the first to respond and offer their help and support. Sofia municipality is one of the first institutions that managed to quickly organize and coordinate support actions for the refugees from the war ", said Мayor Fandakova. Accommodation, free medical care in municipal hospitals, the provision of premises for non-governmental organizations to organize help centers, the supply of food and medicine are some of the measures that the municipality has taken so far. The efforts to secure more resources and humanitarian aid continue at full speed.

The Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency SofiaInvest is developing an internet platform to connect employers and refugees from Ukraine looking for work, the mayor of Sofia said. Work is also underway to ensure children's access to school. Svetlozar Andreev of the European Committee of the Regions said the European Union was expected to allocate between 10 billion and 20 billion euros to manage the crisis, with funds going to NGOs, local authorities and small and medium-sized enterprises. Refugees face several main problems in terms of finding a job - knowledge of Bulgarian, difficulties in opening bank accounts, real access to the health care system in Sofia, because general practitioners have their patient quotas full, said the CEO of Caritas - Sofia, Tsvetomir Dumanov. The UNHCR Office in Bulgaria stressed the importance of accurate and timely information in this situation and pledged to assist in disseminating materials to Ukrainian refugees in key locations in Sofia. UNHCR is one of the partner organizations, which together with the Bulgarian Red Cross provides services to refugees and migrants in the Office for Information and Services of Third-Country Nationals established by Sofia Development Association and Sofia Municipality. The Bureau is already offering information and consultations to Ukrainian citizens coming to Sofia. The Bureau opened in October 2021 and has so far provided consultations and information to more than 450 migrants.

The special focus of the meeting was on employment opportunities for third-country nationals. Discussions included employers' associations, trade unions, small and medium-sized enterprises, Sofia Investment Agency; all of the organizations support the informal coalition of local stakeholders for the inclusion of third-country nationals in the labor market. The participants in the meeting expressed their commitment for further joint actions, both for the organization of emergency assistance to arriving refugees and for setting up functional institutional systems for long-term support in education, employment and health care.

The meeting is part of the activities of Sofia Development Association on the projects CONNECTION and UnionMigrantNet, which are co-funded by the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

       

      

 

   

  

NEW EDUCATIONAL PROJECT OF SOFIA MUNICIPALITY IN SUPPORT OF YOUNG BULGARIAN CHOREOGRAPHERS

The Sofia Municipality, the Sofia Development Association and the Regional Center for Contemporary Arts "Toplocentrala" in partnership with the International Choreographers' Organization and Networking Services - Dance ICONS, Inc. stay behind the initiative for professional development of contemporary Bulgarian choreographers.

The project is called "HELIOS" - an abbreviation of Choreographic Experimental Laboratory and Innovative Educational Stage, and its director and presenter will be Vladimir Angelov - choreographer, lecturer and CEO of Dance ICONS, Inc.

The creative laboratory for young choreographers will take place from the 15th to 25th June 2022 at the Regional Center for Contemporary Arts "Toplocentrala".

The seminar will require their presence daily, from 10am to 5pm. The program will include theoretical lectures on choreography, including improvisation, experimentation and dance composition, followed by discussions and suggestions about the creation of the day.

The purpose of this experimental educational process is to enable each of the choreographers to create enough material and to be organized into new short experimental works, which will be presented to the public, on stage, on the last day before the closing of the creative laboratory.

Choreographers will have the opportunity to invite dancers to participate on a voluntary basis in their newly created works.

The project is subsidized by Sofia Municipality through the Summer Cultural Management Academy of the Sofia Development Association. The participants will be determined by a jury and their participation in the project will be free of charges.

The online registration starts on March 21, 2022 on the following link https://forms.gle/sZ2MsSeMzadS6YZV7 and will stay open until April 15, 2022.

The approved choreographers will be announced on May 9, 2022.

You may find more information in Bulgarian at: https://helios-sofia.eu/

INNOAIR - one of the projects that turns Sofia into a smart city

"The smart city is truly smart only when decisions about its development are taken according to the local conditions and together with the citizens. INNOAIR does exactly that - introduces innovation that Sofia needs, engages citizens and offers incentives for positive change in their behavior." Sevdalina Voynova, program director of the Sofia Development Association and coordinator of the INNOAIR project.

During the discussion "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities", organized by BNR Radio Sofia and held on March 8, 2022 in Sofia Tech Park the INNOAIR project and its holistic approach to switching to sustainable ways of getting around was presented.

The project not only introduces innovations such as green public transport on demand, which determines its route according to the consumer demand, but also focuses on the second important layer in the understanding of innovation, namely the involvement of citizens. The platform through which every citizen will be able to request the vehicle to the nearest corner has already been developed, and electric minibuses will start operating in the second half of the year.

The participants in the discussion also got acquainted with the latest method INNOAIR uses to engage citizens - the SofiaCoin application, through which the most active users traveling on foot, by bicycle, electric bicycle or scooter can win attractive prizes. The winners for the first four months and the most frequently used routes, which will become a priority in the investment program of Sofia Municipality will be announced very soon.

The discussion was also attended by other representatives of the non-governmental sector, Gencho Kerezov - Deputy Mayor of Sofia in the field of "Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development", representatives of the business sector and futurists. They all shared their views on how we can turn Sofia into an even greener and more innovative city.

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

      

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN A DISCUSSION ON “INTEGRATION OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS IN THE LABOR MARKET IN SOFIA – NEW CHALLENGES”

Sofia Municipality and the Sofia Development Association (SDA) invite you to join a discussion on the integration of third-country nationals (TCNs) in the labor market, which will be held on March 14, 2022 from 13:00 – at SofiaLab (1 Serdika str., 3rd fl.) and online, through the ZOOM platform – HERE.

The event is another step taken by local authorities, together with civil society organizations and public institutions, in order to improve the employment opportunities of the TCNs, as well as to facilitate employers who want and have the opportunity to hire migrants. Within the CONNECTION and UMN projects, and together with CITUB, UNHCR, Caritas, BRC, SDA and Sofia Municipality, they implement various initiatives – trainings, information and advocacy campaigns – to prepare the city to more effectively manage the integration of migrants. In view of the emerging (unexpected) wave of refugees from Ukraine, it is necessary for the capital to plan measures that will allow normal living and working conditions not only for Ukrainian citizens but also for foreigners already residing in the city now and in the future.

We invite you to take part in discussion with Ms. Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia, Mr. Svetoslav Andreev, European Committee of the Regions, Ms. Malina Edreva, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity of the Sofia Municipal Council, Mr. Nikolay Stoynev, Chairperson of the Committee on Economy, Property and Digital transformation of the Sofia Municipal Council, BCCI, CITUB, UNHCR, Caritas, non-governmental organizations, employers, employers’ organizations, etc.

The discussion aims to hear the views of all stakeholders on how local authorities could contribute to the labor integration process. Let’s set our clocks and plan our next steps together. You will have the opportunity to hear brief analyzes of the unemployment rate and labor market trends, shared experiences from companies that hire migrants, training and qualification opportunities, etc.

We encourage you to take part online via the following link, as places in the SofiaLab are limited.

For confirmation and questions, you may contact:

Sanya Raeva, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Snezhina Atanasova, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

 

   

  

THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS PRESENTED AS GOOD PRACTICE BY SDA AT A DISCUSSION ON CIVIC PARTICIPATION

The Sofia Development Association presented the Bureau for Information and Services for third-country nationals during a discussion on civic participation organized by the Sofia Security Forum. The bureau was presented by Svetlana Lomeva, Executive director of SDA, as a good practice of Sofia Municipality in involving people to solve municipal problems.

To simplify foreigners’ access to services Sofia has joined forces with the Bulgarian Red Cross and UNHCR, and 13 NGOs active in the area of third-country nationals’ integration and set up a Bureau for Information and Services for TCN, which opened its doors in September 2021 and since then it works as a single point of reference, overcoming complexity. Moreover, the Bureau being a joint effort, allows for sharing resources, expertise, responsibilities, and vision between a broad variety of stakeholders.

During the event, the normative frameworks of civic participation at national and European levels were presented and discussed, and in addition to good practices from Sofia, the participants also got acquainted with achievements on the topic by the European Parliament.

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

   

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